“Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” – 1 John 4:8
No matter what you believe, or who you believe in, all people believe in Love. At the core of humanity, we all want to be loved, and love others. The Beatles sang, “All You Need Is Love.” And the Bible says, “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
What is love? The dictionary defines love as “an intense feeling of deep affection.” But love goes deeper than this. My favorite description of love is a Bible Scripture read at many weddings, including my own, from 1 Corinthians 13:
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”
I think most people, Christians and non-Christians alike, would read this and agree with the author, Paul, on this description of love. We read or hear these verses and our spouse, children, or other loved ones come to mind. But let me challenge you with another twist to this Scripture, one that may make you squirm in your chair a little.
We also read in 1 John 4:8 that “God is love.” He is the very essence of love. But do you really believe it? Let’s look at 1 Corinthians 13 with a new lens:
“God is patient, God is kind. God does not envy, God does not boast, God is not proud. God does not dishonor others, God is not self-seeking, God is not easily angered, God keeps no record of wrongs. God does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. God always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. God never fails.”
What’s your reaction to this verse now? Does it feel the same as before? If not, why?
What has been your experience with God? What is your relationship with Him?
- Do you believe God is patient with you, that He is kind?
- Do you believe God does not envy, that He doesn’t boast, that He is not proud?
- Do you believe God does not dishonor you, that He is not self-seeking?
- Do you believe God is not easily angered with you?
- Do you believe God keeps no record of your wrongs?
- Do you believe God does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth?
- Do you believe God always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres?
- Do you believe God never fails you?
I think most of us, if we are really honest with ourselves, have a difficult time answering “Yes” to all (or even most) of these questions. We’ve been hurt, disappointed, let down, experienced loss, wondered why something had to happen the way it did. We think we’ve done too much to really be loved unconditionally. How can God allow all these bad things to happen to me, or to the world around us, if He really loves us?
But if you will let Him in, and seek God with all your heart, soul, and mind, you’ll discover there is no room for doubt in any of these areas. Because God is love, we are believing a lie if we accept any other belief about who He is, and how He sees us.
God created each of us to be in a loving relationship with Him. So much so that He willingly sacrificed His one and only Son, Jesus, to die for us, so that we could be in a love relationship with our Creator, an unconditional love that frees us from the bondage of death, to spend eternity with our one true Love. Accept this today and experience God, experience Love.
“All you need is God.”