January 29, 2016

God Is Love

1 John 4:7-21

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. . . . God is love. . . . We love because he first loved us.

—  1 John 4:7, 16, 19

Many people are deeply impressed by the Bible’s teaching that “God is love.” However, we must keep in mind that God is not just a force, or even just a concept. He is the infinite, personal God, whose very character is best described as selfless love. 

The ancient world had its goddesses of love who inspired romance. But the Bible’s teaching about the love of God is far different. It is seen most clearly in the love of Christ, which led him to die on the cross for our salvation. The self-sacrificing love of Mother Teresa among the poorest of the poor in Calcutta came from God’s love too. The beauty and glory of the universe itself is also an expression of God’s love.

By its very nature, love calls for a response. This is true in romantic love and in the love of parents for their children. A person will either love in return, or reject the love shown.

Such is the case with the love of God. Jesus said, “How often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing” (Matthew 23:37).

One cannot expect to reject the love of God and still receive the blessings of salvation. What will your response be?

God, your love is unimaginably great! O Lord, let our hearts and our lives proclaim your love in every­thing we do. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

About the author — George Young

George Young, a native New Yorker, worked as a taxi driver in New York City before studying to become a pastor. Then he, his wife Ruth, and their children were missionaries for many years in northeastern Japan. They worked with ministers and believers from the Reformed Church in Japan to spread the good news of salvation in Christ and ­establish new churches. Now George and Ruth are retired and live in the northeastern United States, nearer to their children and grandchildren.

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