1 John 4:16
16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love.
Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.
In Mark 12:28-31 Jesus tells one of the teachers of the law that the greatest commandment is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your mind, and with all your strength. In this passage Jesus sums up all of the commandments into this one little but profound word...love.
Loving God and loving others is the foundation of the gospel, and the only way we have the capacity to love God is if it is in response to His incredible love for us. The bible says in 1 John 4:19 that we love because He first loved us. We cannot love Him first, He needs to love us first. It is only in the overflow of His love to us that we can love Him back and have the ability to love others.
Many Christians, especially those active in ministry, perceive the love of God as a ministry tool not to spend on themselves, but only to give away to others. But the truth is we need to first receive the revelation of God's love in our own hearts, before we will ever be able to give it away to others.
God wants us to bask in His love, marinate in His love, soak in His loving presence, so that His love can touch the deepest need in our hearts. When we become like sponges drenched in the love of God, then when we bump into people, they will get soaked with what we have been soaking in.
The call of God in 1 John 4:16 is for us to live in love, for when we live in love, we live in God. There was a popular song a few years ago that said that God was watching us from a distance. While many of us have a theological grasp on the love of God, from an experiential perspective, we sometimes can feel that His love is just out of our reach.
God is not watching us from a distance, but is closer to than we could possibly imagine. His first priority is not that we save the world, but that we receive His love and simply love Him back. When like sponges, our hearts begin to drink in the extravagant love of God personally and intimately, before long it will begin to seep out of every one of our pores and truly impact the world around us.
Father, I acknowledge that You are the complete expression of love, and You love me unconditionally and without limit. Please teach me how I can take time to soak in Your love every day. I pray that you would remove any hindrances that would prevent me from receiving Your personal & intimate affection for me. I would ask that today, I would have the power through Your Holy Spirit, to comprehend how deep and high and wide and long is Your love for me expressed in Jesus . In the name of Your beloved Son Jesus I pray, AMEN.
Father's Love Letter used by permission Father Heart Communications ©1999 FathersLoveLetter.com