(1 John 4:8 NIV) Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
We are created in the image of God but we are not God. Humanity is a race of beings that has been created in his likeness. The statue of Lincoln in the Lincoln memorial looks like President Lincoln. Nobody would claim that it’s a subset of Lincoln himself, though. It’s an entirely different thing.
Humans are different from God. He is spirit, we are flesh. He’s infinite, we’re finite. He knows everything, we only know some things. We need love and so does God.
He has given us the capacity to need love. We receive it and we give it. It is a tool that he has endowed us with just like any other tool. God uses all the gifts he has given us to enhance our lives and to glorify himself. Man CAN love. God IS love. How then can we claim that God, who is love, needs love? After all isn’t God self sufficient?
Love’s very nature requires an object to be bestowed upon. This is why God must create. In creating he brought objects, beings to life who may benefit from his nature. Love, however, does not travel in one direction. When God shares his love with us we don’t just receive it. We are so enthralled with his wonderful gift that we shower him with love in return.
Love is so powerful that it cannot be contained. It bursts forth and spews onto whatever is within its reach. God is everywhere so his love showers the universe. Each of us basks in those loving rays and absorbs as much as we can.
God loves praise, adoration and worship. This is a clear picture of someone who wants to be loved. God loved us so much that while we were still stinkers he allowed his son, Jesus, to die in our place just so we could have the opportunity to enjoy his love forever. Can someone whose nature requires him to be so graceful be devoid of the ability to enjoy love in return?
There is a school of thought that says that God does not need love. Oh, he wants it, they claim, but it is not a need. The very act of wanting implies a lack. You see, God, in his infinite wisdom has done something never before seen in the universe. He has given away a part of himself. When he gave us the ability to make choices to accept or reject his love he gave up a piece of his sovereignty. God has put himself on the line by spreading himself throughout the universe and by delegating power.
To say that God needs love isn’t completely accurate. God needs you and me to return the love that he has been so generous to entrust to us.
(1 John 4:16 NIV) And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.