4 signs that God first loved you
Dominick Ong // March 25, 2019, 4:38 pm
Having recently read an article titled 4 signs that God isn’t your first love, it made me consider how God first loved us.
God first loved us. He loved us first (1 John 4:19) and died for us while we were still sinners (Romans 5:8).
When I internalised the nature of God’s love for me, my own love for Him and others grew. So I want to share these 4 signs that show us how God first loved you and I.
4 SIGNS THAT GOD FIRST LOVED US
1. He’s our shepherd
In the Parable of the Lost Sheep (Luke 15:3-7), the Good Shepherd is the one who goes looking for the lost sheep. He knows that on its own, the sheep will never be able to find its way back home.
In my church, it’s not uncommon to hear talk about people finding God. But the reality is that God – as the one who first loved me – is the one who found me. He is the one who picked me up into His arms and loving embrace as a Shepherd would for a frightened lost sheep. He brought me home to a celebration.
God is the one who found me.
What a blessing it is to know that my Father knows I am a sheep who easily wanders away from the straight and narrow, and who tends to make poor decisions and mistakes. And yet He doesn’t punish me – but brings me back home. He knows all too well that I could never find my way home on my own.
Even in my many failures when I chose sin over God, Jesus found me where I left Him and reintroduced me to Himself.
2. He doesn’t leave us as orphans
Jesus loved us enough to ask God the Father to send the Holy Spirit to dwell in us. We’re hosting the very presence of God, whether we feel it or not.
Even on the days we mess up, on the days we’re unsure of our faith and our doubts seem to overwhelm us and on the days we don’t feel like we’re loved by Him, we’re still hosting the presence of God inside of us.
The Holy Spirit that empowered Jesus Christ is the same one within every single Christian today. We have authority as sons and daughters of the Most High God to heal the sick, cast out demons, resurrect the dead and love people extraordinarily.
Each time I stepped out in faith to say a prayer for a struggling friend in camp, shared my testimony, or bought food for a beggar and told him how much Jesus loved him, I was hosting the presence of God. And all of that was done knowing I’m no longer an orphan but a child of God.
3. He cries with us in our pain and grief
In John 11:33-36, when Lazarus was dead and Jesus saw Mary sobbing, Jesus didn’t just feel sadness – he also felt anger.
“When Jesus saw her weeping and saw the other people wailing with her, a deep anger welled up within him, and he was deeply troubled. “Where have you put him?” he asked them. They told him, “Lord, come and see.” Then Jesus wept. The people who were standing nearby said, “See how much he loved him!” (John 11:33-36 NLT)
Jesus was angry that death was a reality for all humanity because of sin. He didn’t discount death as just a fact of life and coldly tell us to get over it. Jesus knew that it wasn’t supposed to be this way, right from the beginning. Jesus weeps with us because He isn’t a distant God; He’s a God that draws near in our suffering.
4. We can’t earn His love
We only believed in Jesus because He revealed and manifested Himself to us. And we responded by receiving the free gift of faith in Jesus Christ.
We didn’t initiate it and we can’t complete what He has already finished (John 19:30). That means that we’re liberated from the burden of trying to work harder to please and pacify Him.
I’m only a believer because He has drawn me to Himself, and everyone is a candidate for God’s love and salvation. I can look on every individual that I come across with compassion and hope because I know Jesus loves him or her no matter how far they are from Him.
When we remember that we’re His first love and when there’s this deep security that flows from all that has been completed, we’ll naturally make Him our first love.
Make God your first love because He first loved you.