We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother. 1 John 4:19-21 (NIV)
Your love has changed everything about me. How so? How has my love for you changed everything about you? You loved me by giving yourself for me. You lived and died for me. You paid for my sin. You secured my forgiveness. It was your love that drew me to you. It was your love that made me want to give myself to you. Your love helped me to turn away from the world to answer your call to love and follow and serve you. Your love has made me want to know you. Your love has made me want to be like you. Your love has made me want to think what you thought, say what you said and go and do what you did. Your love has changed the entire course of my life. Your love has given my life hope and meaning and purpose. Now, I want to do nothing more or less than live the life that you have called me to live. Your love has set my life on a mission. What is your mission? My mission is to love you and others with all that is within me. That is very good.
How will you know if you really do love me? What signs will tell you that you truly do love me? I can think of three signs that will tell me that I really and truly do love you. First, I will live in your love. I will keep on drawing near to you. I will listen to your voice. I will live in an intimate relationship with you. It will be my greatest joy and highest pleasure to walk through life with you. Second, I will obey your commands. I will do whatever you ask of me. I will be at your service. I will follow and obey you not because I should or must. No, I will follow and obey you because it is the desire of my heart to love you with all my thoughts, words and actions. In fact, I will continually be looking for ways to do what is pleasing to you, because I love you. Finally, I will love others just as you have loved me. This will not be by some herculean effort on my part. No, your love has been and is now making me to be more and more like you. You love me. You love others. I love you. I will love others. This is the work your love has been doing in my heart and mind and life as I have loved and followed and served you. Yes, it is the work I have been and will continue to do in you. Keep on living in my love. Keep on following and obeying me. Keep on loving me and others just as I love you. Yes Lord, I will. That will be very good.
Lord, you demonstrated your love for me by living and dying for me. You made it possible for me to be forgiven of my sins. You made it possible for me to live in an intimate relationship with you. Help me now to love you and others with all that is within me. Amen
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