"We love, because He first loved us," (I John 4:19).
* In only seven words the apostle John gives the proper emphasis on the source of our love. Every bit of the Savior's love that we experience or exhibit is a result of God's sovereign initiative from all eternity. Had He not chosen us, we would not have chosen Him.
* In many evangelical circles today emphasis is laid almost exclusively on man's decision for God. By contrast, the apostle John reminds us that our loving the Lord is a reality only because His electing love was sovereignly set upon us from all eternity. Had He not set His heart upon some to be saved, we would not have ever set our hearts upon Him (Romans 3:10--12)!
* When did the Lord first love the elect? Before the foundation of the world! John here takes us back to eternity past, when God marked out His own for salvation, sovereignly setting His heart of unconditional love upon them. Consequently, in the hearts of those whom He redeems there should be no thought of deserving credit or congratulations for welcoming and manifesting His love. His is the complete glory and credit!