“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.” (Exodus 20:2 NIV)
One of my favorite verses in the bible is 1 John 4:19 (NIV): “We love because he first loved us.”
For me, that verse–seven words–sums up so much good theology about God, us, the gospel, and the Christian life.
We love God. But we love God as a response to his love. In other words, God makes the first move by loving us in Christ. In Exodus, God made the first move by bringing the people out of slavery in Egypt. Our love for God is a response to his great love for us.
And we love God as a result of his love. Setting us free from sin makes it possible for us to love and the life of Christ shows us what love looks like in action.
The Ten Commandments begin with the reminder that “he first loved us” and then go on to teach us what love for God and love for neighbor looks like: faithful worship, honoring of parents, protecting life, being truthful, and so forth.
This pattern of God’s love leading the way for our love by setting us free to leave and teaching us how is captured neatly and beautifully in 1 John. But the truth of that verse is found throughout the biblical story.
Prayer: God, thank you for making the first move to pour out your love upon me in Christ. May your love empower me to love you and love others in grace and truth. Amen.