God is Love
By Rev. Robert A. Crutchfield
One of the nicest things that my wife ever said about me was when she told our oldest grandson, “Papa loves everybody.” I was touched by the comment because it told me how much my wife could see the nature of God in me.
The nature of God is rarely so simply yet completely explained than in 1 John 4:8 “ He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.” So God is love. God is love in its purest, strongest form. God’s love is so pure and strong, and so intertwined that we as mortal humans can barely comprehend it. A.W. Tozer had this to say about God and how he loves his people, “ An infinite God can give all of himself to each of his children. He does not distribute Himself so that each can have a part, but to each one he gives all of himself as fully as if there were no others.
So from Tozer we learn a bit about the capacity of God’s love. God’s love is so massive, and around us so constantly that each of us can have all of it, all the time. Some would have you believe that because of God’s love for us he will tolerate any thing we chose to do. But like any loving parent this is just not the case. Love first of all cannot be a one way street or it will remain unfulfilled. Look at what 1 John 5:3 says about the way we should love God in return, “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.” One of the best examples of God’s love is the parent/ child relationship. Just like our earthly parents, God wants us to be safe and happy in this world. His commands that he gives us through his word are designed to help us do exactly this. If we do not follow God’s commands our chances of being safe and happy go way down because our actions have a better chance of conflicting with the design of things.
Even when we don’t do things God’s way he still loves us ! However his love will not prevent us from suffering the consequences of our actions. Just as our parents here on earth cannot shield us from our mistakes, neither can God.
God is the source of love. We cannot love apart from God, because love is God’s essence. When we love we make a part of God, a part of us. Love is a process which makes us more God-like, and more Christ-like which should be our aim as Christians. So as our opening verse says we cannot be the “image of God” that we are meant to be, without the capacity to love, because that would mean that the essence of what God is, is missing from within us.