I told someone the other day I was looking forward to spring because I “loved” spring. It is a season of growth and beauty, and of newness.
But do I really love spring? Have you ever tried to define love?
We use the word in so many ways to describe a huge range of emotions and feelings that it has become difficult to define. I love my wife, and I love banana pudding. I love my children and grandchildren, and I love hiking. I love (fill in the blank). Do we really know what love is? We can. The Bible tells us in 1 John 4:8 that “God is love.” There! We all know what love is, don’t we? Sadly, no. Not even all Christians understand the concept that is put forth in that verse.
You see, a lot of people read those words and approach the verse the wrong way. We read, “God is love” and immediately define the word love and apply it to the character of God. We use our tiny human minds to figure out what we believe to be love and just say, “Well, that’s what God is.” But that is backward and will never help us to understand one of the greatest truths in the Bible. That verse doesn’t define God. The verse describes love.
Do you want to know what love truly is? Read and study the Bible and discover the character of God! You will read a lot about his compassion and long-suffering as well as his discipline. You will find God’s deep-seeded care and unbelievable patience, but you will also find His righteous anger and strict guidelines for living a purposeful life. You will find that He loves the unloveable, forgives the undeserving, forgets past transgressions and yearns for our relationship with Him to be right.
Don’t let our puny human understanding of love define the God of the universe. I challenge you to read 1 Corinthians 13:1-8. We have always called that the “love chapter,” but as you read it this time, read it as a description of the very character of God. Then, and only then, will you know what love really is; for God is love.
-Submitted by Tony Barber, Bluff Park Baptist