Loving First

So you see, our love for him comes as a result of his loving us first.

If anyone says, "I love God," but keeps on hating his brother, he is a liar; for if he doesn't love his brother who is right there in front of him, how can he love God whom he has never seen? And God himself has said that one must love not only God, but his brother too. 1 John 4: 19-21 (TLB)


Carola Spreacker, from New Mexico, and her husband had their hearts broken. A few months earlier, they had lost their beloved dog. One day Carola, and her husband, felt it was time to visit the local animal shelter and look for a pet who might fill the hole in their hearts. And they found him! He was in a small cage with his head down and his tail between his legs. They thought, He needs us and we need him! Now, only weeks after bringing him home, he runs to greet them, holds his tail up high, chases his ball nonstop, and is the happiest dog.

If the love Carola and her husband gave to that little dog can completely change him in such a wonderful way, how much more can the love of God change all of us? First John 4:19 says, "We love because God first loved us." And because God loved us first, we are able to do things that we couldn't do otherwise. We can replace anger with forgiveness, we can replace prejudice with acceptance, and we can work toward peace in our families, neighborhoods, and the world. We can love!

Prayer: Dear God, help us not to wait for others to show love to us, but give us courage to love them first, in Jesus' name. Amen.


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