Read: John 3:16-21
This week of Advent we’ve looked at the personal love that God has towards us that we cannot understand or get enough of. A couple examples of words used to describe this are incomprehensible and insatiable. While there are a lot of adjectives we can use to talk about God’s love, these are really just words that try to capture something human language cannot describe. They help us to conceive of something beyond our small minds.
Take my mom for example. She was an elementary teacher at the same school where my little brother and I attended. One year she was even my little brother’s homeroom teacher. Now, my mom is very professional and takes her job seriously; after all, it is not only her passion but also her source of income. She is paid to be, first and foremost, a teacher.
This meant that when my brother was her student, she would not let him call her “mom”, but made him call her “Mrs. De León” like everyone else. Even though it was a small enough matter that we would joke about it at home, he was very uncomfortable having to call her by anything other than the term of endearment he was used to.
My mom’s role as a teacher enabled her to provide for her children as a single mother. This role took precedence and was even an empowering tool that allowed her to go back to being “mom” once the final school bell rang.
When 1 John 4 speaks of God as love, the Greek word used is agapé. A form of the same word is used in John 3:16 when we’re told that God loved the world. This is important because for God to love us is not the same as for me to romantically love my spouse or for me to love my best friend like a brother. It’s a word that implies intentional affection and goodwill towards another that stronger than the English word for love.
Consider the Lord, our Father, Creator of heaven and earth. He is the final judge before whom every knee will bow. He is perfectly just, the standard for right and wrong. He is the source of holiness and righteous wrath. But, it is God’s nature to be, first and foremost, Love—agapé.
Why would the One who holds such magnificent titles and power lower himself to the point of being human? This is the way He loves the world. Why would God forsake our judgment so that we might be forgiven? This is the way He loves the world. Why would God pass over right and wrong so that all might come to him? This is the way He loves the world. Why would such fallen creatures find an opportunity for a second life? This is the way God loves the world because He is, first and foremost, love.
God’s love is not for us to fully understand or even find the words to describe. Yet, it is a gift God is holding out for us that we must accept. The Bible says that faith is enough to grant you forgiveness through the sacrifice of Christ. If you have not believed that God loves you and trusted in Jesus to forgive you of your sins, today is the day. If you believed this today for the first time, I encourage you to find someone who also believes in Jesus as Savior to share that with!