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“God is love” is a common saying, but do we really know what it means?
Everybody hungers for love.
Before I knew God, I couldn’t imagine what his love was like. As each year passed and I got to know him better, my understanding of the glory and power of his love improved, making me hungry for more.
Here’s the great problem:
I may think I understand, but I don’t know what I don’t know. Without the Holy Spirit’s guidance, I lack the capacity to know love that I’ve not experienced yet. Maybe I have a taste of it, but when the Holy Spirit speaks to my heart, I don’t have to guess. I know that I know how much I am loved.
Accepting God’s love gives me the capacity to love others, even my enemies.
Now the next problem:
I am fully capable of imagining God’s voice. Why would I want to do that? So I can feel good about myself when I go my own way. But that isn’t really what I want. Therefore, I keep striving to surrender my desires to whatever God might want.
King Saul didn’t have a problem hearing God. He had a problem with listening. He had his own idea about what was right, so he told himself that his actions were right, but they weren’t. I don’t want to put myself in that kind of position.
God’s love can be tough.
“Tough love” is giving children what they need, not what they want. Since God is the most loving of all fathers, he’s the best at saying no or later. I thank him for that, but I don’t always like it.
The better my relationship with God is, the better my capacity for love is. But I need to understand that love is not something I earn.
I can’t choose to be loved.
My being loved was God’s choice, not mine, made at a time when I wasn’t worth loving. But he loved me anyway. How do I experience love? I must give it.
If I want to experience God’s love, I must adopt his nature to give like he does, which makes the second commandment as important as the first.
You must love God with your whole heart, with all your being and all your strength. This is the most important commandment. But the second commandment is equally important. Love your neighbor as yourself. Of all the commandments, none are greater than these. — Mark 12:30–31, The Discussion Bible