1 John 4:7-12 (NIV)

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.  8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.  9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.  10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.  11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

1 John 4:19 (NRSV)

We love because he first loved us.

DEVOTION – Debra Callaway (Kansas)

I recently traveled with my sister to visit her daughter and grandchildren.  During our stay, I could not help but observe how much the children adored their grandmother, their “YaYa.”  Five-year-old Kyler wanted to be with her constantly.  When we sat down to eat, he insisted on sitting by YaYa.  When we walked down the street, he held YaYa’s hand.  He was totally enamored of her.  Near the end of the week, I asked him, “Kyler, why do you love YaYa so much?”  At first he shrugged and said, “I don’t know.”  Then he suddenly brightened, as if the answer had just come to him, and exclaimed, “Because she loves me!”

What a simple and honest answer!  We all want to be loved, and we tend to love the people who love us.  My sister would give her life for her grandchild, and he sensed the depth of her love.  So it is with us.  We do not love God in order to gain God’s love.  We love God because God first loved us.  Just as Kyler’s love is a natural response to his grandmother’s love, our devotion to God is a natural response to God’s great love for us.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:  How am I expressing my love for God?

Link2Life: Go to devotional.upperroom.org/blog to see a picture of Debra’s sister, Patricia, with her grandson, Kyler.

PRAYER:  Dear Lord, thank you for your love.  May our love for and devotion to you be obvious to those around us.  Amen.

PRAYER FOCUS: Grandparents and Grandchildren