The calendar tells me that today I should write about love. But this isn’t going to be like the sappy, sentimental posts I have read today that made me wonder if my blood sugar spiked. However, it does promise to be sweet because it’s about God. And love. After all, 1 John 4:16 tells us, God is love.
God is love? We know that God knows how to love and that God shows us how to love and that God even wrote a book about love. But what does it mean that God is love? “Is” indicates a state of being, an all-consuming, continuous condition. Webster defines “is” like this: “3rd person singular present indicative of BE.”
For those of us without a master’s degree in grammar, that means “is” is a being verb. Forgive the redundancy, but is just IS!
Instead of launching into a thesis on being verbs and other grammatical phenomena, I’ll use a sweet example to clarify. If you unwrap a piece of candy labeled “chocolate” and you find chocolate inside, you would correctly determine, “This is chocolate.” (Believe me when I tell you that I speak from experience here.) The chocolate is in a state of being chocolate—not spinach or onions or cheese—just delicious, delectable chocolate. Since it is chocolate, it cannot be anything else. Likewise, when we “unwrap” God by delving into His Word and spending time with Him in prayer and worship, we find that supernaturally intertwined with all that grace, mercy, forgiveness, wisdom, and innumerable other all-encompassing characteristics which He also is, He is love. He can never not be love.
A humbling but also comforting realization is that God is the only one who can be love. I know how to love, though not as He does. I feel love for my family and friends and I profess Christian love for fellow humans. But, unlike God, there are times when I am not loving. Unlike God, there are times when my mouth doesn’t speak love. Unlike God, there are times when I just don’t love. That’s because although I may possess the ability and desire to love, and some might even say I am loving, I am not continuously, wholly, and completely love. That can only describe God.
Where can we find a perfect description of God? In Jesus. How can we know what love looks like? By looking at Jesus. Immanuel. God with us. Love personified.
Immerse yourself in Him today and He will envelop you in His sweet and perfect love. Because that is what He is.
Father, thank you that you don’t just love but that you are love. Thank you that when we surrender our hearts to you, we are immersed in complete, perfect love that is based not on who we are but on who you are.
Janice Powell 2013