Because He First Loved


Because He First Loved Us

I’ll admit, sometimes I don’t trust that God loves me. Words like nervous, discouraged, lonely, frustrated, distracted, annoyed, and failing describe my countenance. It hurts. It hurts others. My self-consumed fears cause me to  use people to get what I really want. I believe lies and worry about what people think of me. I wonder why I am left in a swirl of unresolved relational tension, with the only way out seeming like an endless road of I-was-wrong’s and I’m-sorry-I-hurt-you’s. I am faced with the reality that I am a broken person living in a fallen world, and I have to fight for truth.

I’ve been searching for the truth. I’ve prayed for belief in His love for me and change in how I love others. God has been answering my prayers through journaling and meditation on His covenant love. I’ve been encouraged in the Gospel.

Comforted. Secure. Hope. Carried. Empowered. Relieved. Free.

This is what my heart sings when I know how much God loves me.

The cross has become so precious to me because it is where Jesus clothed me in His righteousness, justified me and redeemed me. The gospel is what makes loving other people make sense. Why? Because the Holy Lord over all creation, with all of His majestic authority, with all of his gracious compassion, claimed ME. He has faithfully and mercifully loved me through my weaknesses. Heaven’s treasure bore my sins, suffered for me, and continues to pursue me even when I still fail. Jesus has become how I define myself, my purpose and my strength.

I’ve realized more and more that when I KNOW that God loves me, then I am absolutely free to love others. The only way to truly love others is to meditate on how much I am loved by God. I’m thankful for God’s grace that allows the gospel to take hold of my heart and change my relationships with others.

In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. -1 John 4:10
We love because he first loved us. -1 John 4:19

- Jessica Garrison

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