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Category Archives: God is Love

1 John 3:1 See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.

Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 1 John 4:8 (NIV)

My God is…abounding in steadfast love Numbers 14:18

JesushuggingcryinggirlNumbers 14:18 – ‘The Lord is slow to anger,
and abounding in steadfast love,
forgiving iniquity and transgression,
but by no means clearing the guilty,
visiting the iniquity of the parents
upon the children
to the third and the fourth generation.’

Definition of ABOUND

1: to be present in large numbers or in great quantity : be prevalent
2: to be copiously supplied —used with in or with <life abounded in mysteries — Norman Mailer> <institutions abound with evidence of his success — Johns Hopkins Magazine>
What do you abound in? 
Time for a little reflection. What do you abound in? Can you make a list? They can be good or bad – we’re not looking to bash ourselves, just take an honest look.
Jill abounds in:
  • empathy
  • sarcastic remarks
  • bad language
  • encouragement
  • laziness
  • forgiveness
  • flexibility

God is abounding in steadfast love. God has steadfast love, and he has a lot of it. He is abounding in it. He has large amounts of it. He has more than He could need. Some might say He’s dripping or oozing steadfast love. He abounds so much that whoever He touches with His steadfast love are able to share that steadfast love with others. We love, because He first loved us (1 John 4:19).  Most of the verses in the Bible that use the word abounding are in reference to God’s steadfast love. I think that speaks to the immensity of it. He has tons of it to give, and will never run out. His love endures forever. 

Definition of STEADFAST

1 a : firmly fixed in place : immovable

   b : not subject to change <the steadfast doctrine of original sin — Ellen Glasgow>
2: firm in belief, determination, or adherence : loyal <her followers have remained steadfast>
Not subject to change
God isn’t going to stop loving you. Even if you stop loving Him. He will go right on loving you. He is abounding, oozing, dripping with steadfast love. Unchanging love. His love never ends. How comforting is it to know that God will always love you. You can’t do anything to earn that love or to lose that love. His steadfast love has more to do with Him than with you. He can’t help himself. He’s got so much love. He loves you know matter the condition of your heart, the guilt that you feel, the job that you have, the friends that you make (or don’t) and the bathroom that you clean (or don’t). God’s love is never going to change. It is firmly fixed. Just like the word abounding in the Bible seems to be significantly connected to steadfast love, when you’re talking about steadfast in the Bible it almost always has to do with God’s love. God’s love for you is so immense, so vast that it will never change. It is steadfast.
What are you abounding in?
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My God is … Love 1 John 3:1

1 John 3:1 See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.

See what great love the Father has lavished on us. 

Love is mentioned a lot in the Bible. We’re told we’re to love one another (almost 20 times). Husbands are told to love their wives. But one of the best ways (in my humble opinion) the word love is used is to describe the wonderful and unconditional love the “Father has lavished on us”

Because God first loved us we’re able to show love to others. Even if they don’t deserve it. That can be really hard, but it can also be really rewarding. People are changed by love. Imagine the young student who has never felt very smart in school is shown some loving patience and encouragement from a teacher. That can be very inspiring to the student.

Have you ever been shown love when you didn’t deserve it. Besides from God. Has anyone ever been nice to you even though you were being a jerk? What would happen if you get upset in a grocery store? You lose it and start getting a bit loud with the person checking you out. The manager comes over and lovingly finds out what is wrong and helps you solve the problem. Are you still yelling? No. The manager, with an act of love and respect changed your behavior.

Are you spoiled?

When I was a kid (I’m sure it still is said today), people would say, “Don’t give her that – you’re going to spoil that child.” There are people who are spoiled. Who can never get enough or don’t appreciate the gifts they’ve been given. In the verse above, we see that God has lavished love on us. We are children of the King, the Lord of lords. How could we need anything else? But often I find myself complaining about what I do not have.

I always want more. God is lavishing His love on me and I want more. Lavishing isn’t just getting, it’s getting in abundance. More than I need. He’s giving me more love than I need. What joy that should bring to my heart. It does bring joy, but a somber reality that some times I act like a spoiled brat instead of someone who has all the love a person could ever want.

Lavishing love on others

To lavish love on someone who doesn’t deserve it is contrary to what this world is about, but aren’t we as Christians supposed to be different (in a good way). Wouldn’t it stand out if while someone was yelling at you for the way you parked, you waited patiently until they were done yelling to move your car. What if your spouse says something unkind. Can you stand out and lavish love by not retaliating? How about when your child comes in and confesses to putting a big scratch on your car? Can we lavish the love we’ve been given even then. Only with the strength give to us by Christ could we even try.

Because He first loved us we can lavish love on others. I’m going to challenge myself to find ways to lavish love on people. In my family and community. I’m going to pray for opportunities to show people I love them even when they may not deserve it. That’s scary (may mean I’m going to encounter some real winners over the next few days). But I truly want to understand the amazing love that has been lavished on me. I certainly don’t deserve it.

Are you spoiled? Are you Lavishing love on someone?

 
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Posted by on January 10, 2012 in 1 John, God is Love

 

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God is … Love – 1 John 4:8

Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 1 John 4:8 (NIV)

God is Love.

That seems like such a simple statement, but it’s not really. Not to me. Loving someone isn’t easy. It takes work. I’m not sure we can fully understand the love our Lord has for us. I feel like it’s something more complex than the philos (brotherly love) I might be referring to when I say “I love you, man”. God’s love is more intimate than the eros (erotic) love I have for my husband. And while I suppose the Agape love (unconditional love) we have for our children may be the closest definition of God’s love, I’m guessing it falls short of all that His love provides.

Unconditional Love

Unconditional love is an amazing thing all on its own. To love someone, no matter what. Even if they fail you by lying or cheating. Your children lie to you (or at least mine lie to me). I believe it’s a condition of their sinful souls. I don’t love them any less because they lie, but I don’t love the lies. I think that’s how God feels about us as well. He loves us despite the sins we commit every day. I set out each day thinking I’m going to get it right. Throughout the day I make mistakes. Not all of them are probably sins, but most probably qualify. I may snap at my boys, a driver in front of me, or get impatient with the store clerk who is taking way too long and keeping me from my quiet time at home with the Lord. (That’s right – I can sin and think about the Lord at the same time – I’m crazy like that). But through it all he knows me, forgives me and delights in me. He is Love.

Being in Love with the Lord

I was the first woman my husband said, “I love you” to (or at least that’s what he told me – don’t correct me if I’m wrong, I prefer to live in my la-la-land). My husband and I work at our relationship everyday, and some days it’s a lot more work than other days. To be in a true relationship, you’re thinking about the other person, communicating with them, and enjoying their quirks and their sense of humor. Over the past few years, I have fallen in love with the Lord. I have had some great conversations with Him. Some of those conversations were painful, frustrating and down right sad. I’m not always happy with my Lord. Sometimes he pushes me out of my comfort zone so far that I get angry. I don’t like being stretched or frustrated by my constant failures as I learn something new. But there are other times…

My God has a sense of humor

Are you laughing at me or with me Lord? As I work at my relationship with the Lord through prayer, Bible study and relationships with the wonderful people I encounter, I see evidence of my God’s sense of humor all around me. Perhaps it’s that he is nudging me to work on my faith and I hear a song that touches exactly the right nerve to motivate me, and then follows that up with a friend who calls and reinforces the idea. The more I time I spend with God in prayer and Bible study, the more I see Him communicating in my everyday life. I don’t want to sound like some sort of goody two shoes who spends all her time reading the Bible and going to Bible study. I love those things, but trust me, the amount of commitment I’m making is so small in comparison to what I could be doing, and yet as I grow closer to Him (by spending more time with Him), the more I laugh at how He shows himself in my life.

Do you think the Lord has a sense of humor? If so – tell me about a time you two shared a laugh. If not – tell me why you don’t think the Lord has a sense of humor.

 
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Posted by on July 27, 2011 in 1 John, God is Love

 

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