“Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.”
I John 4:7, 8
There are many adjectives, or descriptive words that readily come to mind when we think of God. Words such as mercy, judgment, power, holiness, and peace, are just a few. However, there is one word that perhaps comes to mind more often than all others. That word is love. “God is love.”
Love is the attribute that God is most consistently known for. It is the nature of God to love. Love is an expression of the essence of His person. His love is not partial. The Word of God says that He loves the entire world. Each of us can personalize this life-changing truth. We are deeply loved by God. His love is not passive, for it is the motivating factor in His sending His Son to die on the cross for our sins. As the song writer said, “No one ever cared for me like Jesus.”
Because God is love, it is only reasonable that we would be expected to love. We can love in a godly way because we have experienced divine love and because we are indwelt by His supernatural love. No one is capable of loving like a Christian. There is a kind of love and a depth of love that those outside of Christ are not familiar with and are unable to express. This love is the result of God’s love being a part of our lives. We have been introduced to a level of love from God that challenges us to love others more powerfully, unconditionally, and sincerely. The Bible says that a person who does not love properly does not know the Lord. The more we experience the love of God in our lives, the more qualified and capable we are to love others.
When the fruit of the Spirit is listed in the Word of God, the first word used to describe the manifestation of the Holy Spirit in a believer is love. We are at the same time recipients of and conduits of the very unique and extremely needed love of God. Each of us can be motivated to love others as we have been loved. We are repeatedly encouraged to love each other in the family of God. This is a trademark of true believers. We also need to express and experience God’s love within our families: loving our parents, siblings, children, and of course, our spouse. Every person has a basic need to know he is loved. That need is met as we receive God’s love and share His love with others.