We love, because He first loved us. 1 John 4:19
Heartbeat of God: page 230
For much of my young adult life I can compare my journey of faith to someone who is running on a treadmill; however, the treadmill itself is not turned on. This one factor, of course, creates a completely unnecessary struggle. To compare this thought to my spiritual life years ago, it was as if I was operating from a value that was (is) indeed true, but it was out of order. I would say, step by legalistic step: "I love God, I love God, I love God...", and trudge obediently through God's commandments in order to to earn something that was actually already mine. It wasn't until I fully understood that God loved me first, that the treadmill of my faith flipped on. The moment this happened, I began running in freedom, saying to myself, "God loves me! God loves me! God loves me!"....And then from this reality, the next flowing words to the world, "God love you! God loves you! God loves you!"
It's hard for me to say it better than God, so as you read these verses, allow the Lord to speak to your heart with His pursuing love. HE is the Initiator of your relationship!
Here is His love letter:
"He sent from on high, He took me; He drew me out of many waters. He rescued me from my strong enemy and from those who hated me. They confronted me in the day of my calamity, but the Lord was my support. He brought me out into a broad place; He rescued me, because He delighted in me."
The Lord appeared to him from afar, saying, 'I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.'" Jeremiah 31:3
"I have called you by name; you are Mine!" Isaiah 43:1
Jesus said, "You did not choose me, but I chose you...".
And Jesus prayed... I ask "that they may all be one, even as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You, that they also may be in Us; that the world may believe that You sent Me."
God knew what it would take for us to be in a holy relationship with Him--the sacrifice of His perfect Son--His life for ours. It was God's idea; He initiated it, and then followed through with it. Jesus came for us! It was His steadfast love that drove Him forward for your sake and mine.
Today, as we are in the midst of Holy Week as well as a pandemic, take time to thank the Lord for His pursuit. Believe, even in the midst of this chaotic time, that what He has to offer you is indestructible.
Allow Him to "turn your treadmill on" as He whispers these holy and personal words to your heart, "I love you! I love you! I love you...first!"
Now, run to the world.
For further reading: Ephesians 1:4; Ephesians 2:5; Romans 5:5; Matthew 4:19; Philippians 1:6; John 15:16; 1 John 4:10; Psalm 51:10
God, You are the Initiator,
Thank you! I am humbled by Your pursuit. I have done nothing to deserve it, yet You still came. Continue to chase me when I wander; catch me, hold me. Please keep me secure as You have promised. Again, thank You for the Origin of love that started in heaven then passed through hell to get to me. Amen.