August 7,2021

Be Encouraged: You have a heart like God’s!

“We love each other because he first loved us.” (I John 4:19, NLT)

This is one of those passages in the Bible that reads about the same no matter what translation of the Bible you are reading. Out of the overflow of God’s heart for you, others can experience the overflow of your heart. Think about the magnitude of this. Because God first loved you and because his heart is great, loving, forgiving, and compassionate toward you (first) you are, as a result, like him, and others receive that from you.

We don’t accomplish or even desire to do anything good without first being touched by God. Because God’s character, attitude, and Spirit sink deep into the fiber of our being and rubs off on us, we start to reflect him in every way. This is the reason we can shine in this dark, hopeless, critical, discouraged world. Because God’s heart has meshed with our heart, we don’t reflect the world around us, but only God’s light and loving heart.

Make a list—either on paper or in your head—of the good things about yourself. Are you kind, thoughtful, loving, patient, compassionate, sympathetic, giving? Well, these traits might run in your family, and you can remember that mother, father, or grandparents had the same kind of traits or character, but they go deeper than genetics or ancestry, they first come from God and if others in your family line have embodied these ways they got them from God, first.

Because God has loved you first you are capable of so much good and kindness and it is not a stretch for you to reflect his character or heart. You do not do the things you do for others through gritted teeth even when they do not deserve to be treated well or kindly, but because it feels natural and just a part of who you are. That is when they know they are receiving the overflow of your heart. Your Father in heaven, Creator and loving God has had a hand in shaping you from the very beginning of life, through his loving Spirit you have inherited a loving spirit as well and he encourages you to live this out in your life and attitude. Let’s Pray,

Dear God, I adore you and am amazed how you loved me first and eternally. I confess I have not always recognized the steadfastness or consistency of your love for me but I am beginning to appreciate it more and more and am thankful for it. Because your great love included sending Jesus as my loving Savior these promises I read in your Word are sealed over my life and being and I can live them out in my life and relationships. Amen

Affirming Activity:

What impact does remembering (knowing) how God loved you first have on your relationships with others?

How will you incorporate this Bible promise into your plan of self-care?             

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