God Is LoveFrom The Heart
Publish date: 03/13/2011
And we know (understand, recognize, are conscious of, by observation and by experience) and believe (adhere to and put faith in and rely on) the love God cherishes for us. God is love, and he who dwells and continues in love dwells and continues in God, and God dwells and continues in him.
1 John 4:16 AMP
God IS love! He doesn’t merely have love, or give love, or show love – He IS love! Love explains who He is – His nature; His character; His heart; His choices; His desires; His plans; His actions. Love explains why God created creation and us, why He cares about us, why He created in us a free will to make our own choices, why Jesus Christ died for us and why we receive eternal life.
God creates because He loves – He creates people to love. God cares because He loves – He cares therefore He did not leave us in our sin, but He provided a way out; He showed us grace and mercy. God created us with a free will because He wants a loving response from us; He wants us to love Him back of our own will and choice. Jesus Christ died for us because He loves us and His sacrifice was our only hope for redemption. He gives us eternal life so that He can express His love for us forever.
Now about food offered to idols: of course we know that all of us possess knowledge [concerning these matters. Yet mere] knowledge causes people to be puffed up (to bear themselves loftily and be proud), but love (affection and goodwill and benevolence) edifies and builds up and encourages one to grow [to his full stature]. 2 If anyone imagines that he has come to know and understand much [of divine things, without love], he does not yet perceive and recognize and understand as strongly and clearly, nor has he become as intimately acquainted with anything as he ought or as is necessary. 3 But if one loves God truly [with affectionate reverence, prompt obedience, and grateful recognition of His blessing], he is known by God [recognized as worthy of His intimacy and love, and he is owned by Him]. 1 Corinthians 8:1-3 AMP
The Word of God is His message to us concerning His love for us and His involvement in our lives. He is our life-source; our provider; our protector. Love is the only thing that can heal a broken heart and restore a broken life. Love – knowing that you are LOVED; knowing just how MUCH you are loved – brings hope and healing and peace to your life.
If you do not understand that God is love and that He is motivated by compassion and by mercy, then you do not understand anything about Him and you do not understand anything in His book – even if you can quote it backwards! All your learning is useless if you do not believe and receive the love of God.
If you do not understand that God is love then you do not understand how He feels about you, or His plans for you, or His heart for you, or your standing with Him; you do not understand how much He loves you and every other person on earth; you do not understand that His love is placed in your heart, by the Holy Spirit, and that you are both able and responsible to operate in that same love toward others. When you receive Jesus as Lord and Savior, you receive His nature and character too. When you understand how much God loves you – and all mankind – you are able to love yourself and you are able to love others, with that same unselfish, agape love.
He who does not love has not become acquainted with God [does not and never did know Him], for God is love. 9 In this the love of God was made manifest (displayed) where we are concerned: in that God sent His Son, the only begotten or unique [Son], into the world so that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation (the atoning sacrifice) for our sins. 1 John 4:8-10 AMP
In our salvation, we experience the absolute love that God has for us. You cannot receive salvation apart from the experience of God’s love. Love is His motivation for salvation. Without this love, there would only be judgment, but love died for us to acquit us of our guilt before Him and bring us into a state of righteousness and acceptance into the beloved! When we become acquainted with God, we also become acquainted with His love. His love is what takes us from being a sinner to being the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.
Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance? Romans 2:4 NKJV
It is God’s goodness and kindness that leads you to repentance. Not judgment or condemnation. His love gives us the reason and the right to repent and to come to Him to receive mercy. When people experience His love, they receive hope and faith for salvation. They expect to be received and not rejected.
For He foreordained us (destined us, planned in love for us) to be adopted (revealed) as His own children through Jesus Christ, in accordance with the purpose of His will [because it pleased Him and was His kind intent] — 6 [So that we might be] to the praise and the commendation of His glorious grace (favor and mercy), which He so freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. Ephesians 1:5-6 AMP
It is God’s love that planned way ahead of time for each and every one of us to be adopted into His own family and revealed as His beloved children. God’s will is love. His will is forgiveness and grace and favor. This love and favor is not dealt out by measure or with limitations, but freely and generously bestowed on us in the Beloved!