“In this is love, not that we loved God — but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins…. We love Him — because He first loved us…. He who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him…. We will come to him and make Our home with him.” 1 John 4:10, 19; John 14:21, 23
What a glorious promise! What kind of love is this!
Lord, I would not exchange my cross and sufferings, much less Your love, for the love and honors of the world. Only make it more known to me, how great Your love is and how much You have forgiven me — that I may love You much again, and be thereby still better purged from the inordinate love of temporal things. It is my earnest desire that the gates of my heart should be open to none but You, that You alone may dwell in me. Shed Your love abroad in my heart; quicken and renew all the faculties of my mind and body, and work everything in and for me. Keep Your precious, Your infinite love constantly before my mind. May it be my daily meditation, the joy, and rejoicing of my heart; and in seasons of sorrow, grief, and sadness — may I turn to Your great love for comfort, joy, and peace.
O to be able to say with holy John, “We have known and believed the love that God has for us; God is love,” so shall we be able to add, “We love Him — because He first loved us.” Love in God begets love in us — just in proportion as it is believed and realized by us.
Devotion by Karl Heinrich von Bogatzky (1690—1774)
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