For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. ~ John 3:16 (NIV)
Love is a Person of the Highest Kind.
Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. ~ 1 John 4:8, NIV
Love is an Act because He is kind—the Word is full of them.
If the goal of our existence here is to come to know God, we are also challenged with coming to understand Love ~ what it is, Who it is, why it exists, and how we can access it and act on it.
Love (agape) like God, has no limits, no bounds, no constraints and no expiration date, but can narrowly be defined as the following: a purely Biblical and ecclesiastical word (Thayers).
It doesn’t exist anywhere outside of the Bible or outside of God.
Heaven is full of love. Hell has none.
Here we choose love (or we lose it and suffocate in its void). The more we strip God from our commonplace, workplace, anyplace, we are stomping on love and crumpling the most valuable life source under our feet as useless—doing the same with ourselves and our chances. We are not going nowhere: we are all going somewhere. The lens that holds the vision must be eternal or we are soon lost. Without love as a compass, we grow grossly unaware of the things that matter. We cannot sense the danger upon which we tread.
In the biblical canon, love is not mentioned first between Adam and Eve. It makes its debut appearance as a formulated word in the Song of Solomon—the young lady wants to be in love with the king who appears to have it all, appears to answer her, but she finds her heart empty still. She is searching in a garden, but the one she is really looking for is her Maker—the One Who made it all for her in the first place…
5 For thy Maker is thine husband; the Lord of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called.
6 For the Lord hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth, when thou wast refused, saith thy God.
7 For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee.
8 In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy Redeemer. ~ Isaiah 54:5-8, KJV
It is said there is a God-shaped hole inside of every person, a space in the soul that only God can fill because He tailored the human heart that way—to seek, to long for something more. It has to “fit” or we cannot rest. The Bible tells us we will be homesick here until the point of merging with the eternal—standing face to face with God in that day when there is no sunset and no dawning. That day, we will finally see He is the Light—He is the whole thing.
I am the LORD, and there is no other; apart from me there is no God. ~ Isaiah 45:5, NIV
God makes no secret that He has done all of this—creation, the world, allowing for the Fall, making a way for Redemption in the form of His Son, giving us the chance to choose love for a thousand years, for a thousand generations—because He loves us:
Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you, I will give people in exchange for you, nations in exchange for your life. ~ Isaiah 43:4, NIV
God has a heart, emotions (eternal motion), and He plays ours like a violin so that we will listen to Him, and follow His lead down a path of mystery and story and beauty ever unfolding that inevitably leads directly to Him. We will face Him.
God has feelings:
I looked, and there was no one to help, I was astonished that there was no one. ~ Isaiah 63:5, NASB
God gets lonely for us, too.
A continual longing in the human heart indicates a heart condition—your soul is crying out for a closer relationship with God. You are dry. Once that unity in energy is in motion, love is a natural flow from which you can give—to others, to self, to plants, to animals, to purposes much higher than the mundane. You are alive.
29 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:
30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these. ~ Mark 12:29-31, KJV
Love is high “affection, good-will, benevolence;” it embraces you; it is tireless and “enkindled by the Holy Spirit,” embodied in the Son of God; it is an “opportunity to influence” (Thayers). It is power—not only to receive God’s essence and ingenuity, but power to act in the right way. The odds stacked against love are a million to one and yet entirely irrelevant. Love also means this:
Agapae [is expressed during] love-feasts: feasts expressing and fostering mutual love which used to be held by Christians before the celebration of the Lord's supper, and at which the poorer Christians mingled with the wealthier and partook in common with the rest of food provided at the expense of the wealthy (Thayers).
“Used to be held…” God takes it personally when we are not heavily involved in charity—giving that of our best assets for His sake. The goal of a Christian still on the earth is to cooperate with God in love in order to allow God’s full use of us in His endeavor to fill Heaven and rob Hell of souls, so that no one would be eternally homesick for the One Who made them.
Jesus willingly laid down His life for His friends—you and me, and whoever would believe:
This happened so that the words he had spoken would be fulfilled: “I have not lost one of those you gave me.” ~ John 18:9, NIV
This is good and pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. ~ 1 Timothy 2:3-5, BSB
Strive to enter the rest of Love. Give, and it will be given back to you—"good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over” (Luke 6:38, NIV). This is so relevant for today.
“Love” is mentioned in Revelation seven times (AMPC). Jesus says, after dying in our place to rid us of all sin, guilt and lonely feeling:
I have this [one charge to make] against you: that you have left (abandoned) the love that you had at first [you have deserted Me, your first love]. ~ Revelation 2:4, AMPC
We have left Him—not the other way around. And without Him, we have no love and cannot love ourselves properly, nor other people.
Without the Lord, we do not know what love is.
Jesus has every right to call us on our abandonment and neglect of His presence and affections. He went, literally, through Hell, took the keys away from the enemy, and made it all the way back through every spiritual and natural realm to the right-hand side of the Father—for our sake. He did it on His own—without our help. There is no singular or collective suffering on earth that the Lord has not suffered more of—holiness in the center of all hell for no fault of His own—but so that you might love Him back for it one day. He uses that love (He died for you and fought back from death to live forever with you) to draw you in the right direction, again, for your sake.
And from Jesus Christ the faithful and trustworthy Witness, the Firstborn of the dead [first to be brought back to life] and the Prince (Ruler) of the kings of the earth. To Him Who ever loves us and has once [for all] loosed and freed us from our sins by His own blood. ~ Revelation 1:5, AMPC
The question is:
What are we doing for His sake?
The cross is not something God heartlessly inflicted on His Son—anyone who has lost a child knows that. Rather, it was something astonishing, outstanding, impossible to do, that His Son agreed to undertake in the Garden of Gethsemane before it happened. In the foul garden (the “oil press”) Jesus saw you and Him together in Eden. He sacrificed everything on a dare, on faith, on love, so that you would be able to find your way back to your true love, back in the Garden of Eden, back in Heaven, back Home, as LOVE originally intended. It is quite a circle, quite a story, and quite a mystery—this love of God.
Will you embrace it?
He has wholeheartedly embraced you.
Open your heart like a rose and don’t miss it. The Love of God is the best thing going. Nothing and no one else can fill that void.
God bless you.
Thayer's Greek Lexicon, “STRONGS NT 26: ἀγάπη, ” BibleSoft, Inc, accessed February 12, 2022 at https://biblehub.com/greek/26.htm.
Scripture quotations taken from the Amplified® Bible (AMPC), Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. www.lockman.org
The Holy Bible, Berean Study Bible (BSB), Copyright ©2016, 2020 by Bible Hub. Used by Permission. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.
King James, Public Domain
New American Standard Bible (NASB), Copyright © 1977 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, Calif. All rights reserved. For Permission to Quote Information visit http://www.lockman.org
New International Version (NIV), Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Use photo above as a beautiful SCREENSAVER for your DESKTOP to remind you of God’s love for you. Right click photo; click "save image as" to save to your computer; find the file on your computer; right click again; and, select "save/set as desktop" option.