God is Love

by Scarlett Stough

For the Scripture References and related Bible Study Guide, go to Bible Study Guide: No Greater Love

Since God states he is love (1 John 4:16), what should we expect from God? Since God states he is just (2 Thessalonians 1:6), should we not expect justice and judgment from God? Since God is good (Psalm 100:5), how is his goodness expressed?

God is invisible to human eyes. Spirit cannot be seen anymore than wind can be seen or the air we breathe. So how can we know anything about God? Are we left to just guess?

We do have the Bible which reveals most of what we know about God. But God wants us to really know him so he came to us to live among us showing us what God really is like. Philip, one of the twelve disciples of Jesus, came right out and asked, "Show us the Father…." (John 14:8).

Don't you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.
John 14:9-10

We are given four accounts of the life of Jesus in the New Testament: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Matthew begins his account with the legal genealogy of Jesus through Joseph. Mark begins with the beginning of Jesus' ministry. Luke wrote as an investigative reporter, interviewing those who witnessed the life of Jesus, and includes the genealogy of Jesus through Mary. John begins his account declaring Jesus as God.

Through these accounts we see the compassion Jesus has for the people around him. We also see his anger at injustice, hypocrisy, and exploitation of the weak. We don't see a tyrant, forcing his will on others. We see a gentle teacher. He had one objective in mind: to do his Father's will and speak his Father's message. When the time had come, he allowed himself to be executed, not for any crime of his own; all who knew him declared him innocent of all wrongdoing. Even his enemies had to resort to false testimony about him. Why? In his words:

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
John 3:16-18

There really is a time limit.

…The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. If anyone's name was not found written in the book of like, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
Revelation 20:12-15

We do have time. God has given us time because he does not want anyone to perish (2 Peter 3:9). There is time to pray asking God to send bold, gifted preachers to speak truth in public places. There is time to refocus our minds and hearts on living out our salvation. There is time for kindness. There is time to return God's love for us to him in trust and obedience. There is time to truly be Jesus' disciples here and now by the love we show one another (John 13:34-35).

Just as Jesus revealed the love of the Father, so we are to reflect that love in our lifetime as we go about our daily lives. We won’t get it right all the time; but we can practice until we become better able to express godly love, until our hearts become softer with use.

Judgment is coming, but those who accept God's love do not have to fear his punishment (1 John 4:17-18).

Volume 15 Issue 01 | Notes from Nancy | Women in Christ Commentary | Bible Study Guide | Abundance of the Heart | Exhortation | Book Review

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