by: Staci Stallings
We’re going to start a new discussion today that is going to be kind of open-ended in that I’m not sure there is a definite start and end spot. However, it is something that God’s been showing me, and I want to share it with you. I do have to tell you that explaining this may not be easy, so you’re going to have to bear with me and give me some space to think things through.
Today we’re going to start with something that at first sounds simple.
God is love.
I know you’ve heard that before. In fact, 1 John says this explicitly in 4:8 and 4:16.
God is love.
But what does that mean?
Well, for a moment, I’ll quote Bill Clinton: ”It depends what your definition of is, is.”
“Is” does not mean only that God is loving — as in He does loving things. It does not simply mean He loves — as in love is an action God takes.
No “is” goes deeper than that.
If I say, “Ice cream IS cold” or “Water is wet,” there is an inherent infusion between the subject and the adjective. They are one and the same.
So when I say, “God IS love.” God and love are one and the same.
In other words, there is no part of God that is not love. He is fully loving all the time because He is love. He cannot act outside of love because through-and-through He IS love.
Does that make sense?
If God IS love, that means He has always been love, is love, and will always BE love.
Okay. But let me ask you this: Can you love without having an object of that love? In other words, if I say, “I love…” isn’t that incomplete? I love… what? Everything? Brownies? Driving? People? What?
To love, I must have an object of that love, something to love.
And so does God. God doesn’t love in a vacuum.
Nor does He love Himself as the object of His love. I know this because 1 Corinthians 13 says, “Love is patient. Love is kind. Love is not rude, it is not self-seeking…” In other words, love is not selfish. So it follows that God’s love is not a selfish, turned-inward love. It is an outward, other-centered love.
Which means that there must be something or someone for Him to love or “God is love” would make no sense at all.
So, who then does God love?
Good question! Tune in next time to find out!