September 30 – Attributes of God – Love

Read 1 John 4:1-21

“Oh, I just love that dress on her!”

“I love pizza!”

“I love that sports car!”

“I love football!”

We use the word “love” in tons of ways every day. But, no matter how much we enjoy something, we are only talking about a surface kind of human love, which can change from love to hate in a blink of an eye.

A harsh word, bad service, burnt crust, lost games can change that love into hate in an instant.

Even a couple said to be “So much in love” can fade into “They were so much in love!” quickly, leaving the rest of us wondering what had happened.

Humans are not perfect.  We mess up.  We say and do stupid or hurtful things sometimes without even trying!

But that is not how God loves.   And, if we think of His love through our human eyes, we can quickly become disappointed in Him too.  He is not a sugar daddy or even a heavenly ATM.  He loves us so much that He won’t let us have what He knows will hurt us in the end.  If we insist on going our own way, He loves us enough to let us do it so we can learn from our mistakes.

As our verse states, it isn’t because we first loved God.  No! He first loved us.  He loved us so much that He couldn’t let us go on living in sin with no hope of redemption.

He  saw how men had changed the perception of a loving God who offered forgiveness for our sins into one of a ritualistic God whom we needed to fear.  He saw the corruption that was going on in the temple, a place where people should have been able to go for comfort. The priests had made up hundreds of laws that they said the people needed to follow in order for them to not be condemned, while all the time lining their own pockets and puffing themselves up to be “holier than thou!”

God couldn’t allow that abuse to continue so He sent us Jesus.

God’s love is often referred to as “agape love.”  That is the highest form of love.  It is defined as a pure, willfully sacrificial love that intentionally desires another’s highest good.  It is an unconditional and enduring love for all.

God sent His son because He wanted to get his children out of bondage to all the regulations and to show us how to truly love each other, not by our human definition of love but with His agape love.

Have you known God’s love in your life? Take time to thank Him for it every day.

If not, all you have to do is ask and receive!

It doesn’t matter if you are rich, poor, young or old. If you think of yourself as a hopeless sinner or not. God is waiting to hear from the one He loves unconditionally. That would be YOU!

Pat Arnold

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