“This is real love. It is not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins” (1 John 4:10).
The love of God took me entirely by surprise. It was the last thing I expected, and the only thing that could have completely captured my devotion.
In 1945, I was a young businessman in Hollywood with the whole world before me. I was working long hours, chasing the American dream of building my own business and financial fortune. Frankly, I was off to a very promising start. Business was going well. But from my first day in California, something unexpected and unusual began to happen to me—something that can only be accounted for by the sovereign, invisible, loving hand of God.
I went to California to pursue a career, but when I got there, Christ pursued me. I believe that He sovereignly put me in certain places and among specific people for His purposes. It took the right combination of events for me to finally see Jesus for who He really is.
The more I learned about Jesus, the greater my love for Him grew. First John, a letter as powerful as it is concise, taught me much about this subject of Love:
Anyone who does not love does not know God—for God is love. God showed how much He loved us by sending His only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through Him. This is real love. It is not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins (1John 4:8-10).
It is so simple! How had I missed it in the past? God is love! To me, those are the three most beautiful words ever written. They are the three words that turned the world upside-down, that transform all sadness into joy and all defeat into victory. No other three words could be so simple, so profound, so powerful. God is love.
I think back now over half a century, since 1945, when I was first awakened to the wonder of His love for me. It seemed then, and it seems now, a miracle.
If this love I have now—this first love—is only partial, I can only say that I long for the final edition. If the abundance of this life is only a foretaste, I long for the full meal. And if my comprehension of God now is just a glance through a hazy mirror, I long for a complete and unimpaired view. Praise God! I can hardly wait.
But for now, we have something wonderful. It cannot compare to the glories of heaven, but it is still the most wonderful thing in this world. I refer to the indescribable love of God.
Cling to it.
Cherish it and
nurture it every day.
Make your first love be your lasting and permanent love, and God will grant you wonderful blessings beyond any imagining. And be sure to share your renewed first love with others.
God is Love!
Bill Bright, Excerpts from First Love
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