Living Love: God Is Love


February Series: Living Love
Musing 2 of 4 – God Is Love


… God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. —1 John 4:16b NIV

I have noticed how often love is misconstrued. I called it love when I saw my future husband, Marty, for the first time and there was “chemistry” between us. A feeling of giddiness and euphoria produced by endorphins and norepinephrine (also gifts from God) gave me the warm fuzzies, but it wasn’t love. Yes, it was fun, made me feel happy, and led to a loving relationship, but most people call that initial “feeling” love. But love defined by God is much greater than a feeling—it is a Person. 1 John 4:16b says, “… God is love …” (NIV). That means love is so enormously perfect that God uses it to define Himself! Or, more aptly, He uses Himself to define love.

Unfortunately, my version of love was fickle. I would say “I love you” in one breath and snap at the same person for forgetting something at the store in the next. At the time, I didn’t know love was defined by character traits like patience and kindness. I thought love was the way another person made me feel.

Consequently, before I could experience love as God defined it, I had to know God’s love. In the same way you need to put on 3D glasses to see a 3D movie clearly, you need to have the Holy Spirit to comprehend true love. Only as we experience love through the lens of Jesus on the cross do we come to understand it fully. (Warning: This will leave you vulnerable!) However, when we are vulnerable, submitted, and open, God’s love can be poured into our hearts (see Romans 5:5) without fear of rejection and poured out to others unconditionally.

Love is an act of giving. Like mountain snow and fresh rainfall fill the rivers, and the rivers fill the lakes, love flows from God to us to others. We get off course when we seek to meet our God-given need for love through human relationships rather than from God. Everything Jesus did, everything God does, everything He allows, everything His Spirit leads us to do is all compelled by true love. In fact, 1 Corinthians 13 defines love as something so different from human affection that it is important to address it here. According to this verse, “I love you” means:

I will be patient and kind. I will not be jealous or brag about myself. I will be humble, not arrogant, and will not act in a disgraceful way. I will not be selfish, will not be provoked, and will not keep account of a wrong suffered but will forgive. I will not celebrate evil but will rejoice in truth. I will be faithful and not gossip about you. I will encourage you and endure all things for the rest of my life. I will not fail you. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7, author paraphrase)

Intimidating, to say the least. I don’t know anyone apart from Jesus who has lived in love all the time. Even a good parent who loves their child will fail to love them perfectly. No one can love like Jesus because Jesus is Love! We can allow His love to flow through us to others if we remain in Him, put on our 3D glasses every day by reading the Word and seeking intimacy with Him. That means coming to a place of being naked and unashamed before God—not because we deserve it but because Jesus died and rose again, covering our transgressions once and for all so we could be a vessel of love, fully forgiven and fully known.

Ahh! You say, can this be? Can someone fully know me and still love me completely? Yes! Nothing you can do would cause God to stop loving you. While we were still sinners, Christ died for us! Only Jesus’ death on the cross conveys how much He loves us and how completely He wants us to live freely in His Love.

Father, I confess my tendency to doubt Your love. I must ponder the cross to see the truth—You are Love. Heal my wounds and make me a free-flowing vessel of Your love! Thank you for loving me even when I rejected Your love. Use me to show others Your heart of love for them.

Love is patient, love is kind, it is not jealous; love does not brag,
it is not arrogant. It does not act disgracefully, it does not seek
its own benefit; it is not provoked, does not keep an account
of a wrong suffered, it does not rejoice in unrighteousness,
but rejoices with the truth; it keeps every confidence, it
believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails.
—1 Corinthians 13:4-8a NASB

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and
peace in believing, that you may abound in hope
by the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 15:13 NJKV).

Marlene McKenna



Sweet Selah Ministries

To inspire a movement away from the belief that “busy is better”
and toward the truth of God’s Word that stillness and knowing
Him matter most—and will be reflected in more effective work and service

To offer biblical resources and retreats that help women pause (Selah)
and love God more deeply as they know Him more intimately (Sweet)

If you’ve been blessed, keep the blessing going!
Click over to our Donation page … and thanks.





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