From Meditations for Every Day
We love him because he first loved us. (1 John 4:19)
There are some truths which make the whole difference to life, and the thought of the priority of God is one of them. God is first in priority of time. In the story of Genesis (and science tells us the same thing), the world was got ready for man before man came into it. Beauty was fashioned before the eye was fashioned to see it. The songs of the birds, the sigh of the wind, and the sound of the sea, were all there before the ear. We live because God first lived. The world of speculation that scientific people give us only puts the mystery a little further back. They never can tell us of the First Cause. There is no other answer but that which our faith gives us, that God is first. The supreme peace, the supreme answer to our minds, is in that knowledge. All is really well with the world if God created it, if God is behind it. Whatever hands we may fall into, we can never fall out of the hands of God. When we approach the last experience of death, we shall be passing through an experience that is just as much in the control of God as was our birth.
Our second thought is of the priority of God’s love. As God ever lived, so God ever loved. He loved us before we had any thought of loving him. It is so in natural love. When a baby is born, the mother loves the baby because it is her own child, not because it is a good baby or because he loves her. God loves us because we are his children. If we live because he first lived, we also love because he first loved.