What is Love? First and foremost, God is Love – Part 1

 “But the fruit of the Spirit is LOVE, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  Against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23

 I’m sure you will agree that no matter how hard we try, sometimes we fall short.  We’re not always loving or lovable for that matter.  Just when we think we have it all together, something happens and we have to repent for not living up to the godly standard Paul so eloquently described in 1 Corinthians 13. 

“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 with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails”  (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)

The Scriptures tells us, “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love (1 John 4:8).  In order to get an accurate picture of love we have to look to God.  God is Love.  1 Corinthians 13:4-8 does an excellent job of describing Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  He came down from Heaven and put on human flesh because of His tremendous love for us.

Christ is patient

He patiently ministered to the masses who came for healing (Matthew 15:29-31) and answers (Matthew 17:10, Matthew 19:3-6).  He also patiently handled insults and abuse (Matthew 26:67), humiliation, taunting, torture and crucifixion (Matthew 27:27-44).

Christ is kind

Jesus was kind and compassionate to people who were shunned by the rest of society.  He compassionately healed the woman with the issue of blood (Luke 8:47-48), the lepers (Mark 1:40-45) and the demon possessed man (Mark 5:1-9).

Christ doesn’t envy

Unlike Satan who was cast out of heaven for being envious of God’s power, Christ was humble.  Even though He had the very nature of God, He didn’t try to exalt himself.  He became a servant in human form and humbled himself to death.  (Philippians 2:5-8)

Christ doesn’t boast

Even though He is King of kings and Lord of lords, Christ came to earth meekly.  He didn’t want to be served, He came to be served and sacrifice His life.  (Matthew 20:28)

Christ isn’t proud

Even though He is God in human flesh, He is not prideful.  Pride would have prevented him from carrying out His mission.  He wasn’t too proud to wash his disciple’s feet. (John 13:4-5) 

Christ is not rude

Jesus is a gentleman.  He doesn’t push himself on us, or go where He isn’t invited.  He gives us a choice.  He knocks at the door and waits for an invitation.  (Revelations 3:20)

Christ is not self-seeking

When Jesus’ parents thought that He was missing, He simply outlined His mission.  He wasn’t concerned about the thing of this world or gaining anything for Himself.  He was about His Father’s business. (Luke 2:49 NKJV)

Christ is not easily angered

Even though we remember His righteous anger at the money changers in the temple (Matthew 12:12), Jesus’ calm and even temperament characterized his life and ministry.  Even while being crucified (Luke 23:34), He didn’t complain or get angry. (Luke 23:33-43)

Christ keeps no record of wrongs

We keep a score card of all the sins that people have committed; especially those that have harmed us.  Jesus didn’t.  He asked anyone in the crowd that was without sin to cast the first stone at the woman caught in adultery.  When they all snuck away, Jesus told the woman that He did not condemn her (John 8:3-12) and He doesn’t condemn us either.

Christ does not delight in evil

God can’t stand sin.   It separates us from Him and causes Him to hide His face (Isaiah 59:1-2).  Jesus was tempted just like we are and yet He never sinned. (Hebrews 4:15)

Christ rejoices in the truth

Jesus taught His disciples that knowing the truth would set them free (John 8:31-32).  In fact, He is the way, the truth and the life. (John 14:6)

Christ protects

Even though Christ knew that He would soon die, He took the time out to pray for His disciples outlining His protection and care for their safety.  (John 17:12)

Christ trusts

When the devil tempted Jesus, He did not give in; He trusted God.  He used God’s Word to combat temptation. “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word God” (Luke 4:4) .  Even more importantly, we can trust in Him with all our hearts and allow Him to direct our paths (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Christ gives hope

As the song says, “Our hope is built on nothing less than Jesus, blood and righteousness.”  We can be steadfast in our work because we have victory in Christ.  (1 Corinthians 15:57-58)

Christ preservers

Christ hung on the cross so that we may have abundant life. When He knew everything was complete, He said He was thirsty and after He received the drink He said, “It is finished.”(John 19:17-30)   He persevered until His mission on Earth was accomplished.

Christ never fails

Jesus rose from the grave, giving us victory over death.  He is seated at the right hand of the Father.  We can fast forward to the end of the story and see that Jesus is victorious!   He lived, died and is alive for ever.  He has the keys to death and hell. (Revelations 1:18)

When you take a look at all Jesus’ characteristics, you can only conclude that He is love.  His love is unconditional and He is waiting with open arms to welcome you.  You can trust His power to save you and transform your life and gives you purpose for living.