I would drive our kids to elementary school every morning and I felt that was a good time to embed something into their hearts.
Every morning, and I mean every morning, I would ask, “What is the number one thing in life?” When I first started to ask it, they would answer wrong and say, “Loving God.” I would correct them and say, “Nope. That’s number two.”
The number one thing in life is not loving God. We can’t start there or we get messed up.
The number one thing in life is knowing that, “God loved us first.” Number two is loving God back. This is actually a big deal.
If we think loving God starts with us, we start to strive and try to achieve God’s love. God’s love is something that we never have to work for. It is God’s perfect gift to us. Our loving Him back is always done in gratitude for what He has done for us.
When we feel like it starts with us reaching out to Him, we are striving to earn His love.
When we realize He loves us first, we stop striving and instead receive and then live our lives as a great big thank you for His unconditional love for us. Our good deeds or good works are done as a gift to Him for the gift of salvation He gave to us first. We don’t do them so that God will love us; we do them because He loves us. Big difference.
One is working to get to God. The other is receiving the perfect gift He has given us by forgiving our sins and giving us new life.
When we think we have to work to gain God’s acceptance we are missing the gift The Father gave us when His Son died for us on the Cross.
Imagine giving someone the perfect birthday present that you saved up for and bought with great excitement, knowing they would love it. Imagine you gave it to them on their birthday and they pulled out their wallet and said, “How much do I owe you?”
The gift is free. Jesus paid for our relationship with God in full with His blood on the cross. It cost Him everything. Don’t try to earn that, receive it and live a life of great gratitude.
What do we owe God for what He paid for our salvation? Absolutely nothing.
What is the best way to show Him we are so grateful for that incredible gift?
Give Him everything.
Give him your very life and all that you have as a great “Thank you!”
We love because he first loved us.
1 John 4:19 (NIV)
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Ephesians 2:8-10 )NIV)