LOVE, THE NATURE OF GOD
© 2020 Philip A Matthews
“God is love, and anyone who doesn't love others has never known him… God is love. Everyone who lives in love lives in God, and God lives in them.”
(1 John 4:8,16 CEV, ERV)
Let’s talk a little bit about the Creator GOD and His LOVE. First, we will need to prove, with out the Bible, that He exists in the first place. Then we will need to think about His nature, still without the Bible. As we go along, reasoning from logic and natural evidence alone, we will then check the Bible, to see if what we discover is also recorded there. This will even serve to confirm the Bible account. We start with:
- THE EXISTENCE OF GOD: The Universe & everything in it that now exists, including us, came from Something or Someone who existed before everything else. Even Science now says that the Universe has not always existed but had a beginning. Therefore, if it had a beginning, it had a divine Beginner. Something simply CANNOT come from Nothing, no matter what science may claim. Something HAD to already exist as the “First Cause” or “Source” of everything else. That SELF-EXISTENT, ETERNAL, NOT-CREATED BEING we refer to is “GOD.” As Richard F Ames wrote in “Seven Proofs of God’s Existence,” “Creation demands a Creator, Life demands a Life-Giver, Laws [of the Universe] demand a Lawgiver, and Design demands a Designer.”
Acknowledging this is the 1st step of finding this GOD, as recorded in the letter to the Hebrews: “For whoever would come near to God must [necessarily] believe that God exists and that He is the rewarder of those who earnestly and diligently seek Him [out]”
- THE NATURE OF GOD—WHY GOD CREATED: What was/is the nature of this Being? We have abundant evidence that He/It is All-Powerful (Omnipotent), All-Present & Everywhere (Omnipresent), and All-Knowing (Omniscient). But what is His character like? We have heard that He is ALL-LOVING. “God is Love.” How can we prove this? We prove that “GOD IS LOVE” by noting the fact that He created at least TWO dimensions full of other living beings. WHY WOULD HE DO THAT?
- This is how LOVE acts: An integral part of LOVE is that it MUST express itself. Otherwise, does it really exist? How can we know love exists if it never manifests itself? But how can love be expressed and manifested if there is nothing for it to love? So by definition, LOVE MUST have an OBJECT of its affection. Therefore, God, being Love, HAD to CREATE something for Himself to Love! He actually had NO choice, because LOVE, if it exists, WILL come out & manifest itself in some way. Thus, He CREATED other living beings, first in His own spiritual dimension, e.g., angels, the four “beasts” of Revelation, etc. Later, He envisioned a physical dimension and thus created the Universe as the perfect future home for such creatures.
- THUS, WE CAN CONCLUDE THAT GOD AS LOVE CREATES BECAUSE HE MUST EXPRESS HIMSELF THROUGH RELATIONSHIP WITH OTHER LIVING BEINGS. SO, CREATION ITSELF IS PROOF THAT GOD IS LOVE! Note that the Bible describes GOD as a TRINITY: FATHER, SON/WORD, & HOLY SPIRIT, ALL IN AN UNFATHOMABLE RELATIONSHIP OF LOVE & ONENESS WITH EACH OTHER. “Let US make man in OUR image, after OUR likeness…” (Genesis 1:26). So, God, seeking relationship, MUST be a PERSON & therefore, a PERSONAL, THEISTIC GOD, CONCERNED ABOUT EVERY BEING HE HAS CREATED—EVEN THE SPARROWS!
- But Relationship involves the need for RESPONSE. A “relationship” with no response is not a relationship. There MUST be reciprocity or MUTUAL LOVE in RESPONSE. Otherwise, LOVE is THRAWTED & BLOCKED, i.e., “prevented from accomplishing its purpose.” But to have a LOVING Relationship, the object of love MUST have FREE-WILL or FREEDOM to CHOOSE to love Him in response, because “love” that is coerced, forced, or simply automatic, is not LOVE at all. The object of Love must also be given CHOICES or OPTIONS on which to exercise that free-will. But this creates the RISK that His Creation might REJECT Him. This brings in other concepts we find in the Bible like SIN, DISOBEDIENCE, EVIL CONSEQUENCES, SUFFERING, SICKNESS, DEATH—and HELL. This explains the existence of Evil, why “bad things happen to good people.” The "good" person just happens to be in an evil, broken, ruined world that was caused by people using their free-wills to make millions of bad decisions since the beginning of human history. But these negative things still do NOT mean God Himself is unloving. As we’ve seen, all of this is by NECESSITY, naturally and logically flowing from the definition and nature of GOD, LOVE, RELATIONSHIP, & FREE-WILL. It does NOT negate His Love or Power.
- THUS, WE CAN CONCLUDE THAT GOD’S REASON & PURPOSE FOR EACH BEING HE HAS CREATED IS TO HAVE A RELATIONSHIP WITH AND RECEIVE A LOVING RESPONSE FROM THAT BEING. And in the Bible we find, “So love the LORD your God with all your heart, soul, and strength.” (Deuteronomy 6:5), our whole purpose for existence. We are all EXPECTED to have a personal, loving relationship with God, our Creator Father.
- So what do these conclusions mean? That it’s impossible for GOD to fall out of LOVE with you. No matter what. He loves you despite all you do, whatever happens, every failure, He never gives up on you, He’s not mad at you, He’s extremely patient with you, He’s with you ALWAYS in every dark hour, and He always expects the best of you. His LOVE IS UNCONDITIONAL. His LOVE IS FAITHFUL & you can COUNT on it. He’s GOT YOU!
- His LOVE is INFINITE: "I've never quit loving you and never will. Expect love, love, and more love!” (Jeremiah 31:3 The Message).
- His LOVE is ALWAYS in CONTROL: “Not even a sparrow falls to the ground without My Father noticing it,” Jesus assured us (Matthew 10:29-31). “Even the hairs on your head are numbered!”
- If all that is true, then there is NO need to: Worry, Fear, be anxious, be panicked, nervous, resentful, unforgiving, angry with other people, upset with circumstances, out of grace & patience in any situation, etc. WHY not?
- Because NO one has any power over you unless He permits it: “So then you guys meant it for evil, but God meant it for good” (Genesis 45:5-8; 50:20) and “You would have no power or authority over Me at all except what God has given you,” Jesus told Pilate, the governor condemning him (John 19:11).
- Everything is gonna be okay. It’s gonna work out: “And we know that ALL that happens to us is working for our good IF we love God and are fitting into His plans” (Romans 8:28 TLB). “This life is like a puzzle with pieces here & there, And putting them together can cause a heart of care. But, oh, if we could trust in our Savior’s wondrous grace, We’d find life’s scattered pieces would just tumble around and fall right into place!” (A Little Part of His Plan, EveningLight Gospel Harmonizers © 1980 Philip Matthews).
- He won’t let you suffer more than you can bear: “God is faithful, and he will not allow you to be tempted beyond your strength. Instead, along with the temptation he will also provide a way out, so that you may be able to endure it” (1 Corinthians 10:13 ISV).
- He will take the WHOLE responsibility for your life: “Cast ALL your cares upon Him and let Him do the caring for you” (1 Peter 5:7 paraphrased).
- If all that is true, then you can freely SUBMIT to GOD’S Will, have FAITH that never fails, spend more time doing HIS work instead of your own, think about someone else instead of yourself. You can TRUST Him. You can find PEACE. You can OBEY Him. You can LOVE Him back! You can live SELFLESS instead of SELFISH! You can ALLOW Him to HIJACK YOUR LIFE, which you have radically submitted to Him, so He can love others through you. His LOVE FREES you up to be concerned about the rest of the world whom God loves. That is, HIS Love makes YOU a Lover of Others. There IS a reason that TWO-THIRDS of the world is NOT Christian: Most of the ONE-THIRD that IS Christian is not DRIVEN by the LOVE of GOD to PRIORITIZE THE SALVATION OF THE REST OF THE WORLD AS THEIR CHIEF—and ONLY—TASK! When you have a real enough revelation of God's Love for you, He can work more & work better through you because you are AVAILABLE. “For we are God's masterpiece, created in the Messiah Jesus to perform good actions that God prepared long ago to be our way of life” (Ephesians 2:10 ISV).
May God bless these words to each of our hearts & lives. Let’s put this in practice!