7th May 2018

Because He First Loved Us

“We love Him because He first loved us. And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.”
1 John 4:19, 21 (NKJV)

As God’s children we reciprocate His love through the love of God shed in our hearts by the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5). This is the Agape love that proceeds from the Godhead. As one Triune God, the work of salvation is carried out in love by the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. This Agape love is all encompassing and it helps us to fulfill the law of God (Romans 13:10).

It reminds me of a scribe asking Jesus, “‘Which is the first commandment of all?’ Jesus answered him, ‘The first of all the commandments is: “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.” This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: “You shall love your neighbour as yourself.” There is no other commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:28-31).The scribe acknowledged that to obey them is more than all the burnt offerings and sacrifices in verse 33, and in verse 34 Jesus saw that he answered wisely and said, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” Loving our neighbour is one way we can show that we love God. As I understand, God wants ALL of me, not part of my life, not half-hearted or partial obedience, but through grace to serve God with reverence and godly fear (Hebrews 12:28).

Our worship has to be authentic, genuine, with sincerity, no pretence or mindless, but thoughtfully engaging our minds. The Apostle Paul says to be transformed and be practical in offering your bodies a living sacrifice, acceptable and pleasing to God (Romans 12:1-2). However, there is another law in my members warring against the inward man and the law of God from which only Jesus Christ our Lord can free us (Romans 7:22-23). I am striving to love God, my neighbours and the brethren with all my heart. This is what is required of all true Christians, and with His help we will overcome.

The Agape love of God is incomprehensible, but we know God is Love and His love is active. Without this love our lives are worthless as we read in 1 Corinthians 13:1-8—though we speak like angels, have the gift of prophecy, understand all mysteries, have all knowledge and even all faith to remove mountains, but have no love, we are nothing. We might give all our goods to feed the poor and sacrifice our lives but without love it profits nothing. Love suffers long and is kind, does not envy, is not puffed up, or arrogant, is not rude, does not seek its own nor is easily angered, thinks no evil, rejoices in truth, believes, bears, hopes and endures all things. Love never fails!

May God grant us the understanding of His Agape love, so that we can reciprocate His love because He first loved us.

Prayer
Abba, Father, thank you for Your love. Teach us to love You forever. I pray in Jesus’ name.
Amen

Study by Natu Moti

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About the Author:
Natu Moti is a Deacon in the Birmingham Congregation of the Worldwide Church of God, UK, a part of Grace Communion International.

Local Congregation:
Worldwide Church of God Birmingham
All Saints Church
George Road
BIRMINGHAM
B23 7QB

Meeting Time:
Saturday 1pm

Local Congregational Contact:
David Gibbs
Phone: 01213420609 (answer phone)
Mobile: 07974440580
Email: david_gibbs@wcg.org.uk