“We love Him, because He first loved us.” (I John 4:19)
The initial expression of love is always HIS, He loves us, and this love that is directed our way, working in us, becomes the cause of our loving Him in return.
Love unexpressed is love unfulfilled, unsatisfied. Therefore God has brought forth this whole creation upon which He can express His love. “For Thy pleasure they are and were created.” (Rev. 4:11).
Furthermore, it requires an even greater expression of love when the object of that love is ever so unlovely, unholy, unclean. Hence the introduction of evil to form the bleak background against which the ultimate of His love can be portrayed. It was while we were yet sinners that this expression came to us, for “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son…” (John 3:16). Jesus is a manifestation of the Father’s heart of love, sent to us when we were so very unlovely, rebellious, and selfish.
Though this Divine love, so sacrificial in nature, so freely given, is ours to receive, it remains unsatisfied until it can be returned. Love shared, but if one-sided, one sharing and the other doing all the receiving, this does not bring happiness. Not that love requires a return or a reward for loving, but it rests in the happiness of the beloved, and to receive love selfishly, is to remain unhappy, thus the giver realizes that his love has failed to make the loved one happy. But when that loved one begins to return that love because it is out of a heart overflowing with joy and love, it brings joy and happiness to the heart of the initial lover.
When we are so completely transformed by His love to us, and so filled with that love that we must express it back to Him again, then He knows that His creation is happy with His expression to us-ward, and receiving that which now flows from us to Him, He shall be satisfied as well. Love expresses and returned is love fulfilled. He truly is worthy of our love.