We are told in the Bible (see 1 Cor 13:13) that when all is said and done, that there are three things that will remain — Faith, Hope and Love, but the greatest of all is Love…
The Bible also tells us that the very nature of God is Love, but what does that mean?
“God is love” (1 John 4:8) is a favorite Bible verse about love.
1 John 4:16 is a similar verse also containing the words “God is love.”
1 John 4:7-11
Knowing God Through Love
7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.
8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
9 In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, 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.
11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
1 John 4:16
“We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them.”
The Greek word used for love in all of these versus is ἀγαπάω agapaō, which is the God kind of love that comes with no strings.
To get the definition of what that kind of love looks like, we go to 1 Corinthians 13:4-7; and please know that this is how God treats each of us.
In fact, each place you see the word LOVE you can substitute “God” and the meaning of the text would not be changed one iota.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7
4 Love (God) is very patient and kind, never jealous or envious, never boastful or proud, 5 never haughty or selfish or rude.
Love (God) does not demand its (His) own way.
It (He) is not irritable or touchy. It (He) does not hold grudges and will hardly even notice when others do it wrong.
6 It (He) is never glad about injustice, but rejoices whenever truth wins out.
7 If you love someone, you will be loyal to him no matter what the cost.
You will always believe in him, always expect the best of him, and always stand your ground in defending him.
It’s a point in fact that this is how God treats each one of us, and if we will die to ourselves and get (self) out of the way, God desires to use each one of us as a conduit of His AGAPE love into all the dark places of this world.
Please note also that this agape love has absolutely NOTHING to do with our feelings, rather it’s all about us treating others based on the value God places on them.
There are two prayers offered by Paul, in the Bible, that I really like, which I believe expresses God’s true heart towards His Church.
Check it out…
Paul speaking: “…That is why, ever since I heard of your strong faith in the Lord Jesus and of the love you have for Christians everywhere, I have never stopped thanking God for you.
I pray for you constantly, asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you wisdom to see clearly and really understand who Christ is and all that he has done for you.
I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can see something of the future He has called you to share.
I want you to realize that GOD HAS BEEN MADE RICH because we who are Christ’s have been given to Him!
I pray that you will begin to understand how incredibly great His power is to help those who believe Him.
It is that same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated Him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in heaven, far, far above any other king or ruler or dictator or leader.
Yes, His honor is far more glorious than that of anyone else either in this world or in the world to come.
And God has put all things under His feet and made Him the supreme Head of the Church— 23 which is His body, filled with Himself, the Author and Giver of everything everywhere.
Paul speaking: “When I think of the wisdom and scope of His (God’s) plan, I fall down on my knees and pray to the Father of all the great family of God—some of them already in heaven and some down here on earth—
that out of his glorious, unlimited resources He will give you the mighty inner strengthening of His Holy Spirit.
And I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts, living within you as you trust in Him.
May your roots go down deep into the soil of God’s marvelous love; and may you be able to feel and understand, as all God’s children should, how long, how wide, how deep, and how high His love really is; and to experience this love for yourselves, though it is so great that you will never see the end of it or fully know or understand it.
And so at last you will be filled up with God himself.”
How do you not love a God like this, who gave so much of Himself (even His very life on Calvary’s Cross) in order to redeem His lost children and reconcile us back into His family
I believe the following quote is attributed to Augustine, and I think it says it best,
“that it’s impossible to know God and not love Him, and it’s equally impossible to love Him and not want to serve Him.
Tue, February 1
Franciscan Spirit blog
Live in love grow in faith
Notes from a Friar:
GOD SPEAKS TO ALL
Written by Jim Van Vurst, OFM
Someone once asked me how many languages God speaks. I quickly realized that the person needed a fundamental answer. Of course, God speaks all languages.
It is better to think of God as communicating, which opens up many more possibilities.
We humans communicate with more than words. In our human nature, we can communicate with a glance, a smile, a chuckle, and so many more ways.
Think of a mother who communicates with her newborn infant. She does that by a kiss, a caress of her infant in her arms, a tender stroke, or even by humming.
We know that infants who don’t receive this kind communication often miss an essential part in their emotional development.
It has been proven that such communication stimulates key hormones in the infant that aids in emotional growth.
Just think of animals that lick their offspring when they are just born. They are doing more than cleaning them up.
We humans cannot exist without relationships. The need for communication is part of our very human nature.
Having said that about humans, and defining God as love, we understand that God is the infinite communicator.
His very act of creation is an act of communicating his love to all he creates, but especially to us who are blessed with intelligence and free will.
NO LANGUAGE IS FOREIGN TO GOD
But we should not restrict God’s communication. God can and does communicate in ways we can’t imagine.
If a mother can communicate to her infant, would we ever say that God does not?
God is in communication with us by his very presence. It may well be an inspiration or a thought that comes to mind. It may be an impulse to do something good for another.
People who think God is “somewhere up there” have a misunderstanding of the reality of God’s presence.
God is infinitely concerned and connected with all of us. There is never a moment when we walk alone. God is always present to us.
I was chaplain for many years at a large retirement and nursing facility. I would visit our nursing home and Alzheimer’s unit.
To my own perception, many of these people were unable to communicate to staff or to one another.
But at the same time, I was convinced that God was as close to each of them as he was to the rest of us.
That’s why I think God knows all languages. I consoled many families with that thought and they realized that their loved ones were never alone or without the presence of God.
Come join the Adventure!