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What Love Is, Part I

Ya'll might recall last week, when I wrote a two part blog series called "What Love is Not." I think that is important for us to understand that when we say "God is Love" we need to look at how the Bible defines Love. Last week, we established that love does not enable, nor is it accepting of everything a person does. We also established that love is not a feeling or an emotion, but rather a choice one makes. Today, I would like to explore that idea of Love being a choice. When we say God is Love, do we really understand the implications of that? We often ask questions like "how could a loving God allow this, or that, or the thing which hurts my heart." I think we're beginning at the wrong place when we ask this question (though it is quite valid). What we should be asking is "Why is God so loving, when we are so messed up?" If you look at the world, you can see that humans, not God cause war, humans, not God murder, steal, and destroy lives, humans, not God, destroy homes and marriages, humans, not God deliberately set out to destroy one another. Throughout the entirety of Scripture, God gives humans a chance. From the flood (Noah was a warning ignored by everyone), to Sodom and Gomorrah (God allowed Abraham to intercede, and 10 Righteous persons could not be found in the great city-states), to Egypt (Pharaoh hardened his own heart before God hardened it), to the nations God expelled from Israel (God allowed them time, plus another 40 years to repent, though Rahab and her family, as well as a group of people were allowed to repent), to Israel and Judah (God sent His prophets to call for repentance), and all the way to the Cross. We could not do it on our own. Our hearts are rebellious, but God made a way. God chose to love us while we were enemies, and sent His Son to die while we were yet sinners. God made the way out. When He had the right to destroy us, He gave us The Way out...His Son, Jesus Christ! This is love! Tomorrow, we will look at the biblical definition of love, but know this: God chooses to love you first, before you ever loved Him. He sent His Son to die for you, and there was nothing You could do to earn it. He loves you infinitely. Romans 5 English Standard Version

Peace with God Through Faith

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we[a] have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith[b] into this grace in which we stand, and we[c] rejoice[d] in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. 11 More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. Footnotes:

a. Romans 5:1 Some manuscripts let us

b.Romans 5:2 Some manuscripts omit by faith c. Romans 5:2 Or let us; also verse 3 d. Romans 5:2 Or boast; also verses 3, 11

from 1 John 4:

7Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. 8Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. 10In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.

13By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. 14And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 17By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. 18There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. 19We love because he first loved us. 20If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannota love God whom he has not seen. 21And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.

Footnotes: a 20 Some manuscripts how can he

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