We’ve been discussing the true motivation of God toward mankind. We have looked at John 3:16, which says, “For God so loved the world”. He loved the world. That is why Jesus came, to put on display the love of God. In our quest to understand the motivation of God we need to determine who God is, that is, what His character is.

1 John 4:8 tells us that “God is love”. It doesn’t say that He loves, but that He IS love. His nature and character is love. Love is who God is.

1 Corinthians 13 gives us the definition of love. It says that “love is patient, kind, does not envy, does not boast, is not proud, does not dishonor others, is not self-seeking, is not easily angered, keeps no record of wrongs, does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth, always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres and never fails”.

If we combine these references we find ourselves asking how much of Christianity is missing something in the understanding and application of the love of God. What happened? We all seem to say we believe that “God is love”. Yet, when we examine the Bible definition of love, there are at times, a serious disconnect.

Could it be that we are improperly defining God because of a flawed understanding of love? And if so, is our presentation of God to the world as ambassadors flawed?

Do we believe that love is patient? Do we believe that God is patient? If we take a look at how love is defined by most people, it is in most instances, the opposite of the Bible definition of it.

If we have the wrong definition of love, it is certain it did not come from God. It finds it origin in our enemy, the devil. He seeks to distort who God is and in so doing, keeping us from knowing God as He is.

In John 8:44, Jesus told the Pharisees that “you belong to your father the devil”. These were the religious leaders of the day. Jesus was showing them that they had misinterpreted who God was. Jesus was there to put on display who God is. They rejected Him and murdered Him for it.

Do we have the same problem today? Consider these questions. Why is it that most global events that bring harm to people is interpreted by church leaders as the “judgement of God”?

Could it be that there are many people not interested in hearing about a God who loves them when He is constantly judging them? If in His judgement, He is responsible for traumatic events in the earth to judge the lives of people, we shouldn’t be surprised there is a general attitude of mistrust and disdain for God.

We have presented a God to be terrified of instead of a God who is love. We have preached a message of “you’re going to hell” instead of one that says “Jesus died for you so you don’t have to be separated from God”.

What we all need today is a better understanding of the God that was revealed in Jesus. He is love. He loves. He is proclaiming the good news of a God who is love.

Richard Hamm has been in ministry since 1977. He graduated from Rhema Bible College in 1984 and came to be the Pastor of New Life Family Church in the Gettysburg, PA area serving from 1985 to 2008. He is presently involved in a traveling ministry helping churches in south central PA, northern MD, Georgia, North Carolina, Oregon, Virginia and Tennessee. He can be contacted at 717-253-3247 or at rhhamm2@gmail.com.

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