God is Love
Read I John 4:7 -21
Love comes from God. We have the ability to love because God loves us. When we display love to one another, we know that we are born of God. Being born of God means that we are, in fact, His sons and daughters through our faith in Jesus Christ.
In this passage, John reiterates that if one chooses not to love as Christ commanded, then this person does not know God. He tells us that not only does love come from God, but God is love. According to author Gary Burge in his commentary of the Gospel of John, “It is important to note what John is not saying. He is not saying that ‘God is loving’ (though this is true). Nor is he saying that one of God’s activities is ‘to love us’ (though this is true as well). John is saying that God is love, that all his ‘activity is loving.’ Love is the essence of his being. But the reverse is not the case. We cannot say, in other words, that ‘love is God’ as if any displayed affection suddenly qualifies as divine.”
I believe this happens to be one of the most misrepresented verses in the Bible because people confuse the word love with words like tolerance, forgiveness, or behavior modification. The truth is God is tolerant and forgiving with us; however, He will not excuse or justify sin in our lives. This does not mean that since God loves us we can do whatever we please.
We learn this with our own children. We discipline, guide, correct and withhold things from them as acts of love; because we know that not everything is beneficial to our children. The truth is we need to say, “No” at times to things that are harmful.
We need to understand that since God is love, this does not mean God will let you get away with anything you want. By saying “God is love” John is not referring to an emotional feeling God has towards us; instead, He is showing that His love is shown to us through His son Jesus Christ.
Jeff has been in full-time ministry for thirty years. He currently serves as Executive Director at Anchor House Ministry at SeaPort Manatee in Palmetto, FL and he is a part-time Campus Pastor at West Bradenton Southside in Bradenton, Florida.
Jeff Has authored A Lent Devotional (A Spiritual Journey to Lent) an Advent Devotional (The Advent of Jesus) and a devotional on the book of James (James: Where Faith and Life Meet). All three are available on Amazon.
He is married to Carrie and they have four children, Micaiah, Gabe, Simon, and Berea.
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