1John 4:16 (NLT) We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them.

 

God is love. Probably most people have heard that at one time or another. The magnitude of God’s love is also infinite and the apostle Paul prays for believers to grasp the dimensions of the love of Christ in order to be filled with the fullness of God (Eph 3:17-19) To experience and know the scope of God’s love is to know the beauty of His nature.

 

For us to get a picture of what God is like, we have to get a good picture of what His love is like. The word “love” covers a lot of ground in our conversations. I can love ice cream, a book, my shoes, a song, my car, my children, and my wife. Obviously there is a wide range of meanings in those few examples. I don’t feel the same about my wife as I do about my shoes, and yet I can use the word love to describe those different feelings.

 

God’s love, on the other hand, is much more precise and focused. We know that the New Testament was written in Greek, and so whenever we read it, we are reading a translation. Where in English, the word “love” has many meanings, in Greek, there are many words for love that have specific meanings. In fact in Greek, there are at least 4 words that mean love of different kinds. The Greek word Agape (pronounced ah-gap’-ay) means one particular kind of love – a kind of love that is unique to God.

 

This word doesn’t mean a romantic feeling, or a pleasurable memory, fondness or “chemistry”. It simply means desiring good and doing the very best for someone else. It is love that gives and continues to give whether or not it is reciprocated. The English word benevolence would be a decent translation.

 

So when we say that God is love, we’re saying that He wants to do good to and for us always. In fact, God loves us so much that even when people turn their backs on Him, reject Him, and encourage others to do the same; He still does the best for us. And no matter where our lives have taken us, He is always willing to receive us into His family when we come to Him in faith though His Son Jesus.

 

 

Consider

 

Have you ever felt unloved by God? If so, why would that be, since God always loves us?

 

What is the difference between feeling love and acting in love?