God is love. We say it, we read it, we recognize it, but we do not understand it. We believe that God’s love is about action rather than a state of being. Yet, Love is His character. Knowledge can never be the foundation of a relationship. It is much deeper than that. Love,(the foundation of all love relationships) starts with a heart impression then grows through knowledge and understanding filled with grace.
We define love as certain acts or actions taken rather than character traits exhibited. We tend to do things to prove we love rather than do things because we are love. Our concept of love is for the most part very shallow and self focused. Even when we give, for the most part, it is about what we will receive as a result that motivates us and not for the joy of being able to give. Thus the difference between God and us. God’s Love is a love that makes us feel secure no matter our activities (like a mother’s unconditional affection and care) and it is also a love that teaches us to function, be responsible, and cope with problems that come at us in the existing fallen world (like a father should in real life). In reality God’s love completes us and reveals His nature to the world through who we are and what we do. It’s existence and function are one. If I am a son of honor I reveal my father’s character and attributes, because of his role in my life. I am talking about the ideal case of fathers and mothers here, knowing that we are raised imperfectly — yet the potential is here with God’s presence in our lives. Thus God’s love is a position and yet an action revealed in living (honor, obedience and sacrifice to the love given and received)
As a result of my quest to understand love I have come to look at “Love” a lot differently than many I know. Translations that are one word in the Greek for one word in the English can never do justice to the reality of “God’s Love”, agape’ It can not be translated in it’s fullness by our English word love. It can only be revealed in the strength of it’s meaning by looking at the character of God fully since, His character equals “Love” or “agape’ “.
I have purposed in my heart to love God and know God’ love because He is God, not for what I get from Him. I purpose to spend time with Him because I like to be around Him and listen to Him, not to get Him to recognize me – I am His son. I like to watch Him, recognize His presence in my life and what I do because it enriches our relationship, I get to reveal who He is through my life, my living. (life works, the result of who I am,) What an honor. Noticing His hand in my life reveals His character to me and helps me know how to love Him the way He needs to be loved, not the way I want to love Him. Thus it changes our moments of recognized interaction, our communication, communion and friendship.
I do not try to attain to a level of love that will be acceptable to God, I love Him as I am. It is an honest expression of my character, my desire to know Him, as His love is to me. Love, for the most part, has no regimented order, no exact moments timed and lived in rote behavior, It is organic in its nature and lived out continuously. It is not practiced. It is lived in freedom, an expression of the heart. To regiment it is to limit its scope and influence on our nature. Love exists in the randomness of thought and the spontaneous nature of life.
His nature is miraculous, thus my nature is the same. His existence in me is a natural state of being. To be different than my Father, I must struggle and rebel against my very nature as a child of God, my DNA.
Fear (man’s type of fear) has no part in perfect love as it perpetuates the thought of your works not being good enough, your performance being the measuring stick of your love. It brings torment and robs us or controls the potential of our relationship, because we fear punishment of some kind as a result of our perceived imperfection.
In John 17:3 we find that eternal life is “to know” Father and His Son Jesus. Some have told me that this word “know” in this verse means to casually be acquainted with Him. This interpretation negates the previous chapters leading to this declaration. From John 10 through to John 17 there is a revelation of what it is to “know” God, and that means to be intimately joined to him! (I am not talking sex here but a close, dynamic, personal, purposeful relationship). We are to be “one” with Him. We are to be able to tell the difference between His voice and anyone else’s. We are to know His will, hear from Holy Spirit, be guided into all truth, know things to come, and understand who He is fully. That is not a casual knowledge of someone. That is a family bonding, closer than a brother to brother communion.
Somehow this revelation of Love must be brought into the family of God. It must become understood by the oldest to the youngest of those who name Jesus as Lord. That is the only way we will impact the world the way we are meant to.
If God is Love then we are Love. If God “so loves the world” then we must “so love the world”. Our nature and our actions must be like His. We must get away from our definitions of Love and accept that God is the definition of Love. Righteousness, justice, grace, mercy, redemption, and judgment are a part of His Character and thus part of the definition of Love. The attributes of His very nature lived out through us reveal His love to us and through us. We must find a place where sin is judged and the sinner is redeemed, where righteousness is revealed and mercy reigns, a place were Grace and justice are ok together. We must become more than the book of Acts Church filled with His presence, power and Love. We must find a place where faith, hope and Love live and thrive. That means fear must exit our living, and we must not be ashamed of the Gospel, the Truth. We cannot worry about our future and what will happen if we stand, but we must find and live in His standards of conduct, character and most of all, LOVE!
I would love to add some more here, but think I will close with some scripture readings for you to look at. John chapters 13 t o17, Romans 13, I Corinthians 13, I John 4. There are so many places we can turn to see a revelation of His Love but I want to leave you with Hebrews 12 and if possible read it in the Amplified version of the Bible. There is a lot there so don’t just read it, SELAH… neil