God is Love...What does this tell us about God?
If God is Love, and according to scripture He is...Our understanding and perception of God is dependent on how we love God, which in turn is predicated on how we believe God loves us.
Let's start by finding out the characteristics of love. To find out what love is we need to look at 1 Cor. 13:4-8.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices in truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always preservers. Love never fails.
Love is not a feeling as much as it is an attitude that is exemplified by actions that demonstrates the quality of love we have. These love qualities are not a measuring stick for us to strive to keep standards by, then check off as completed because we have worked so hard to love. Until these love qualities become infused in our lives and our living life because of Christ in us, they will never be real in us. Once they are real in us we will love without our striving or our conscious effort.
Religion looks at these verses as to how "WE" are to love...but until we recognize that these verses, first and foremost, tells us "how" God loves people we will not understand the depth, the height, the length or the breath of God's love for us.
To see how God loves us I will substitute love in the scripture above for God. Is using God in place of love a valid application for this scripture...YES...for John 4:8 tells us that "God "IS" love."
God is always patient with people...Is that the message of the the religionist?
God is always kind to people...Is that the action of grace haters?
God does not boast...Is that a quality of the celebrity preachers?
God is not proud...Is that a quality of the denominated seminarian?
God is not rude to people...Is that the attitude of those caught in religious deception?
God is not self-seeking...Is that the mind frame of religious christians?
God is never easily angered against you...Can that be said about those presenting their religious doctrines when their views are questioned?
God keeps no record of your wrongs...So unlike the mixed gospel of law and grace.
God does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth.
God always protects you. Is that the cry of the retribution God promoters.
God always hopes the best for you.
God preservers with you.
God's LOVE FOR YOU NEVER FAILS.
That is the way God loves people. Wow...God loves us amazingly!
Now the following verses should be richer in your understanding of them.
A new command I give you: Love one another. I have loved you, so must you love one another. (John 13:34)
Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God (Rom. 15:17).
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you (Eph. 4:32).
What is the common theme here? Is it not that we are to love, accept and forgive just has Christ loves, accepts and forgives.
Now, how does our love compare to God's love." Whether we realize it or not, we will love, accept and forgive other people in the same way (rightly or wrongly) we think we are receiving from God. We will never love others to a higher degree than we think God loves us. Therefore, if I believe God loves me when I am good but punishes me when I am bad...how do you think I will treat you? Is that the reason religionists are pegged as unloving and denominated churches are pegged as unloving. Religious people can be so mean spirited because in (their own mind) they see God as mean on times.
Religionists live with a faulty understanding of God's love!
You will react to others by what you are filled with, for what you are filled with controls you. How you react to others let's people know what you are filled with... If you are filled with anger, what controls you...anger. If you are filled with the fullness of God's love and grace...what controls you...love and grace.
To be Spirit filled is to understand the knowledge of God's love and grace in Jesus Christ.
Of what spirt are you full of?