“We love, because He first loved us. (1 John 4:19, NASB).”
When Jesus was born, so many looked into the eyes of this newborn and saw the love of God in the flesh staring back at them. In that moment God’s love for his people was evident. “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth (John 1:14, NIV).”
In the moment Mary first gazed into the eyes of the Christ child, there was the first love of mother and child. “But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart (Luke 2:19 NASB).” It was a love that endured all the way to the cross. “But standing by the cross of Jesus were His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene (John 19:25, NASB).”
In the moment the shepherds heard the good news, they dropped everything to see Jesus. “So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger (Luke 2:17, NIV).” They saw God’s love in the flesh and could not contain the excitement of first love. “The shepherds went back, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as had been told them (Luke 2:20).”
In the moment the magi realized what the star meant, they traveled far to came face to face with God’s love in a manger; to experience first love in Jesus. “After coming into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell to the ground and worshiped Him. Then, opening their treasures, they presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh (Matthew 2:11).”
In the moment when his child was threatened, the father protected his child by following God’s word. “So Joseph got up and took the Child and His mother while it was still night, and left for Egypt (Matthew 2:14, NASB).” Joseph put his love for God first; his love for Mary and Jesus first, ahead of himself, to protect the vulnerable.
God’s first love for us is sacrificial. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16, NIV).” The shepherds and magi, as well as Mary and Joseph, gave of themselves for Jesus and they experienced God’s love in extraordinary ways. They held their first love for Jesus. May you hold tightly to your first love in Christ Jesus.
But I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place—unless you repent. – Revelation 2:4-5 (NASB)
© 2019 CGThelen