Is God Love?
"Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love"
(1 John 4:8)
I heard of a young boy who attended Sunday school each week. The
young lad had a problem. He had a bad memory. Each Sunday he would try
his best to be able to quote the Bible verse he was given the previous
week to memorize. But to no avail! Then one Sunday the teacher said,
"Johnny, I want you to memorize part of I John 4:8, 'God is love.'"
Johnny was so excited. Three words, he could hardly wait until the
next Sunday to say, "God is love," and receive a little star. The
following Sunday came and Johnny waited his turn. Finally the teacher
asked Johnny to quote his small portion of verse. Without hesitating,
Johnny said, "Is God love?"
The teacher was so angry, declaring to Johnny, "What do you mean,
'is God love?'" Johnny received a slap on the back of the head. This
was his introduction into God's love! We can laugh, but for many of
us, that has been our thoughts about God. We may think that God is out
to hurt us.
Many Christians walk in the wrong fear of God. Their concept of God
is that He is in heaven with a rod waiting for them to step out of
line, so He can whack them. For years I myself carried that fear in my
Christian life. I was not responding in faith, but in fear. Most of
these imaginings are rooted in the Old Testament, or from having the
wrong father figure in a person's life.
Yet in 1 John 4:8 it says, "God is love." How do you and I know,
without any doubt, that God is love? We know by looking at Jesus, for
He spoke and did only what his Father told Him to do (John 5:19). When
the prostitute came to Jesus, He did not cast her away but touched her
life so that she would change. He fed the thousands when they had no
food. He paid their taxes when they had no money. He laid down His
life. All this and more, and STILL He did not have to. Why did He do
it? The only reason—LOVE for you and me.
Ezekiel 22:30 says that God could not find a man who could stand in
the gap for us, for even Adam had fallen into sin, so God sent His
ONLY begotten Son to die for us. If this is not love, then I don't
know what is!
John 1:1 says, "In the beginning was the Word and the Word
was with God, for the Word was God." An important truth to
realize is that the Son of God was not always called "Jesus" before He
came to dwell on this earth. People knew that a Savior was coming
(Isaiah 7:14, 53:1-12) and some parents would have called their sons
"Jesus" (historical fact) hoping that he would be the Savior. But God
chose the person He wanted - Mary and said, "His name shall be called
Jesus," meaning Savior. His deity/eternal name is "Word," but his
earthly name is "Jesus." Jesus, "The Word," had a life before taking
on a natural body (Hebrews 10:5) and being born of a virgin.
Imagine, "The Word," the Son of God in heaven before the beginning
of time. He knew all about everything. There was nothing he did not
know. John 1:3 says, "…all things were created in and through Him."
From the glory of the throne, looking through time, He would have
known about the betrayal of Judas, the sweat and blood in the garden,
the beatings, The Cross that would be in front of Him. Jesus, “The
Word” did not have to redeem mankind BUT love stood up in the midst of
heaven and said, "I will go!" He gave up the glory of heaven, the
worship by angels, to come to this sin filled earth for the love of
mankind. Yes, for the first time in eternity the God of love, “the
Word” was going to feel pain. Why? Because of His love for us!
Who could watch their only son being murdered, and yet this was the
love that would redeem you and I. Is it any wonder that the Father
gave His Son a name above every other name (Philippians 2:9)?
I pray that through this small nugget of truth you will never
question again, "Does God love me?" If anything, I pray that you will
reach out to your heavenly Father. For in His arms He will keep you,
through His eyes He will watch over you and by His feet He will walk
before you. Nothing can pluck you out of the Father's hands. He who
paid such a price for you is able to do more than you can ask or