FALLING IN LOVE
1John 4:19 We love Him because He first loved us.
Love is an interesting and sometimes confusing word. We fall in love with our lover, we love our children and our grandkids. We also love football, ice cream, gumbo and fishing. We also love our free time, our politics, and our New Orleans Saints. What on earth could any of these things have in common? Actually those “loves” are just various types of human affection, the lost and the saved can all share these same loves. When you are converted to Christ you are introduced to a different kind of love. This love is spiritual by nature and cannot originate in human hearts. It is the love of God demonstrated in the life and death of Jesus Christ and poured out on our lives through the wonderful Holy Spirit. Charles Spurgeon describes this love and how it somehow invades our lives.
“There is no light in the planet but that which proceedeth from the sun; and there is no true love to Jesus in the heart but that which cometh from the Lord Jesus himself. From this overflowing fountain of the infinite love of God, all our love to God must spring. This must ever be a great and certain truth, that we love him for no other reason than because he first loved us. Our love to him is the fair offspring of his love to us. Cold admiration, when studying the works of God, anyone may have, but the warmth of love can only be kindled in the heart by God’s Spirit. How great the wonder that such as we should ever have been brought to love Jesus at all! How marvellous that when we had rebelled against him, he should, by a display of such amazing love, seek to draw us back.”
This is a revolutionary truth. This new and different kind of love was first seen in this world in the life of Christ. It was seen vividly in His dying prayer, “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.” This very love was poured out upon and into the early church on the day of Pentecost. God is love and is poured upon us when we receive the person of the Holy Spirit into our lives. When that happens, this new kind of love enters our hearts. It first reveals itself in us as we begin to have a love for God. We love His word because He meets us there. We love worship because He lives in worship. We even love church because every time believers gather in His name He is there in our midst.
Then an even stranger thing happens, we begin to have a love for the most unlikely, and frankly, the most unlovely of people. This love may manifest in a compassion for prisoners, or homeless, or prostitutes, or alcoholics. You will even find a new ability to forgive those who you previously had nothing but animosity for. So don’t be surprised by this new love in your heart. Jesus called this love agape, it is God like, it is better than the love of ice cream or football, it is the love of God Himself.