Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. 1 John 4:7-12 (NIV)
How have I loved you? You have loved me without hesitation. You have loved me without limit. You have loved me completely. You have loved me without conditions. How so? Well, you came into this world for me. You emptied yourself of all your rights and power and authority. You humbled yourself and took on the form of a servant. You lived in this world for me. You died on the cross for me. You made it so I could be forgiven of all my sins. You cleansed me of all my unrighteousness. You made it so I could live and walk in an intimate relationship with you. You did all of these things not because of me. I had no merit. I was living and walking as your enemy. I was living my life apart from you. I was living as if you did not exist. I thought that I would never want or need in anyone or anything from you. But, you would not let me go. No, I would not. You pursued me. You watched out for me. You came to me when I cried out to you. Yes, I did. You did not greet me with blame and shame. You did not condemn me. You welcomed me with your arms open wide. You celebrated my coming to you. You allowed me to taste of your kindness and mercy. You revived and refreshed and restored my soul. You lavishly poured your love over me. I now love you because you first loved me. That’s right, yes, you do.
What kind of example have I set before you? You have shown me how to love. You have made me able to love. You are now asking me to love others just as you have loved me. What would that mean? You want me to love others with your love. You want your love to flow in and through me. You want others to be drawn to you through your love flowing through me. You want me to be a vessel in which your love can be poured out. You want me to love even those who seem to be unlovable. Yes, I do. Will you allow my love to flow through your life? Yes, I will. That will be very good.
Father, I was an unlovable person, living my own way and doing my own thing. I was on my own path walking away from you. Yet, your love sought me out and drew me back to you. Help me to love others just as you loved me. Amen
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