21D Fishers – Day 8: God Is Love
We’ve made it through the first week of 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting! We’ve started building a routine or a new habit and what may have been challenging at first is now becoming more comfortable. As we head into Week 2, this is when we really press in to hearing God’s voice, to seeing Him move and to praying those bold prayers with bold faith that we’ve been talking about.
Tonight, we’re going to focus on how God is love. He doesn’t just love us and we don’t just love Him but it’s the very essence of His nature and who He is. Love is not a verb.
A few months ago, I was reading 1 John 4:7-8 and there were 3 words that radically changed how I view love.
“Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. 8 But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
1 John 4 continues in verses 16-17:
“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. 17 And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect.”
If we have any hope of genuinely loving those around us, we have to start in our relationship with God. We can only love each other because He first loved us as it says in 1 John 4:19. Once we fully understand the depth of God’s love and are living in a close relationship with Him, then we can begin to love others as we are instructed to in the bible.
This love that grows more perfect in relationship with God is different than just being friendly, kind, and caring. This is the unconditional love. This is the love we can give to those who have hurt us and sinned against us. This is the love we can give to our enemies. It is not fake or just polite but it’s a love for others where our hearts yearn for them to know God and this love like we have come to know.
Once I had this revelation about how God is the love I’ve been looking for to have in my life, I began reading the bible differently when it would talk about love. I began to replace the word “Love” with “God” and one of my favorite passages now is 1 Corinthians 13.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7
4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
Now let’s replace “Love” with “God”.
God is patient and kind.
God will wait for us to draw near to Him.
God is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude.
God is a gentleman – knocking at the door of our hearts, waiting to be invited in.
God does not demand His own way.
God has given us free will to choose, however, He longs for us to submit our lives and hearts to Him because He has such a great plan for us.
God is not irritable and He keeps no record of being wronged.
God’s mercy is new every day. He will always forgive us when we repent and confess our sins to Him.
God does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins.
God hates punishment and discipline but He longs for us to grow spiritually.
God never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and He endures through every circumstance.
God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. He will never change and his love never fails. He will always be there for us when we need Him.
WOW! I hope that just blew your mind like it did mine the first time I re-read that scripture. It gives us so much knowledge and wisdom of who our Heavenly Father really is.
But not only that, if our goal in our spiritual walk is to be more like Jesus and less like the world, doesn’t this give us some great qualities to strive for?