We love because he first loved us.
I John 4:19
I was in High School. I wasn't pursuing after Christ. I had a ton of religion and no relationship with Christ. I had to sit through church services on Sunday morning and Sunday night. I would do anything to pass the time... Tic Tack Toe, drawing, passing notes, and sometimes when I was really board, reading my Bible.
I can't remember the exact date or even year, all I remember was I was in High School. As I leafed through my Bible, I realized for the first time there was the book of John, but there was also the book of I John. I started skimming through I John. When I hit chapter 4, verse 19 something just made me pause.
It was a simple statement, but it spoke to me. I am able to love because of God's love. In that moment, I decided to do something I'd never done before. I was going to memorize the verse and where it's found. Don't get me wrong, I had memorized verses before, but every other verse was because I was told to or it was so I could earn a patch for my "Missionary Cadet" sash. This time my memorization was different. It was the first verse I ever memorized because I thought it would be good to memorize.
I don't think I memorized another verse or passage of scripture until I fully surrendered my life to Christ my Freshman year at Bethel College. After that moment and in the years since, I have committed many passages to memory. This one will always be a special one to me. Both for the message and for the reality that God was speaking love to me as I was running away from him.