The Bible is clear. God is love. But what does this mean for us?
Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.
1 John 1:8-9
God is love. His love is perfect.
The unconditional, life-giving, sacrificial love that God possesses is the essence of His very being. God defines love because he is the author of love.
But what does this mean for us?
We should wonder and meditate on the love of God with gratitude and praise.
O my Strength, I will sing praises to you, for you, O God, are my fortress, the God who shows me steadfast love.
We are also commanded to imitate the love of God. 1 John 4:11 says, “if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”
Unfortunately, as finite humans, our views of love can quickly become tainted. The words and character of God have been twisted by our selfish hearts that cannot fully understand His love.
As depraved human beings, we have a knack for twisting truth to serve our own desires. The truth of God’s love is no different. God is love, yes. But He is equally just and holy.
It can be so tempting to latch onto the world’s understanding of the truth, “God is Love”. The reality of God’s intrinsic characteristics of love, justice, and holiness can seem harsh. But make no mistake:
God’s love is not a blindfold for your conscience so that you can indulge in habitual sin.
God’s love is not an excuse to avoid constructive confrontation and discipline.
God’s love is not a free pass for you to tolerate the world’s narrative of lies.
God’s love does not promise you an easy life.
God’s love does not allow sinners into the presence of His holiness.
God’s love does not mean that our flawed, twisted definitions of love are acceptable.
God’s love points us to something better than any of those things. God’s love points us to the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ.
In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
1 John 1:10
Alone in our sin, our view of love is tainted. Love that is twisted so we can live our lives however we want is not love at all.
But we have an example, a teacher who loves us perfectly. His name is Jesus. When we experience the love of God personally, we are called to reflect and imitate that love. We can’t do that effectively until we actively seek to kill our selfishness and live in healthy fellowship with the God of love.
Our God is love. The beauty of this truth should leave us is awe.
Let’s strive to be ambassadors of God’s love without compromising the integrity of His truth.