An attribute is a quality or characteristic for which a person is known. We're going to explore several attributes of God over the next few weeks. I'm glad you're joining us!
Love comes from God.
It’s not something that just happens. It’s not chemicals. It’s not simple attraction. It’s not merely emotions. Love involves all of those, but love, real love, comes only from God.
No, I don’t mean that the only one who truly loves is God. John wrote that we are to love one another because that gift comes from God. That means that the One who is pure love gifts us with pure love to spend on others.
These words can also serve as a litmus test for the validity of our relationship with the Lord. Pretty simple, right? Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. Equally simple is the converse, Anyone who does not love does not know God. That’s pretty plain talk.
So, what is this extra-special love that is a gift from God? Apostle Paul wrote a pretty comprehensive list of characteristics of real love in 1 Corinthians 13. As we read those, it’s easy to see that those line up with the attributes of the Almighty. We who are believers who claim to know God will exude those characteristics as well. Notice I used the word claim there. See, most of us humans are exceptional actors. We can portray what we want to be seen as. That can include appearing to love others. The thing is, the love we conjure up won’t last. It won’t hold up over time. It won’t consistently meet the characteristics Paul shared, and we’ll grow exhausted in trying to keep up the performance. Truth will out. We must examine ourselves to be sure we’re not acting.
God loves us all unconditionally. He doesn’t require us to get all clean and shiny before coming to Him. He knows everything that we’ve done and everything that has happened to us. And He loves us as fully then as He does the person who has been a follower for years.
There is nothing that can separate us from God’s love. Nothing. One of my favorite passages of scripture is found in Romans 8:35-39, where Paul declared that truth — as believers in Jesus, nothing in heaven or earth can separate us from His love. Not the things you said, not the things you did. Nothing that was done to you can separate you from Christ’s powerful, incredible love.
Note: We must be careful here to understand the fullness of scripture. Isaiah 59:2 tells us, It’s your sins that have cut you off from God. Because of your sins, he has turned away and will not listen anymore. Isaiah does not disagree with Paul. On the contrary, Isaiah portrayed a loving father who has turned away from His child's continued misbehavior. When we choose to sin, we are choosing to put ourselves on the throne of our lives where God belongs. That creates a separation from Him. We no longer stand in His presence when we live in sin. We are still lavishly loved by the Almighty. Love so powerful that He chose to become the sacrifice to rescue us from the grasp of sin's consequences. But instead of being in His presence, we are hanging around in the outer corridors where He is not.
God loves us because He is God. It is who He is. His love is like Him, never-ending. It never fails and never changes. Psalms 100:5 says, For the LORD is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to each generation. Truth we can rest in.
Because God is love, we can love. We can offer real love to those who have never experienced it. We can be the hands and feet of Jesus, reaching out in love to those who need help. We can lead the world to God by loving as He does, without end, without condition, and without motive.
Coffee, Bible, Journal