By: Francis Hirak
When it comes to God And love, God’s love toward us is that of a father toward his children. ( Matt. 5:45) “That you may be sons of your Father in heaven.” He spares nothing that is for our good, no matter what the price is. God gave His only - begotten Son, Jesus Christ who died for our sins that we may be saved. (Rom.5:8) God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. This was an exercise of the Divine will in deliberate choice, made without assignable cause save that which lies in the nature of God Himself.
( Matt 5:44) Jesus commanded: “Love your enemies.” God Himself established the principle, as the apostle Paul states: (Rom 5:8-10) “God recommends His own love to us in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us… For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life“. A wonderful instance of God and love is God’s dealing with Saul of Tarsus who became the apostle Paul (Acts 9:1-16). Loving our enemies, therefore, should be governed by the principle established by God and be exercised in obedience to His commandments, whether or not such love is accompanied by any warmth or affection.
A dictionary definition of love is: A feeling of warm, personal attachment of deep affection, as for a friend, for a parent or child, and so forth; also, the benevolent affection of God for His creatures or the reverent affection due from them to God; also, the kindly affection properly expressed by God’s creatures toward one another. One of the synonyms for love is “devotion.”
The Scriptures use “love” in all the forgoing meanings, and also add to the meaning of the word. Aside from those meanings, the Scriptures speak also of love guided by principle, as love of righteousness or even love for one’s enemies, for whom a person may not have affection. This facet or expression of love is an unselfish devotion to righteousness and a sincere concern for the lasting welfare of others, along with an active expression of this for their good.
All mankind, even a person’s own enemies, are to be loved and Christian works are to be exercised toward them. (Luke: 6:35-36) says: “Love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.” The Bible, commenting on the fruits of the spirit, of which love is first, says: “Against such things there is no law.” (Gal.5:22-23) says: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” This love has no law that can limit it. It may be practiced at any time or place to any extent toward those to whom it is due. In fact, the only debt Christians should be owing one another is love. (Rom. 13:8) says: “Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.” This love for one another is an identifying mark of true Christians.- John 13:8.
As to God and Love we can be sure that love is of God. The apostle Paul writes: “God is love.” (1 John 4:8) says: “He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” He also has other attributes, among them justice, power and wisdom. (Deut, 32:4) says: He is the Rock, His work is perfect; For all His ways are justice, A God of truth and without injustice; Righteous and upright is He. (Job. 36:22) says: “Behold, God is exalted by His power; Who teaches like Him?” (Rev, 7:12) says “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom, Thanksgiving and honor and power and might, Be to our God forever and ever. Amen.”
As for God and love, God also has the capacity to hate, a quality the very opposite of love. His love of righteousness requires his hatred of wickedness. ( Deut. 12:31) says: “You shall not worship the Lord your God in that way; for every abomination to the Lord which He hates they have done to their gods; for they burn even their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods.” (Prov. 6:16) says: “These six things the Lord hates, Yes, seven are an abomination to Him.”
How to love God is the ability to come to know God as oneself. Love can come only by seeking and following God’s spirit and the knowledge that comes from His Word. Love must be first to God, above all others. Otherwise, it will become misdirected. Knowing God’s purposes is essential, because one knows then what is best for his own welfare and that of others and will know how to express love in the proper way. This love to God is described in the Bible as loving Him with one’s whole heart, mind, soul and strength.’ (Matt. 22:36-38).
Love is primarily a quality of the heart. (1 Pet. 1:22) says: “Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart.” We must know God and his qualities, and his purposes, and how he expresses them. (1 John. 4:7-8) says: “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”
When it comes to God’s children, sometimes we ask, “What is God’s love for me?”. We can rest assured on the evidence our God and Creator of the universe is love in abundance. This can be seen in His creation itself. With what remarkable care it has been made for our health and welfare. God made us, not only to exist, but to enjoy the countless delights of living. Moreover God displayed His love in making man in His image and likeness.(Gen.1:26) says: “Let us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
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