We love God. Why? Because He first loved us. Only because God loves us (as His children)can we love Him. We don't have the ability of ourselves to love God. 1 John 4:19 says,"We love Him, because He first loved us." This means no exercise of Christian love from us is possible unless God loves us.
Now some people believe God loves everybody. Well, in one sense this is true. As children of creation He loves His creation but there's nothing in us to love. So you have to ask yourselves how does that make any sense for God to love us? We're nothing but sin and rebellion of ourselves. We're children of the Devil. No. God offers His love to us. It's qualified though. It is selective AND SOVEREIGN. See
Romans 9:13-18 and Eph. 1:3-5.
NOTE: The reason for God choosing us before the foundation of the world is not because we were so lovely but rather it was according to the good pleasure of His will.
Truly the scriptures teach He loves those who love Him. Who are those who love Him? Those who are born again and who keep His commandments. "For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments: and His commandments are not grievous"
1 John 5:2,3
You see only when we are in Christ Jesus is there anything in us to love. When God looks at us he looks at us in Christ. Outside of Christ we are very unlovable. Now we talk about unconditional love. Well, it is not conditioned on anything we do. It is conditioned on what He did by sending His son. So we see that only because God loves us are we able to love Him and it says in scripture that we love Him BECAUSE He first loved us.
Now because we love God we can love our neighbor okay? Amazing isn't it? When our verticle relation is right it makes the horizontal relationship possible, that is, our sociological relationship with our neighbor.
You see the Bible says we are to love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and your neighbor as yourself. Luke 10:27 (taken from Deut 6:5) We are told that we have to love ourselves before we can love anybody else. This is false. This is humanistic hogwash!
Read 1 John 4:7 "Beloved let us love one another; for love is of God and everyone who loveth is born of God and knoweth God. He who loveth not knoweth not God for God is love."
If you do not love people you are not a Christian. You are not born again. "In this was manifested the love of God toward us, that God sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. vs 10. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins."
NOTE: Matthew Henry says this concerning love:The love of God is the first and great commandment, and the sum of all the commands of the first table. Our love of God must be sincere, not in word and tongue only. All our love is too little to bestow upon him, therefore all the powers of the soul must be engaged for him, and carried out toward him. To love our neighbour as ourselves, is the second great commandment. There is a self-love which is corrupt, and the root of the greatest sins, and it must be put off and mortified; but there is a self-love which is the rule of the greatest duty: we must have a due concern for the welfare of our own souls and bodies. And we must love our neighbour as truly and sincerely as we love ourselves; in many cases we must deny ourselves for the good of others. By these two commandments let our hearts be formed as by a mould.
Carlton Pruitt ministers the gospel to the Los Angeles area. Formerly a Hollywood actor (SAG member)and junk removal expert he now spends most of his time studying the scriptures, writing articles, hymns and poems and doing street preaching. See his videos on www.YouTube.com LAStreetPreacher. CONTACT at Carlton2061@gmail.com