Because He First Loved Us

The first and greatest commandment is to love God above all things with our whole being. For most people, the problem is not so much as not knowing this truth, but more of not being aware that it is not actually obeyed and lived in their daily lives. We may know it, and it probably enters our minds every now and then, but, is it in our hearts, and do we think, feel, speak, and act, out of our complete love for Him? Is our whole being saturated with the love for God that there is no room for “idols”?

Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. (Matthew 22:37)

I know that I didn’t obey this commandment before I received the Lord Jesus Christ and followed Him. It’s not that I didn’t know, or that I didn’t honor it, I just wasn’t able to do it by the way I lived. When I pursued selfish personal desires and filled my whole being with worldly things- setting up idols of myself, my career, my work, fashion, and many other pursuits that pushed Him far from my mind and my heart – it was clear that it wasn’t God who was the love of my life.

But when I lost all strength and my spirit was broken, when I was drowning in the quicksand of my sins, and there was absolutely nobody that could help me, He came. God’s great mercy reached me through Jesus Christ who came mightily to save me.

I felt how heavy the burden of sin that weighed down on me. It was so heavy it made me sick nigh unto death. And the extreme fear that came with it threatened to choke the very life in me.

And when Jesus took my sin and its heavy burden, and carried them, it was then that I realized that when He carried the wooden cross, He actually carried the weight of sin of the world. How heavy it must have been! My mind couldn’t begin to conceive it. Who would live carrying all that burden? Jesus died innumerable deaths all at once, and once for all.

…and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. (Part of Isaiah 53:6)

And that he died for all… (Part of 2 Cor. 5:15)  

Because of God’s great mercy towards me, I learned to humble myself and go down on my knees to worship Him. And because of His amazing love – healing me and making me whole – I learned to love Him with my whole being. And this love did not spring of its own from somewhere within me, but it also came from Him, the Author of love, the God who is Himself love. This, also, is His grace.

We love him, because he first loved us. (1 John 4:19) 

To love God with all that is within me is my constant, fervent prayer: that may my love for Him be like a blazing fire, and all He cares about – my life’s desire.

It is important to relive Christ’s sufferings and resurrection in our hearts not only on Easter but in our daily lives to remind us of what He has done for us, thus, making us always thankful and our love for Him constantly burning. 

I will tell you a compelling story about a sister-in-Christ whose love for the Lord has not waned, even after over 23 years of serving Him, by the grace of God. There had been many others before her, and there are still many today, who had shown such sacrifice as proof of their love, but I want to tell her story because of its “everydayness”. That is, it’s quite ordinary, but still love-filled.

Last month, Sister Leah Quirante went through a financial trial. The contract for an upholstery job she had been waiting for had not yet pushed through, until she found herself and her sister with no money left. Their situation became so dire that one day, a Friday, Sister Leah didn’t have a single peso in her pocket. That night was Overnight Prayer Meeting and Sister Leah was not about to miss it, but she didn’t have money for fare and the central church was far from their place.

At six o’clock in the evening, Sister Leah started to walk towards the venue. The service starts at 8:30pm and ends at 4:30am the next day. When she was about one-fourth away from the venue, she rested. Then, she saw in the sidewalk a crisp P20 bill. She picked it up, but instead of flagging down a passenger jeepney, she put the money in her pocket and continued walking.

She arrived in the worship service at 10:00pm. She had walked for 4 hours. When she arrived, she didn’t feel any exhaustion at all, and in fact, joined in worshiping the Lord, for the congregational singing was then on-going. When the “Giving” segment came, she dropped the P20 bill that she found in the sidewalk into the offering cloth. She was so glad to be able to give to the Lord, however little.

When the service ended, a sister-in-the-Lord put money into her hands, telling her it’s for her fare. Shortly after she arrived home, her sister told her enthusiastically that the contract for the upholstery job had been approved and that their customer had already given the downpayment.

As always, it’s my fervent hope and prayer that you’ve been blessed with these written words, and that this would somehow show us how to love the Lord with all that’s in us.

Photo source.

Linking to Spiritual Sundays

Related posts: Holy Encounters with Jesus: Woman with Alabaster Box and Where Do We Set Our Love?

3 comments on “Because He First Loved Us

  1. Lory says:

    Praise the Lord!

    Ate Leah is truly blessed by Dearest Jesus.
    She also fasted 40 days in San Fernando Pampangga last 2009.
    She has a good heart and real love for Jesus Christ.

    We love God because he first love us^^
    I thank Dearest Jesus for his loving kindness for all of us.
    May God bless us all.
    Have a wonderful day.

  2. Ginger says:

    God’s great mercy, AMEN!

  3. Charlotte says:

    What a wonderful testimony. It has so inspired me this morning. Bless you for sharing this post with us.

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