Posted by: SandreS | July 16, 2010

Back to Basics: God 101 – He Is Love

God is love.

Who could think of a more wonderful word than love? But who can adequately define it? Try if you can. What is love, actually?

Love Defined

Who could help us in finding such an elusive definition as love? As believers, we know that we will ultimately find love’s only real definition in the Scriptures; and who better to gain our definition of love from than “the disciple whom Jesus loved” (John 19:26; John 20:2; John 21:7, 20)? If anyone knew its meaning, it would be John, the apostle.

John indeed does give us a pure and simple definition. He tells us plainly that “God is love.” God is not only the source of love, He is love Himself. If we want to know what love is really all about, we must look to Him. Ultimately, love in its fullness and depth is nothing short of the very person of God Himself. It is His divine expression. It is Who He is.

We will never really know and enjoy the rich measure of love, until we have come to know Him – in His full expression – in the Person of His Son.

No wonder that Paul, the apostle of God’s fullness, so splendidly wrote,

That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passes knowledge, that you might be filled with all the fullness of God. Now unto Him Who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us (Ephesians 3:17-20).

As Christ dwells in our hearts by faith, love is our root and ground. It is He Who allows us to grasp what man cannot naturally perceive, and saturates us with all God’s fullness. To comprehend the wondrous dimensions of His love (its breadth, length, depth and height) allows the very power of God Himself to be at work in us, over and above anything that we could ever dream possible.

The true definition of love itself is found in God, and to know Him, and His beloved Son, is to know the true meaning of Love.

Love Is of God

Beloved, let us love each other: for love is of God (I John 4:7).

“Love is of God.” God is love’s source. God is the Creator of the universe and all love comes from Him. He is its only source.

Love can be natural or supernatural, both of which are divine because they spring forth from God.

Take natural love. Our Father is the God of nature. Love which is associated with nature, or that which is natural, has its source in Him – He is its Originator.

For example, one may love a particular season of the year best – the freshness of spring, the warmth of summer, the colors of autumn, or the crispness of winter. Or, perhaps one loves all of them in their splendid variety. Whatever one’s preference, they are all crafted by God.

Then there are the rich colors of creation. Look about us throughout the year – what variety! God well could have painted our world with black, white and gray – we would not have known the difference – but such is not the nature of the God of nature.

Men find their inspirations to paint their canvases rich with His colors. They borrow from His vast spectrum to paint their own little worlds – their cars, their houses, their clothes. What is your favorite color, the one that you love the best?

There are also flowers that we love, and trees, and animals. Some love the daffodil best, or the tulip, or the rose. Some love the dogwood, or the weeping willow tree. There are cat lovers, dog lovers, and horse lovers. All are the splendid designs of His hands.

Then, of course, there is food – look at the culinary variety that our Creator has supplied! We each have the foods that we love.

On and on we could go throughout the vast array of God’s nature, with each of us uniquely designed with distinct appreciations of particular expressions of His handiwork.

These all are the simplest forms of love, yet even these are all rooted in Him. For, “Love is of God.”

There would not be any appreciation of these things without Him. Whether men are conscious of this or not, it does not change the source. Those who know God can choose to live in the enjoyment of the simplest of these loves in worship to Him. After all, Paul describes our Father as,

The living God, Who gives us richly all things to enjoy (I Timothy 6:17).

Our Father is good and gracious, desiring us to enjoy richly His creation! With this understanding, we have the freedom to worship God in the love of our favorite aspects of His diverse creative bounty. Thus Paul wrote,

Whether therefore you eat, or drink, or whatsoever you do, do all to the glory of God (I Corinthians 10:31).

Yet there is more to the natural side of love. There is a much higher plane. There is also the love of family – of mother, of father, of wife or husband, of children, of brothers and sisters, of grandparents. This is a grander love. Oh, for the love of family! How precious it can be! These are natural bonds of love, designed by God, for, “Love is of God.” We also worship God here, in the Love of our family.

All of these are the natural loves that find their root and source in Him.

Then there is that supernatural love – love that goes far beyond nature, or that of a natural design, or even family affections. This love comes directly from the life of God Himself to the heart of the believer. God’s Own love is one that transcends that which is natural.

Natural love comes as a result of God’s natural creation. It is a wonderful bounty from God that can be enjoyed freely, and can be a part of our worship of God. Supernatural love, though, comes as a result of the new creation. It is above and beyond mere natural love.

It is so wonderful to know the love of our Father that is being revealed in us: a love that flows from Him into the depths of our being; a love that is so pure and so free; a love that is without human limitations, without religious boundaries.

The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts (Romans 5:5).

The Love of God

The Love of God is greater far
Than tongue or pen can ever tell
It goes beyond the highest star
And reaches to the lowest hell
The guilty pair, bowed down with care
God gave His Son to win
His erring child He reconciled
And pardoned from his sin.
Could we with ink the ocean fill

And were the skies of parchment made
Were every stalk on earth a quill
And every man a scribe by trade
To write the Love of God above
Would drain the ocean dry
Nor could the scroll contain the whole
Though stretched from sky to sky.

Oh Love of God, How rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forever more endure
The saint’s and angel’s song.

– Frederick M. Lehman (1917)

Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
Daily Email Goodies
© 2010

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