The God Who Is Love
Bible Studies for Life
Love makes the world go round. All you need is love. Love, love, love. The greatest of these is love. A lot is said about love in our culture.
Humans want to experience love and humans need to love. People love for various reasons: to gain love in return, because they experienced love from someone else, because they have a great appreciation for something or someone, and other reasons. People grow into maturity having experienced love from parents, family, and friends.
Still, sometimes we find it difficult to love, especially those who have hurt us in some way. The Bible reveals that God is love, and He enables us to love.
You cannot miss love in the Bible
The emphasis in the Bible placed on love is nearly impossible to miss. From the beginning to the end, we see the love of God for the world. We see the loving sacrifice of Jesus for sinners, the love we are commanded to have for each other, and the love we should have for those who do not know God. This love flows from the God who is love. The Scripture tells us, “Dear friends, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God…God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent His One and Only Son into the world so that we might live through Him.” (1 John 4:7, 9, HCSB).
All true, non-manipulative, lasting, sacrificial love originates in God. This refers to God’s nature, not merely His activity: God is love, not simply, God loves.
How can we love?
According to John, we can love because we have been born again from the God who is love. We love because God transforms us into people of love. When God is controlling our spirit and emotions, we love in a way that reflects His love. When our love is like His, it will not be fickle or subject to change. It will not wear thin.
In loving others, we relay the love of God we have experienced, the pinnacle of which was the gift of Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul wrote, “But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us!” (Romans 5:8, HCSB) It is this love that should compel us. It is not without reason that the first Christlike virtue listed in the fruit of the Spirit is love (Galatians 5:22). Our love for our brothers and sisters in Christ and our love for those outside the body of Christ are primary indicators of our holiness.
No one has ever been hated into the kingdom of God, but thousands have been loved into it. The God who is love enables and empowers those who are His to love. “This is one of the greatest truths of the Bible: God loves us. We do nothing to make God love us; He just loves us. Our response is to love Him and love those He loves.”1
1– Bible Studies for Life, Beyond Belief, Freddy Cardoza.
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