God is Love

D L Henderson
5 min readFeb 28, 2022

“God is love.” An overused expression which has become trite and meaningless to people. So, today I will venture to refresh our minds to its height and breadth and depth.

The Bible refers to God as “our Father.” What does that mean? Too often natural fathers abandon their children, including those who have little time left after work to attend to children’s other needs. Some may be harsh or even abusive, in one way or another. However, most are attentive and take care in providing for both the physical and the emotional needs of their children. Certainly, guidance to appreciate life’s blessings and protection and warnings of life’s pitfalls is front and center in their counsel. The bottom line is the consequences of choices children make, good or bad. Yet, parents know many will stray and have to learn things the hard way. They themselves were the same way growing up as was their parents’ instruction.

Why then do people think it strange of God to be regarded as the heavenly Father? After all, the Bible says Mankind was made in the image and likeness of God. It seems strange to us, because we look at that image as if looking into a mirror in a dark room. The concept has become very unclear to us.

“God is love” refers to His character as being like all of the above in providing for our physical needs, emotional needs, but also the deep down needs of our inner selves. The Greek word for this kind of love is “agape.” Encyclopedia Britannica describes God’s love this way: “In John 3:16, a verse that is often described as a summary of the Gospel message, agape is the word used for the love that moved God to send his only son for the world’s redemption. The term necessarily extends to the love of one’s fellow humans, as the reciprocal love between God and humans is made manifest in one’s unselfish love of others.”

Our parents only wanted what is best for us, perhaps something much better than what they had, but they were limited to material gifts, that sort of thing, and they tried to help our navigating through this world. They knew there were bad things out there in the world, storms and such. If we fell they were there, too. God is like that in a much deeper and wider way.

Why do we think less of our Creator than our parents? We are stuck in the darkness of those reflections in the mirror. Scripture explains the concept this way “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!” (Matthew 6:22–23, New International Version) What Jesus is talking about here is that the “eye of the body” is speaking about the inner self, how you look at things — in other words, your mindset.

To illustrate, I have one healthy eye but am completely blind in the other. What happens if I close my good eye and try to navigate with my blind eye? Nothing good, I assure you!

In living out my life the same principle is true. My life before letting Jesus in was likewise not good. Life with Jesus is so much better. The improvement began when I changed how I looked at God. “Once I was lost but now, I’m found. I was blind but now I see.” In like manner, Jesus’ healing of the blind, especially when He preceded with the words, “Your sins are forgiven,” has a broader connotation than physical healing but healing our bad inner eyes, perspectives, mindsets, and so on. His power to heal our eyes goes well beyond the physical.

Again , God the Father only wants what is best for us, what is a healthful living for us, what is the right way for us, what is most beneficial, and what the right lifestyle is to live within Agape love, not to exclude eternal life.

What is our hangup then? What holds us back from calling on the Lord? Our freedom of choice, of course. We can admit our moral mistakes and seek forgiveness, or we can stubbornly hold on to whatever it is we think is healthy, right living. We can say, “Everybody makes mistakes,” if we are talking about making unhealthy choices in the context of morality.

Well, guess what. That’s a good start, because you may or may not realize that the Bible declares the same thing: “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” — that is, the magnificence God has in store for us. It is in the choosing where we fail. Our attitudes to justify our actions and to rationalize our thinking lead us down the primrose path, ending in further darkness — a whole house of darkened mirrors!

We choose badly, perhaps, because of that darn dark mirror, but nevertheless, Scripture encourages us saying, “Seek the LORD while you can find him. Call on him now while he is near. Let the wicked change their ways and banish the very thought of doing wrong. Let them turn to the LORD that he may have mercy on them. Yes, turn to our God, for he will forgive generously.” (Isaiah 55:6–7, New Living Translation)

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16, NIV)

“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” (John 3:17, NIV)

“…I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10, NIV)

Based only on these four passages from the Bible, the choice should be easy. Why do we make life so hard on ourselves?

“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:29, NIV)

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D L Henderson

Born 1950; HS 1968; Born again 1972; Cornell ILR; Steward, Local President/Business Agent; Husband, father, grandfather; winner/loser/everything in between