in this is love...

beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. in this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. 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. beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
1 John 4:7–11

we heard a wonderful sermon on this text last night. God loves us not because we deserve or somehow earn his love, but because love is who He is. it's not like we're so darn cute He can't help but love us; no, our good deeds are as filthy rags to Him (isaiah says "all our righteous deeds are as a polluted garment"). and His love is not like ours. praise God—my love is fickle! we see God's abundant love in that He sent His Son to die for our sins...and to give us life in Him.

(some early-morning baking yielded the above photos. i thought they were fitting. a friend gave me the heart-shaped cup measures for a wedding shower gift. firmly-packed brown sugar gives the heart shape! we're celebrating my brother's and my father-in-law's birthdays this weekend. we are so blessed to be surrounded by loving family...and to have a loving Father in heaven.)