What does it mean for God to be love? I’ve heard it said that “God is love” since I was a youngster sitting in Sunday School and it can easily be just a bunch of words. John Piper, and a couple of my pastors, have also pointed out that Americans in general don’t understand what love is. Combine these two things and I’d say many of us have something to learn about love from God.
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” – John 3:16
I see you starting to check out because that is the most quoted verse in the Bible.. There is treasure to be found in its lines, though. First off, John tells us that God loved the world. That love urged Him to take a very costly action. The only son or daughter God had at the time was Jesus, and God gave him up to death. It makes me think of an old testament story. God gave Abraham and Sarah a son in their old age, as part of a promise. Then, God asked Abraham to sacrifice his only son. Now God came to the rescue at the last minute in this story, saving their son by providing another sacrifice, but in the case of His own Son there was no other sacrifice.
John 3:17 helps us see even more of what love is. “For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved though Him.” Love does not judge, but it gives exorbitantly for the welfare of the one(s) it is aimed at. This involves sacrifice.
Later in the new testament Paul clearly outlines love for us. (1 Corinthians 13) Something neat about this passage of scripture is that since God is love, you can replace “love” with “God.”
So, God is patient and kind; God does not envy or boast; He is not arrogant or rude. He does not insist on His own way; God is not irritable or resentful; He does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. God bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
All love is from God. Just like the moon reflects the sun, any love we experience or give away is reflected from the Source.
At the end of the day love doesn’t deserve the lime light, the One who is love does deserve every bit of our admiration, though.