devotions for women
 

 

The One True God's Love

Day Twenty-Five
by Gini Crawford, MSW
www.BecauseOfGod.com

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In 1 John 4:8, the Bible says, God is love. I think by now, you understand God is the creator of all things. This means that even our need for, thoughts of, and feelings of love, all came from God. Sorry to those of you who thought cupid invented love! God's love permeates Who He is. God is sovereign, but His rule is acted out through His love. God is just, but every act of justice is done in His love. God is all knowing, but His knowledge is guided by His love. Since God is love, He is always desirous to give us His merciful compassion and so on.

God's love defined in New Testament. The Greek word that best describes God's love is agape. (The New Testament was written in the Greek language.) Agape means, unselfish love that is driven by what is best for the person loved, not by the person loving. In other words, it is an unselfish, unconditional, and sacrificial love.

The most unconditional, sacrificial, and unselfish act of agape love is that the One True God, Jesus Christ, died for us. In John 15:13, Jesus says, there is no greater way of showing your love for someone than by dying for them. A mother in Russia gave her life so her daughter could live, by shielding her daughter from a suicide bombing. I feel we would all agree the mother showed agape love towards her daughter. Yet, even this mother's sacrificial love doesn't equal the agape love God has for us. Jesus had every right to receive our worship and our sacrifices, but instead the God who created everything, Who is self-existent, sovereign, eternal, the source of all life, all-powerful, always present, and so on, allowed Himself to be sacrificed for us!

How do you feel about this? It makes me feel loved.

In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation (offering) for our sins. 1John 4:10 NASB®

I imagine people think God loves us out of duty, not out of desire. However, agape love suggests that the lover finds joy in the loved. In other words, God's love is filled with emotion for us. (John 11: 33-36) Hebrews 12:2 tells us Jesus found His joy in us so much that He endured the cross for us.

...fixing our eyes on Jesus ...who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame... NASB®

God's love defined in Old Testament. The Hebrew word for love that best describes God's love is hesed. (The Old Testament was written in the Hebrew language.) This word is translated love, unfailing love, lovingkindness, mercy, and loyalty. It is used about 250 times in the Old Testament. It means loyal, steadfast or faithful love. It also stresses the idea of belonging together for those involved in the love relationship. Hesed expresses God's desire to be in a covenant love relationship with us. Hesed is the kind of love that would live out the wedding vows. In other words, it is a love that commits to the person and stays committed to them no matter what.

I was the wedding coordinator for a dear friend decades ago because I came free. I was standing with the bride just before she walked down the aisle, so I got to see firsthand her joy as she saw her groom. I also saw the groom's radiant face as he saw his beloved. What a beautiful moment in time. Both agape and hesed love make me think of the joy and the total commitment a bride and groom have for each other on their wedding day. God loves to love you!

The Lord your God is in your midst, a victorious warrior. He will exult over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy. Zephaniah 3:17 NASB®

 

Life Application:

We are in a covenant love relationship with God. You are probably thinking what does covenant mean? Simply put, covenant means an agreement with a person or group of people to whom you are deeply committed. The covenant relationship of marriage is a good example of what I am talking about here. This is because marriage is a relationship where love is. Covenant in the Bible may be thought of as the committed relationship from which God's love becomes alive to us. When we believe in Jesus Christ, this puts us in a covenant relationship with God (Deuteronomy 7:9; Matthew 26:28; Hebrews 13:20-21). However, God's love isn't bound by our commitment to Him because we tend to be unfaithful to our relationships, to the covenants we make with God and others. God's love in His covenant relationship with us is bound by Who God is, not by what we do. God is never unfaithful, so His love in His covenant relationship with us is steadfast and everlasting. I know this is hard for us to understand because our love can be very non-committal.

To love one another. Jesus tells us in John 13:35 that people will know we are His, by our love for one another. So loving others is a must. God tells us and shows us how to love through His Word, with His Spirit. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7) We will never completely agape love anyone because it is a supernatural phenomenon coming from the God of love. But God does want to empower us to come as close to His love as humanly possible. Read John 13:34-35; Romans 5:5; Ephesians 3:16-20; 1 John 4:19-21. Write down any insights.

What are your personal thoughts about how God loves you? Write a paragraph to answer this.

 

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