This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
—1 John 4:10-12 NIV

A few days past my due date, the midwife recommended that we pick a day to induce labor. “There’s no better birthday than Valentine’s Day,” she suggested. We agreed.

Then, shortly after Ryan’s birth, my husband Marty brought our three-year-old son, Sean, to meet his baby brother. As Sean sat on the bed, Marty placed Ryan in his arms. Sean’s toddler hands held tight around the blanketed bundle. “He’s cute,” Sean said with a smile. “Can we put him back now?”

Of course, we laughed. No way that baby was going back inside his mommy. Ryan was here to stay and instantly a part of our little family.

Understandably, since becoming a parent, I have linked the love of God the Father toward His son, Jesus Christ, with my flawed version of “unconditional” love for my children. Of course, there is a huge difference. God loves perfectly. He doesn’t worry, and He always has the best in mind for His children. The ultimate act of love was sending His Son, whom He dearly loved, to die so we could know the deep, abiding love of Christ. Mind blown!

In contrast, the world offers songs like “All We Need Is Love” (a popular song by the Beatles in the 1960s) that promote human love as the ultimate superpower. And you know what? The lyrics ring true if you replace human love with God’s love: “There is nothin’ you can make that can’t be made. No one you can save that can’t be saved.” Still, countless people are unaware that perfect love comes from God alone. “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).

When studying His Word, I see the depth of God’s love in action: “For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1:13-14). God loved us by delivering us from the domain of darkness. Imagine being swept up by thick, dark, smelly flood waters, threatening to pull you under. God snatched us out of the torrent and carried us away to safety and into the arms of our loving Savior. We were ransomed! His blood for my life and yours. Therefore, we are set free to love as Jesus loved us. We can forgive offenses and share the good news about the Rescuer. Is that love or what?

Since God is love, He cannot not love. Therefore, we can experience God’s perfect love through an intimate relationship with Jesus—and an intimate, loving connection with friends and family. Unfortunately, we are not naturally defined by love. Even with our kids, we can be impatient, emotionally unavailable, and damaging. So, let’s keep our hearts open to His supernatural love and allow it to overflow into the lives of those we are called to love in His name. Because all you need is Jesus.

Father, I pray that I will be filled with the knowledge of Your will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding to walk in a manner worthy of Your calling. I also pray that I will be fully pleasing to You. I pray that I will bear fruit in every good work and increase in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to Your glorious might for all endurance and patience with joy.

“We love because he first loved us.”
—1 John 4:19 NIV

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and
peace in believing, that you may abound in hope
by the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 15:13 NJKV).

Marlene McKenna



Sweet Selah Ministries

To inspire a movement away from the belief that “busy is better”
and toward the truth of God’s Word that stillness and knowing
Him matter most—and will be reflected in more effective work and service

To offer biblical resources and retreats that help women pause (Selah)
and love God more deeply as they know Him more intimately (Sweet)

If you’ve been blessed, keep the blessing going!
Click over to our Donation page … and thanks.





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2 Comments. Leave new

  • Margaret Fowler
    February 12, 2024 10:59 pm

    Thank you Marlene, you always write a beautiful message. Love the example at the beginning too, – A Valentine baby. Sharon was close to Valentine’s day, but she insisted on arriving February 13th! Bless you for your thoughtful message.

  • Thank you Marlene. Nothing compares to the love our Father had for us.❤️


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