God is Love

1 John 4:16 says

And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.

God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.

I am a Bible reader. I believe in it. I believe the Bible is the living word of God, that it teaches us and is relevant to our lives. I believe that if we have a question we can find the answer in the Bible. It may not provide a list of rules, or a clear answer to everything, but it will never fail to shine the light of God onto our situation… and it will never fail to reveal His love.

Now, that’s a lot of Christian jargon. So, what do I mean?

I mean that this book is, to those who believe it, a source of wisdom, a course of comfort, a source of much needed challenge to our broken human ways of thinking AND that it tells us WHO GOD IS.

And this passage, written by one of Jesus’ disciples, John, is one of the clearest that there is when it comes to talking about who God is. God, John says, is Love.

Here love becomes an active word, not a passive one. It becomes a doing word. A name. A way of being. God has many names, and many aspects to his character. Many put him beyond our understanding, but this one, Love, is something we can begin to understand.

We are all moulded by our experience of love. Either having it, or not. Being loved as a child or not. Being able to express love to another person, a partner or friend or child. We go through this life and are marked by our experiences of love. Each time we feel loved we remember, and each time we notice the lack of love we feel that too. We are built to notice, crave, give and receive love… it is an unmistakable and defining characterising of humanity… but why?

Here John gives us an answer. We are built to respond to love because the one who created us - God - is, in His very nature, the very essence of love. GOD IS LOVE. And He created us to be like him. He wired us to love, to be loved. He wired us to notice a lack of love. And He wired us to respond to his love for us.

John’s encouragement in this passage is for us to notice love, and to learn how to love each other, and God well.

He writes that All who love know God, because God is love.

What does this mean for us? Even if we don’t profess to know God?

It means that if we have tasted love, we have tasted God. Because all love comes from Him, and all love flows back to him. If we have known love - from a parent, for a child, for a friend, for a partner, for a justice movement, or for a stranger, we have caught a glimpse of God.

It’s an encouragement to us…

To reach out and ask ‘where does this come from?’… and to adjust our eyes to see that the answer is clear… we love because He first loved us. We see and know love because He is love.

John goes further - for those who know God, this passage is a challenge to love well. To love God well. To love each other well. To love the world around us well. To grow in love. Because God is love, and because the world will see God in how we love one another.

IMG_0044.JPG

Wherever you are at today… either a cynic or a person wildly in love with God… can I encourage you to look around yourself and ask yourself the question… Why do we love? Where does it come from? And: How can I love better, How can I show love better? And how can I reach out to the creator of it all, the one who IS LOVE. to GOD HIMSELF. Because, I promise you, he is reaching out to you with more love than you can imagine.

Just look up.

February - L.o.v.e.

Well… Duuh.

Of course. It’s February! It’s LOVE month…

Ok, ok, I know. I kinda hate it too.

Being of the chronically single variety of female unafraid of fulfilling the stereotype, I shudder at the thought of another Valentines Day spent bemoaning my relationship status and the lack of heart shaped chocolates waiting on my doorstep… SO, after our GO BE BRAVE January (which, by the way, you all ACED!!!) I thought it time for a slightly more out of the box (but not really) February.

While we WILL be celebrating LOVE this month (because really, what else could you do!?), I refuse point blank to make myself or any other singles out there feel abandoned. The truth is, that in all of the hype about love during Feb, when I think Love, I think of a word that means more than romance. More than partners, lovers, soul mates.

I think of God.

I think of his incredible love for his creation.

I think of the God from whom all love comes.

I think of the God who is, at his very core, love itself.

I think of a Bible that tells us that we are able to love because he loved us first. I think of single mothers giving up everything for their children. I think of nuns and monks with lives given over to love God. I think of sisters and brothers. Of best friends. Of the love we have for our planet. Of the love we have for each other. I think of all of these parts of love before I think of romantic love. The truth is that romance is as necessary an expression of love as any other… but there are others, and they all stem from THE ONE who Loved us FIRST.

So, guess what… this Feb we are gonna dive, together, into what Love is. Who this God of Love is, and what we, as amazing humans experience of love every day.

There will of course be some V-Day fun, but for the most part… I hope that Hope&Grace will be a little haven for us to have a little reminder of how much we know of love, how much love shapes us and forms us. And a reminder of that God that started the whole love story in the first place…

So, Come over to Facebook and let’s have a lovely L.O.V.E. month! HA!

See you over there!

Anna x

IMG_0013.jpg
IMG_0008.jpeg
IMG_0065.jpg