God as Defined by Love
“God is Love”...For many of us it’s a phrase we hear most of our lives. The confusion comes as to 1. why that’s important and 2. what does it mean? Agape, theGreek root used for this particular reference has connotations of benevolence and good will. But that still doesn’t feel like much of a personification. What about Paul’s description in His letter to the Corinthian Church? You know, the “love chapter”.
“Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 5does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, 6does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; 7bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8Love never fails;...”
And slowly this broader picture of love starts to get painted on the canvas of our soul. For me it’s very easy to turn it into a mathematical equation. If A=B and B=C than God = patience, kindness, and behavioral to do list. But it’s not a to do list at all. It’s more like a wittiness giving a description to a sketch artist. A sketch is really important, because it tells us what where looking for.
Here’s the interesting part. This “sketch” of love isn’t just so we can recognize God it’s so we can relate TO God. What I mean is this. The “two great commandments” according to Jesus are Love God and Love others right? Well is it possible that when interacting with God we should, “hope all things, and believe all things, and keep no record of “wrongs” (if you’ve never felt wronged by God you are a better person than I) and so on. This is what happens
in a relationship. It’s give and take. When being love is abstract and just sits on the shelf of happy Sunday school ideas it’s not very effective in changing lives, including out own.
Someone told me recently that the most import precept in scripture is not the cross but rather the love of the Father.
1 John 4
7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has
been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
So the same God who is patient with us, who rejoices in the truth, and bears all things with us is the Father who gave up is most prized possession (his son). So that he cold have the opportunity to personally and intimately Love a human race that’s broken, dysfunctional, and so cautious with it’s spirituality it would rather keep God as “the big guy upstairs who blesses our mac and cheese”. The cost of grace is far greater than the price of our pride. and it is pride not nobility that keeps us from embracing HIS love fully.