This past Sunday at HopeSpring we reflected on how God shows His love for us at the cross. The central verse was Romans 5:8: “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” The cross continues to show us that God loved us when we were weak, ungodly sinners and enemies of God. He loved us when we were unlovable and sent His Son to bear the penalty of our sin. We are recipients of amazing love and glorious grace. We did not love Him; He loved us first.
This old hymn written in 1836 by Josiah Conder captures the thought:
Tis not that I did choose Thee,
For Lord, that could not be;
This heart would still refuse Thee,
Hadst Thou not chosen me.
Thou from the sin that stained me
Hast cleansed and set me free;
Of old Thou hast ordained me,
That I should live to Thee.
’Twas sov’reign mercy called me
And taught my op’ning mind;
The world had else enthralled me,
To heav’nly glories blind.
My heart owns none before Thee,
For Thy rich grace I thirst;
This knowing, if I love Thee,
Thou must have loved me first.
“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.” (1 John 4:10 ESV)