“Dear friends, let us love one another for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” 1 John 4:7-8
Dictionaries fail to offer a Godly definition of love. Love is more than an intense feeling of deep affection–fondness or liking–and it is nothing at all to do with physical attraction. Love is the constant, unwavering will for the good of the one loved.
God so loved the world–all the people who have ever, do now and will ever walk on the earth–that He gave His one and only Son, Jesus, to sacrifice Himself to pay the wages of all of our sins so that we could be reconciled to God and have eternal life [John 3:16; Romans 6:23; Hebrews 7:27 & 10:10].
And His love for us is constant. It never fails [1 Corinthians 13:8]. It never forsakes us [Hebrews 13:5]. It never flinches in embarrassment at what we say or do. It never looks on our outward appearance aghast or ashamed to be seen with us [1 Samuel 16:7; Hebrews 4:12]. It never prefers another [1 Corinthians 13:4-7]. It never wavers in good will for us in any way.
God’s love for us is infinitely faithful and perfect in every way. He infinitely-faithfully wills for our good [Deuteronomy 7:9].
Since God is infinitely wise and all-knowing we should joyfully and eagerly trust ourselves to His definition of goodness [Deuteronomy 23:5], rather than choosing to be our own god [Genesis 3:5] and stand in judgment on His goodness and love in our lives. When we will to define goodness and sinfulness our own way; when we will to choose ourselves alone rather than to love God and our fellow human being–even in the small selfish and white lie moments–we give sin a foothold in our hearts [Ephesians 4:27]. Sin that, when fully grown, births our own death [James 1:15].
Because, despite being made in God’s image, no matter how opposite of our Creator we have been and no matter how contrary to our Heavenly Father’s holy standard we have lived, He will always forgive. He will always be gracious and compassionate with us, slow to anger and abounding in love–faithfully willing for our ultimate, eternal good [Nehemiah 9:17].
Jesus is the branch born from the root of God’s love [Isaiah 11:1 & 10]. We were once cut off from the branch because of our sin. But when, by grace through faith, we accept God’s gift of love we are grafted back into the vine–the branch of Christ [John 15:1-17; Romans 11:11-24]. Therefore, the root of our existence is God–His love, His mercy and grace, His goodness, faithfulness, justice and mercy. All that He is flows through us when we are living in Him as a branch grafted to the vine that springs from His root.
How can you know if the graft has taken? Your life will bear the fruit of your root, and, when God is your root, you will bear much good fruit [John 15:8; Galatians 5:22-23].
What is the fruit of your spirit? Do you abound in love, joy peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control [Galatians 5:22-23]? Does God’s love flow freely through you into everyone you meet?