Divine Love is a Gift-love. The Father gives all He is and has to the Son. The Son gives Himself back to the Father, and gives Himself to the world, and for the world to the Father and thus gives the world (in Himself) back to the Father too.C.S. Lewis – The Four Loves
Love is the most abused word in the dictionary. It can be used as a noun or verb and has 22 meanings. I like how C.S. Lewis divided in his book “The Four Loves”. He categorized it to Need-Love and Gift-Love. Moreover, he further divided it into Affection, Friendship, Eros and Charity.
These divisions helped me understand the vast concept of Love. According to St. John, God is love (1 John 4:8). And this is a major point people use to justify their sins. Because in this understanding, they think that if God is love then He loves them despite their sins. Which is a very wrong notion about God. Furthermore, this shows how little and erroneous our comprehension of the nature of God.
God is Love, but is Love God?
Today’s devotional reading is from the Book of Deuteronomy 10:12-22. Please, read our recent devotional from 1 John 1:1 – 2:6: Are You Walking In The Light Or Darkness?
History to Understand God’s Word
During the Israelites journey to the promised land, God instructed Moses, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, to write down the first 5 books in the Bible. Included in this, is the book of Deuteronomy. This book Is considered an expansion of the Laws and statutes given to the Israelites. Additionally, Moses reminds the new generation of the importance of learning and obeying the Law of God.
What God wants from us
Moses has told the Israelites what God wants them to do. And these are: to fear the Lord, to walk in His ways, to love and serve Him with all of their hearts, and to follow His commandments and statutes.
Pretty much easy? Probably at that time the Israelites also thought so. They were in the wilderness and were not at war. Yes, there was uncertainty but they relied on God to deliver them. The problem started when they were already in the midst of other nations.
The entire Old Testament talks about how the Israelites, God’s chosen people, fall out of love with God and go after other gods. Then when hardships and trials come their way they go back to God whom they know they can call upon.
Reasons on why to love God
Moses also gave the Israelites the rationale about why they should follow God’s command. He emphasized to them that God is the God of gods, He is the Lord of lords, He is the creator of everything, He judges everyone, He is impartial and cannot be bribed. Therefore His execution of justice is pure and not with malice.
Reflect on your life and state your reasons for why you love God. You’ll be amazed that most of your answers will be because of His provision to us. Our love for God, as C.S. Lewis described, is a Need-Love. While God’s love for us is a Gift-Love. He gives because He loves us.
Let not this cloud your reasoning and think that you will not be judged on your sins. 2 Corinthians 5:10, clearly states that we will all be facing the Judgment Seat of Jesus and will be judged accordingly.
Beware of a stumbling block
We all hear the saying God is Love and Love is God. I want to share with you what I learned from C.S. Lewis. He wrote that love “begins to be a demon that moment he begins to be a god” (M. Denis de Rougement). In addition, he explained it well that although God is Love, Love can never be God. We should not therefore think that all of our actions when done out of love is always good.
We should always be comparing it to the teachings and commandments given by God in His word. Lastly, when a person said they love God but do not love Jesus then they do not love God at all. John 14:10-11 plainly explains the relationship between the Father and the Son.
This is the time for your journaling. Reflect on these questions. Ask the Holy Spirit to test your faith and your walk with Christ.
Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? — 2 Corinthians 13:5 KJV
- What is your understanding of “God is Love”?
- Do you seek other gods (idols) rather than God?
- How often do you fall out of love with God?
- What do you do when this happens?
- What are your reasons why you love God?
- Do you think God is Love and Love is God?
- Do you love Jesus?
- Have you accepted Him as your Lord and Saviour? Accept Jesus Now.
God of Love, we thank you that you have created us out of your love. Thank you for all the provisions you have given us. We ask for your mercy in times we run after other idols and often neglect you in our lives. May the Holy Spirit always be within us to correct us and to guide us to you.
O Lord, Jesus, thank you for the ultimate expression of your love for us. We acknowledge our sinfulness and the need for you to save us from the slavery of sins.
We pray all these in Jesus’ name. Amen.