GUEST BLOGGER NADINE MEL KODI
THE LOVE OF GOD IS THE GREATEST LOVE
What is love?
What is love? This is a question very few individuals have the answer to. It is impossible to understand the term ‘love’ without experiencing the love of God. This research paper serves to provide factual information, with suitable references to scripture and other sources, it will explain the beauty of God’s love. I will provide realistic examples which will serve to support my thesis statement. My desire is for the reader to experience the love of God and understand what it truly is.
According to Kristi Walker, in his research findings, he briefly explains love using five points. As much as we will never be able to fully fathom God’s love, The Bible provides a lot of evidence that’s sufficient for us to believe that God loves us. From reading Kristi’s article, the main point which stood out for me is that love must be sacrificial. If we look at how God loves us, it’s a sacrificial love because He sent His only Son to die for our sins. If we had to reflect on the way we love others, do we give our all to others? Is our love anywhere close to being sacrificial?
Love is a very complex term to define. Pastor Bob Deffingbaugh, shares some interesting insight in his article. His view is that ‘the world accepts a love that they do not understand. Deffingbaugh answers the question, what is love? in his article. His answer is, God is love. Love is an action word. We often hear people use this term so loosely. ‘I love you’, is often used, however, when we reflect upon the use of this term, we see how much people do not understand it. Love is very important and necessary in this world. God’s love for us is so often repeated in the book of Psalms, demonstrating how much God loves us and emphasizing how important love is.
If we had to study The Bible and sum up all verses that speak about love, we would find a whole list of verses. The most popular scripture is in the book of John 3:16. This verse proves God’s love for us. He loves us so much that He gave His only Son up for us. This kind of love teaches us to love others in the same manner. Love should not only be demonstrated by words but it should be followed by actions. Dr Stanley Vasu spoke exceptionally in his sermon titled, ‘Characteristics of God’s Love’. God’s love is pure, we do not have to doubt it or fear it. He has good intentions for us. He has plans to prosper us. We might experience love from our families and friends. It is important to note that God’s love is much greater than the love we receive from people. God’s love is perfect and lacks nothing.
So how deep is God’s love? Can we measure it or can it be fathomed? Craig Denison writes about, ‘The Depth Of God’s Love For Us’. His article mentions that God loves us the same way He loves Jesus. How great is it to know this. God’s love goes deeper than the surface, it’s deeper than the oceans. ‘You don’t have to work for His affection’, this is a statement from Denison’s article. This simply means that we do not have to work for it or earn it. He loved us before we knew Him. God’s love can move mountains, stop the roaring seas, heal the brokenhearted, set the captives free and it’s enough for us !
There are various beautiful truths that we should know about God’s love and Garry J Williams does a great job defining, 10 things to know about God’s love. I have researched and read numerous articles related to this topic and this article by Garry stands out for me. Scripture provides proof of God’s love for us. We see God’s love through Jesus and when Jesus interacted with people on earth. God’s love endures forever, it’s nothing close to human love. The love of man comes to an end at some point. Consider relationships between people, circumstances change and causes the love between people to change. If we had to compare this to how God loves us, we know scripture says that nothing can separate us from the love of God. ‘The true meaning of love that we have in the Bible, if we have it truly, will abide in us, and will not return empty as, by miracles of grace, we make glancing reflections of the immeasurable love of God visible to others in our own lives, Garry Williams’.
I watched an incredible sermon by Pastor Tony Evans on Youtube. He gives such a beautiful explanation of God’s love in just forty minutes. It made me think if we had to start talking about God’s love for us, how long would we speak for? Minutes, hours, even days! God’s love for us is truly amazing. We ought to love others and be mindful of how God loves us. God is love, love started with God. The world influences people to love themselves first. How self-destructive will that be? If we love ourselves before we love God, that’s setting up for failure. ‘We’ve got a trinitarian lovefest that we can’t shake, Tony Evans’. We see God’s love towards us from the beginning, in The Garden Of Eden. Adam and Eve walked with God, God loved them dearly, but they sinned against God. This did not stop God’s love towards them and God loves us the same way He loves them. Romans 5:8 reads, ‘But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us, New International Version.
God’s love is beneficial to us in so many ways. It gives us a sense of security, fulfilment and confidence. ‘God’s love can turn revenge into mercy, hatred into forgiveness, anger into patience, and fear into faith. God’s love can change pride into humility, selfishness into generosity, despair into hope, and hostility into peace, Rebecca Barlow Jordan’. We would be nothing if God didn’t love us. God’s love for us has granted us the gift of salvation.
1 John 4:16 reads, ‘So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.’ There are over 100 verses that speak of God’s love for us. What a privilege we have, to be loved by such an amazing God. There’s just too much evidence of God’s love for us to doubt and live in disbelief. I encourage you to search for this love. Develop a close walk with God. He’s waiting for you to experience all his love. No other love can compare to His. John 15:13, ‘Greater love has no one than this that someone lay down his life for his friends.
Having knowledge of God’s love is great, but experiencing it is much greater. Mark Johnston wrote an article explaining the experience of God’s love. He begins his article by saying how love has been cheapened in the world. If we never experience God’s love, we will die not knowing how it feels to be loved. It is the Holy Spirit that allows us to experience God’s love. Even though God allows us to go through times of adversity, He uses it to deepen His work in our lives and by this we experience His love on a deeper level. There’s a beautiful song titled, ‘I can sing of your love forever.’ This is how amazing it is when you begin to experience God’s love. It is something that changes your life and you will never want to live any other way.
What do we do after we understand God’s love and experience it? We have to start loving others the same way that God loves us. We can love others by being good friends to them, treating them well, sharing their burdens, forgiving them and being patient with them. We must also be careful of how we speak to others. Kara J Lovett Co says, ‘Words are a powerful way to share God with others.’ This simply means we can show love to others by speaking to them lovingly and respectfully.
We will never be able to fully fathom God’s love, but from what we know, His love is perfect. Everything we are is because of His love for us. He gives us reasons to want to know more of Him. Every source I researched provided great evidence about God’s love, but The Bible is the greatest source of them all. God’s love is powerful, It’s unshakeable, the love of God is the greatest love. God’s love never fails.