Has someone ever smiled at you, making the world seem brighter? And after that smile, you couldn't help but smile in return? I once heard a short rhyme that goes something like this: Smiling is quite contagious, you catch it like the flu. / When someone smiled at me today, I started smiling too. / I passed around the corner and someone saw my grin - / When he smiled I realized I'd passed it on to him! / I thought about that smile, then I realized its worth. / A single smile - just like mine could travel round the earth! / So, if you feel a smile begin, don't leave it undetected - / Let's start an epidemic quick and get the world infected! Has this ever happened to you? Suddenly the energy that you got from that one smile allowed you to overspill some joy to the next person you passed. The principle behind this is that the more we are loved, the more we tend to love others. This may seem very selfish, but love is not something that we manufacture. Instead, love is something that passes through us, making it necessary to receive love in order to give love.

The origin of all love is God Himself. John tells us that "We love him, because he first loved us" (1 John 4:19). Why do you think that is? Obviously God has been loving us since before we were created, so He definitely loved us first. But it also has to do with that principle of love. Our love for God or anyone else is merely an overflowing of the love that God has poured into us. Because of God loving us so much, even while we were still His enemies, we love Him back. But loving God also extends to those around us. He told His disciples that we would be known as His followers by our love for one another. And in His parable of the sheep and the goats, Jesus taught that by loving our fellow man, we are really loving Him. Let's let our love overflow to those around us this week. Why? Because God first loved us.

Letting His love overflow,

Pastor Sutherland

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