God Is Love

Yeah, yeah, yeah, who doesn’t know God is love—besides hardened atheists who don’t even believe there is a God. I mean, even name-only “Christians” will parrot that God is love.

I tend to think, however, that love, in general, is misunderstood in our Western culture, and God’s love even more so. Love in general is often confused with a butterfly tingly feeling in the pit of the stomach—really an indication of an adrenaline rush, I believe.

Actual love is stuff like a mom cleaning up kid throw-up or changing a wet sheet in the middle of the night. It’s sitting beside a sick child to monitor any change in temperature or walking a colicky baby for hours at a time.

Love is refusing to say I told you so to a spouse who made a bad decision. It’s also choosing to say, I’ll follow you around the next corner, even when its a blind curve and I’m scared.

But how does all that reflect on God? For one, Scripture doesn’t say God has love but that He IS love. However, love isn’t all God is. He’s also just and merciful and righteous and good and infinite.

So, for example, God loves, infinitely. There is no end to His love, no place beyond the reach of His love, nothing the object of His love can do that will bring an end to the expression of who God is.

His love is also just, so He does not turn a blind eye to our rebellion.

I sat behind a family in church yesterday, and sadly the parents turned a blind eye to the rebellion and/or misbehavior of their two children. You might say these parents even condoned disrespect because they did not correct their children.

In the Old Testament, God rebuked the high priest and judge, Eli, for not correcting his children. Because of those boys’ waywardness, He removed Eli and his family from their priestly position.

Parents who love their children are supposed to correct them. The Bible says this over and over, and it draws the conclusion that God loves in the same way—as a Father who cares too much to let His children wander away from Him into all kinds of harm.

God is love. He cleans up our messes, holds our hand through the valley of the shadow of death, and takes our punishment in His own body. He draws us, woos us, holds us, seals us. His love isn’t going to break down and it isn’t going to let go.

Honestly, I don’t see anything sentimental about God’s love. It sent Him to earth in a backwater town to an unwed mother where he was wrapped in cloths meant for a burial shroud and stuck in an animal feeding trough. And that was just the first few hours of his earthly existence. Things didn’t get noticeably better. But He came, lived, and died “for the joy set before Him.”

We’re that joy. Us, His people, whom He loved and determined to save.

Published in: on November 29, 2010 at 7:32 pm  Comments (8)  
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