Do We Live Like God is Love?
I John 4:7-10 “7Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9 By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten 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 for our sins.”
God is love. We have all heard this, read this and probably even said it. We just do not get it nor do we fully understand it. I have been a Christ-follower now for 30 years. I have been preaching and teaching for over 20 years. I have shared with so many people that God is love. Yet, I must admit that I don’t completely understand this aspect of our Heavenly Father. I, like so many other Christians, quote this verse but fail to live it out in my life.
I think that the main reason is we are raised with conditional love. We are taught that if you do the right things, make the right grades, give the right answers and look the right way then you will be loved. Growing up we heard things like, “now be a good little boy and……”, “good little boys and girls don’t………..” and everyone’s favorite, “You better watch out; you better not cry; you better not pout, I’m telling you why, Santa Claus is coming to town.” We are taught right behavior leads to acceptance and love. How many young girls have lost their virginity to a smooth talking, hormone-enraged guy because he said to her, “if you love me, you would do this.” So, she foolishly gives up something valuable in order to prove her love or to be loved.
We do this with God. We try to impress God with our behavior modifications methods of becoming better Christians. We try to get His attention by praying more or louder, fasting more, giving more, reading more, and the list goes on. We do not comprehend that God IS love. He is the very essence of love. You and I define love by actions. God defines love by who He is. Humanity falls in and out of love like we change socks. Love is God’s very nature. Loving people isn’t what God does; it is WHO He is! When we finally understand that, then we will see Him as our Father and we will stop all these foolish, religious, vain attempts of trying to get His attention because we already have His attention.
Get this: our Heavenly Father loves you not because of anything you have done but because of Who He is. If God loved you because of what you did, then He could stop loving you when you stop doing what it is that you do. God’s love for you is not a response to things you have done or haven’t done. His love for you is initiated by His nature.
In my last post, I stated that God doesn’t want to relate to humanity as God. He wants to relate to humanity as a Father. Do you understand the difference? Do you know what fathers do? They love!!! Do you know what gods do? They control people for their own pleasure. They use people for their bidding. Look at any god throughout history and you will see that people are always trying to appease a god or keep them from being angry. But a father is always looking how to give to his children. That is how our God is……He is always giving. Look at the scripture passage above again. We are shown the love of a heavenly Father through the giving of His Son to die so that we could live and be in right relationship with the Father.
We couldn’t fix our problem, so the Father took it upon Himself to fix our problem. How many of our earthly fathers fixed the messes that we, as teenagers and immature young adults, created? Fathers fix and teach and give. That’s what our Heavenly Father does as well. He has fixed our sin problem by sending Jesus to the earth. He taught us how to relate to Him by giving Jesus as an example of what humanity is supposed to be like. He gave Jesus to die in our place.
We know what love is because of the Father loving us first.
Do you live like God is love? Do you struggle with trying to get God’s approval and acceptance?