We talk quite a lot of our love for God. We declare, “I love God! I follow God!” But God, in a succinct statement in a letter likely penned by the disciple whom Jesus loves, reminds us love is not that we love Him but that He loves us. We need to turn our statements around, putting God in the subject slot and ourselves in the object slot. We ought to declare, “God loves me! God seeks to save me!”
“In this is love, not that we have loved God but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”
Our toddler looks up to us, pulls on our clothes, “I love you, Daddy!” But our love — not the toddler’s — is the mature love of a parent completely devoted to the child at our feet. The best the child may do is reflect our love back to us. How many times do parents hear, “I hate you!” from that same toddler who suddenly rebels in an attempt to gain attention or some forbidden thing?
This is love — God loves us. He sends His only Son to save us from our sins. Like the best parent imaginable, God protects. And, His protection extends forever.