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Going Deeper—God is Love (with Study Guide #9b)

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Dear Readers,

John 21:25 says, “Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.” Verses 1 and 3 from the following hymn echo similar sentiments as they reflect on the amazing love of God. Read the lyrics prayerfully as you quiet your heart for worship and reflection:

The Love of God
By Frederick Martin Lehman

Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made;
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade;
To write the love of God above
Would drain the ocean dry;
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.

O love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure
The saints’ and angels’ song.

God is Love

love

By Ruth Wood and Kay Smith

One of the most famous passages in the Bible is I Corinthians 13, known as the love chapter. This scripture gives instruction about how Christians ought to relate to one another. However, one can also deduce that since these words came from God, they must certainly be a standard to which He holds Himself.

So for a fresh perspective, let’s take a look at God’s character through the lens of I Corinthians 13:4-8a replacing the word “love” with “God” (since God IS love):

God is patient. God is kind. God does not envy [inappropriately], He does not brag, He is not proud. God is not rude, He is not self-seeking, He is not easily angered. God keeps no record of wrongs [on believers]. God does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. God always protects, always trusts [trusting Himself because He’s confident in His own goodness and power], always hopes, always perseveres. God never fails.

Now let’s look at other scriptures that support this portrait of God:

  • God is patient. (The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. II Peter 3:9)

  • God is kind. (But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. Titus 3:4-5a)
  • God does not envy inappropriately. (They made him jealous with their foreign gods and angered him with their detestable idols. Deuteronomy 32:16)

  • God does not brag, He is not proud. (In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross! Philippians 2:5-8)
  • God is not rude, not self-seeking, is not easily angered. (But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness. Psalm 86:15)

  • God keeps no record of wrongs [on believers]. (For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. Psalm 103:11-12)
  • God does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. (Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6; But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak… John 16:13a)

  • God always protects (…He is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones. Proverbs 2:7b-8)

  • God always trusts [trusting Himself because He is confident in His goodness and power], always hopes, always perseveres. (Who is like you, Lord God Almighty? You, Lord, are mighty, and your faithfulness surrounds you. Psalm 89:8; Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. I Peter 1:3-4a)

  • God never fails. (Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails. Proverbs 19:21; The Lord will march out like a champion, like a warrior he will stir up his zeal; with a shout he will raise the battle cry and will triumph over his enemies. Isaiah 42:13; There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken. At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift your heads, because your redemption is drawing near. Luke 21:25-28)

One final message as we conclude our introduction to God’s love as seen in I Corinthians 13. Notice that God “always hopes.” It is an encouraging comfort to consider that God is never depressed, never wringing His hands wondering what to do, never despairs. If my loving God brims with confident hope, then in my darkest seasons, I can endure the course knowing that with Him, the sun always shines.

©2013 Ruth Wood and Kay Smith. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Published by www.Comfort-Cafe.net. Contact info: ruthywood@gmail.com

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