There are thus two critical points. First, God exercises this love in conjunction with all his other perfections, but his love is no less love for all that. Second, his love emanates from his own character; it is not dependent on the loveliness of the loved, external to himself…Because we have been transformed by the Gospel, our love is to be self-originating, not elicited by the loveliness of the loved. For that is the way it is with God…And this, brothers and sisters, we have learned from God as he has disclosed himself in his Son; for “we love because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19). “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8). Here is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and gave his Son to be the propitiation for our sins (1 John 4:10).
[Carson, D. A., The Difficult Doctrine of the Love of God (Crossway Books, 2000), pg. 63, 64].