Thursday, July 06, 2017

July 6, 2017 … God-first Love

Berry Patch Devotions in 2017 - Day 187 

Devotional Song:  … GO TO THIS LINK …  Please take the time to take in a YouTube video of images and lyrics from the group Hillsong singing their song … Our God Is Love … powerfully singing of the love God has visited on mankind in the gift of His Son’s love which has come before our ability to love others.

Highlight Verse[s]: 1st John 4:19 [NLT] … 
19 We love each other because He loved us first.
God-first "agape" love is the bestest kind!    
Highlight Verse[s]: 1st John 4:19 [NKJV] … 
19 We love Him because He first loved us . 
 Agape toward God yields our love toward others.   
Highlight Passage [context]: 1st John 4:7-21 [NLT] … USE THIS LINK
… The Apostle, so loved by Jesus, exhorts all Christians to love one another as God first loved us. 

Reference Passage #1 [NKJV] : … John 3:16, 13:34-35 [NLT] … USE THIS LINK
… Truth about God-first love.

My Devotional Journal: Today's ODB author, Kirsten Holmberg, used a personal illustration to teach on how we generally must believe and feel God’s love first before being able to visit “agape” upon others. The ODB author wrote: We worked patiently to help our son heal and adjust to his new life with our family. Trauma from his early days in an orphanage was fueling some negative behaviors. While I had enormous compassion for the hardships he experienced in his early days, I felt myself begin to withdraw from him emotionally because of those behaviors. Ashamed, I shared my struggle with his therapist. Her gentle reply hit home: “He needs you to go first . . . to show him he’s worthy of love before he’ll be able to act like it.” 

How does a Christian express God’s type of love, … “agape” …, to others if that one doesn’t feel God’s love being visited upon his/her life first? I think it’s impossible without the grace of God being felt in the life of the Christian! But it’s very possible - even probable - to share “agape-love” with others when one believes completely that God has loved us so much that sent His Son to die for us. And that’s why our belief in GOD-FIRST love is so important.

I think most - if not all - Christians express being totally sold out to the truth of John 3:16, that God so love us that He sent His only Son to die for our sins so that we could love Him forever. But then, living up to His command to His disciples in John 13:34-35 is not as universally exhibited, is it?

No, … all too often, we back down from complete - God-like “agape” - rather making our love conditional to the actions/behaviors of others.  That’s why I’m taking self-inventory today to see if there is anyone in my life which I’m holding back from expressing Christ-like love. Perhaps we all should do that inventory today.

My Prayer Today: Abba Father, … King Jesus, … Help me love others as You ALWAYS love me. … Amen

Blogger Note:  Everyday during this year, my daily devotional blogs are influenced by the reading and study of the online devotional blog entitled Our Daily Bread, distributed online via email by RBC Ministries.  If you GO TO THIS LINK on the date of my blog, you can read/study the ODB blogs; or you can subscribe to the blog via email at that site.

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