Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? Romans 8:35
Love is all you need, sang the British rock band, the Beatles, in 1967, during what was called the “Summer of Love.” And whether or not the kind of love the Beatles were singing of is really what the world needed, it is true that our world would be a drab and desolate place apart from the greenery of love. Jesus Christ talked a lot about love. In fact, the subject of love was so important to Him that he talked with his followers about love in His last meal with them on earth.
Jesus wanted to explain some very important truths to them. "As the Father has loved me," He said, "so have I loved you." (John 15:9) Then moments later He said, "This is my commandment, that you love one another just as I have loved you." Jesus is saying, "I have loved you like God, the Father, has loved me; now you love each other in the same manner." How does God love?
If you ever want to really understand the nature of love, you have to look at the nature of God, the Father himself, and how He loves us as His children. "God is love" says the Bible in the book of John. It doesn't say, "Now God is something like love!" It is a simple statement: GOD IS LOVE. (1 John 4:8)
Here are four observations about what the Bible says about God’s love.
First‑‑God's love is constant. It does not change; it knows no ups or downs. This is very different from human love. As humans, we may talk about falling “in love” or falling “out of love,” but when it comes to God’s love, it is unchanging. He will always love you no matter what you do, no matter how far you may stray.
The second observation about God's love in relationship to us is that it is absolute. It is never dependent upon your response. It is His nature to love you without fluctuation. Contrasting this is the fact that so much of our love is dependent upon the response of the one we love. Parents will often say to children, "If you are a good boy, daddy will love you," or “Make our family proud by your achievements,” (meaning, “And then we will love you.”) Many people today do not really understand the nature of God's love because the love of their parents has been so conditional. A failure in school, an abortion or other shameful behavior results in the feeling that a person has committed an unforgivable sin making it impossible for God to love them. Should you feel like this, friend, realize that God's love does not depend on your works. He promises this to you, in His Word, the Bible.
The third observation about God’s love is that it is unrelenting. God’s love never stops seeking you. Just as you cannot lose the love of God by your sinful behavior, you cannot run away from it. Psalm 139, asks, “Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?" And the obvious answer is, "Nowhere!"
Finally, God’s love for us is undeserved and unmerited. We don’t deserve God’s love; it is a gift to us. The Bible says that “God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.” (1 John 4:9-10)
The Beatles were almost right. But, it is God’s love that you need. He offers it to you today, as a gift. Will you accept His gift?
Resource reading: 1 John 4:7-21