My God is love

Published 3:54 pm Saturday, July 22, 2023

By Dean Kelly

Have you watched a parent? One moment he or she is a fire-breathing dragon issuing forth commands and punishments. A moment later that parent wraps their child in protective arms of safety and comfort. Both of these behaviors are pictures of love. 

A child has trouble understanding that. Sometimes the child takes rebuke and punishment as a lack of love. Hopefully as the child grows, he or she will understand the complex nature of love. 

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The scriptures clearly state that “God is love” (1 John 4:8,16). That is an overriding truth, however, individuals often have had a one-sided view of the nature of God. 

Jonathan Edwards preached a sermon in the 1740s entitled “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.” One image he presented was the idea that God is holding each person over the fire ready to cut the thread at any moment. This is a severe and one-sided view of God; it paints an inaccurate and incomplete view of God.

On the other hand, many people speak of God as if His love will simply ignore sin, and it won’t matter to Him what we do. This again is one sided view of God. It also paints an inaccurate and incomplete view of God.

The Apostle Paul said, “Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God; on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness…” (Romans 11:22). We can understand this concept when it comes to earthly parents, the same is true of our Heavenly Father.

Unlike Edward’s sermon the scriptures say that God is “not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).

On the other hand God’s justice will be fulfilled (Hebrews 10:30-31).

At the cross, God’s love is found, and His justice satisfied. God is love and the cross proves it.