Have you ever wondered about the love of God. Have you ever tried to wrap your head around it? Ever tried to break it down into ‘bite-sized chunks’ so that you can (try to) grasp it? I have, and I don’t know about you, but it really makes my head hurt to try and wrap my puny human understanding around it.
A prevalent concept
The love of God is a prevalent concept in both the Old Testament andNew Testament. The Old Testament uses a rich vocabulary to express the love of God as a concept.
It appears in quite a number of instances, such as in the book of Hosea (in Hosea chapter 11, verse 1) where the prophet Hosea saw God’s love as the basis for the election of Israel as God’s own. In Isaiah chapter 38, God expresses His love for individuals as well.
Many Christians see Solomon (in Song of Songs) as symbolising Christ’s relationship to His church.
Both the terms ‘love of God’ and ‘love of Christ’ appear in the New Testament. In cases such as in Romans 8 verses 35 and 38 their use is related in the experience of the believer.
In John 14 verse 31, Jesus expresses His love for God the Father. This verse includes the only statement by Jesus in the New Testament about His love for God the Father.
The love of God the Father for His son Jesus Christ is expressed in Matthew 3 verse 17 by a voice from Heaven during the baptism of Jesus. The same sentiment is later expressed during the Transfiguration of Jesus, where a voice from Heaven tells the 3 disciples present: “This is my Son, Whom I love. Listen to Him!” (Mark chapter 9, verse 7).
A key attribute
Love is a key attribute of God in Christianity. For example, “God is love; and he who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.” (1 John chapter 4 verses 8, 16). And also, in the most famous Bible verse we have“God so loved the world…” (John chapter 3, verse 16).
In the New Testament, God’s love for humanity or the world is expressed in Greek by the word agape. This word is also used of the love Christians should have for one another and for other human beings. God’s love is far beyond whatever the best of the best of people are capable of.
Even if you have spent your whole life running fromGod, He still loves you and wants to have a relationship with you. How many of us could honestly say we have that much patience with other people? Among true, sincere followers of Jesus whose hearts God has changed, you can see a picture of His love, however imperfect a picture it may be.
We all need it
Imagine if we could all love as He loves us—How different the world would be! Unfortunately, us humans cannot love as perfectly as God does. Everyone needs this kind of love, but if you expect it from another person, you will be terribly disappointed.
When you fully experience God’s love, you have nothing to fear. If you understand that God loves you, you no longer are afraid of your faults and failings causing Him to love you any less. God already knows about the wrong things you’ve done or will do. Yet, He still chooses to love you.
God’s love is…
God’s love is more powerful than anything in Heaven or Earth. If you have accepted the invitation to start a relationship with God, you can rest assured you are secure in His love forever.
God’s love is so much more than a warm, comforting feeling. His love is a most powerful force, protecting and comforting us. When we run to God for protection, He surrounds you with His love like a shield.
Hard to beat
There are many words which can be used to describe the love of God: personal, incredible, infinite, unfailing, perfect, fearless, secure, compassionate. But regardless of how any one of us would describe it, He doesn’t just show His love for individuals, but for all of humankind. He showed us this love by performing the ultimate act of sacrificial love by providing Jesus as the ultimate sacrifice for all of humanity’s sins. That’s rather hard to beat, isn’t it?
Needless to say, God’s love is so great, we as humans have no hope of fully understanding it and its magnitude. But regardless, isn’t it a wonderful thing that the God who created the universe loved you so much that He decided it needed one of you, too?
Katelin Staples is from Gladstone, Queensland. By day Katelin is employed as a proofreader. Katelin has a passion for discovering the deep things of God and how they affect the world around us.