Love and Gratitude

Man in heart“We love because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:19 (ESV)

Chapter         (ESV)

Audio              (3:02)

As we continue to examine motivations for following Jesus, today we come to the motivation that is most like God Himself.

John tells us that we should love God because He first loved us.

Since God is love, loving Him back is acting like God.

When we first come to know Jesus, it is not uncommon for our love to arise out of an excitement of what God can do for us. We may experience a sense of peace and closeness to God that makes us feel good. Or we may feel a sense of new purpose and meaning that gives us new energy for life.

These things are good…but we must be careful that eventually, we learn to love God for who He is…not for what He can do for us.

Loving God for what He can do for us is just another form of self-love.

We learn to love God for who He is as we learn to trust and depend on Him. This often comes through negative circumstances in our life. As we go through difficult times, we experience His presence and comfort with us. While we may not understand all that is happening, we can still experience His love.

Experiencing His love over time bring increasing gratitude to God.

We recognize that everything we are and every good thing we have…we have received from Him.

Love and gratitude are the purest motivations for following Jesus…and they also are transforming motivations.

Love and gratitude change our hearts.

They soften our hearts and enable us to better love others.

Gratitude changes our perspective on events in our life by helping us to focus on the positive rather than dwelling on the negative.

We can begin the day in a foul mood for little reason. By simply expressing gratitude for the small things we have been given can turn that mood around.

An attitude of gratitude can work wonders.

Spend some time today reflecting on all God has done for you, expressing your gratitude to Him, and you will find your love for Him growing.

Prayer: Lord help me love you for who You are, developing an attitude of gratitude.

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