There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because he first loved us.
The entirety of God’s love towards us tells this story of God himself—all-knowing, all-powerful, all- and ever-present God—bending toward us, reaching out in our direction, coming toward us before we even knew there was a difference between up and down. God loved us first, before we could rack up points or accomplishments or ever-increasing feats of genius to impress God and make him want to love us. We keep reaching, reaching, reaching up as if there is some ladder we should climb. Our vain attempts at getting God’s attention and improving our rank belie the truth that God is love, and because he is, he couldn’t help but love us first of all.
Throughout the telling of the story in the first five books of the Bible, we see God always and ever reaching toward us. He was there for Moses in a burning bush, lighting up the darkness and promising to be with Moses in the liberation of God’s people. God was there with the lamb in the brambles, providing the perfect sacrifice for Abraham and for Isaac. God unfurled a stairway from heaven down to earth and held fast to Jacob, who walked away with a limp and a blessing from the Lord. God extended his hand to us through every story in every book of the Old Testament. And then, in the very first pages of the Gospels, God again reached down from the heavens and came to be with us, now as an infant in a stable with the livestock, behind a crowded inn. Shepherds and kings bowed down at the sight of him, but even then, it was God who’d made the first move.
Something to Think About:
Do you like to be first? Why or why not?
Something to Do:
Let someone go ahead of you in line. Let someone on the highway merge in front of you. Let someone else have the best seat at the table. Be second, or third, or even last for a day.
Lord, I like to lead. In fact, I was made to lead. But never let me forget to always follow you. If I forget to follow you, my leadership will be pointless. Amen.