Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Love, The Identity of God - Part 1

Out of all of the awesome attributes, what is it about God that continues to win me over? Is it the fact that He's all-powerful, capable of speaking to the raging seas and tell them where to go? No. Is it the fact that He's omnipresent and, on top of that never sleeps? Nope. Is it that He is the most powerful LORD of all lords and King of all kings? Uh uh. Is it the reality that every knee will one day bow before Him and confess that He alone is Lord? Absolutely awesome, but I must say no. Is it that He hung every star and knows them by name? Or perhaps that He knows the number of hairs on every head and every grain of sand upon the entire expanse of this earth? These things are all mind-blowing, but no, it's not them either.

While I'll be the first to admit that these remarkable characteristics of the One True God all fascinate me, there is one thing that greatly supersedes them all. I am completely captivated by God's unfailing, immeasurable love. He loves me when I stand strong and walk confidently as His adopted son. He loves me when I turn away and willingly choose to follow the desires of my flesh. He loves me when I'm "good". He loves me when I'm "bad". His love cannot be shaken. The simple fact that His love always endures literally blows my mind. There is nothing and no one else to compare it to. Man, in himself, knows not the capacity to love as my Father. Only in Him can we truly love as we were created to. Only when we begin to grasp His great love for us can we ever love ourselves, and in turn love others.

Are you enamored with His love? Does it motivate you to reciprocate that love? To cherish and serve others… to see even yourself as one worthy of His great love… to live a life of true joy that is in constant reflection of His unfathomable love? When I dwell on His love, I'm changed. In His love, He created me before time began. In His love, He called me by name. In His love He saw my need and sent a Saviour to reconcile me to Himself. In His love He chooses not to look upon my sin and mistakes. In His love, He forgives the seemingly unforgiveable. In His love, He called me out and regenerated me. In His love He chose to make me His dwelling place. In His love He corrects me, teaches me and directs my steps. In His love He protects me from the attacks of the enemy and enables me to stand. In His love, He allows me to sit beside Him now in heavenly places. In His love He intercedes on my behalf and is my Mediator. In His love He changes me more and more into His image. In His love He prepares a place for me to eternally dwell with Him. In His love, He is patient with me and slow to wrath. In His love He, time and time and time again, welcomes me back when I stray and wander off. In His love, He will bring an end to this age and establish a new world where I will forever dwell with Him. His love. His grandiose, incomprehensible love! What can compare? What else could ever be greater?

The verses that state that "God is love" (1 John 4:8 and 16) may seem simple, but I'd challenge that this statement is possibly the most profound one in the entire written Word of God. It is more than something to print on a smiley face sticker for Christian bookstores to sell. It's more than a catchy slogan that looks good on toddler Sunday School classroom walls. It is absolutely life-altering, if one truly grasps it.

You see, God does not simply love us… He is love.

Part 2 will be posted on Thursday.


Shawn said...

Hey Joel, this is good. I look forward to the next parts of this series. We've all got so much to learn!

Harriet said...

beautiful..you must have seen my song posts..lol ;-)
I love you guys!!!

Joel Spencer said...

Shawn: Yes we do. Thankfully we have the rest of our days to discover what's truth and discard what we've been told that doesn't line up with Scripture.

Harriet: I guess you could say that love is literally in the air! It's time we start looking into the deeper things that have been made into sunday school fairy tales. Love ya'll - tell Frank "hey".

Karen said...

I'd not thought of it like this before. God is love always seemed so juvenile and shallow to me to be honest - of course He is love, you know! But, as you say, there really is much more to it. I too am looking forward to where this blog series leads.

Joel Spencer said...

Karen: Welcome! I think this is just one of many biblical truths that have been made into fables and catch-phrases. I believe it's time we start seeing the vast depths of what we think we've already understood.

I'm finding time and time again, the truth is often nothing like what I thought it to be.

Valerie said...

Joel, you said

"I'm finding time and time again, the truth is often nothing like what I thought it to be."

Amen brother. It almost blows my mind to think that God is love, yes we know that, but He is in us, so that love is in us. Powerful stuff but so simple. Thanks for this article.

Joel Spencer said...

Valerie: Glad to be beside you as we forge ahead!