The 7th point on our list from last month’s post, Developing a Healthy Image of God, is one of the most clichéd and misunderstood: God is love. The truth of those three words is so powerful that it transforms lives. Unfortunately, most common interpretations are false. Here are a few examples:
- God loves me for who I am, so I don’t need to change a thing.
- God loves the whole world, so all religions lead to Him.
- God is love, so all humanity should embrace each other as friends no matter what any of us has done.
- Love covers a multitude of sins, so the more we love each other, the more the sins of the world will disappear.
- God is love, so if a sexual relationship I’m in involves love, it must be from God.
- God’s love is so big that it overcomes all evil, which means He forgives everyone, which means no one will be sent to hell – not even Satan.
God’s love is inseparable from all His other qualities – His holiness, His goodness, His hatred of evil, His justice. You can’t love your child and then welcome his schoolyard bully into your home to continue attacking him. Love requires boundaries and limits, and at times requires a furious battle to defend the ones you love. God is passionate about rescuing us from enemies who only want to steal, kill and destroy, and that means fighting entities that live inside of us who convince us that they are us, and we are them.
God passionately loves the real us, the real person He created the moment we were conceived. God hates the abuse of the devil that deceives us into believing that He isn’t really there or that He doesn’t care. He hates the evil that screams in pain every time we hear the truth, and tries to convince us through powerful emotions that obeying God will only hurt us. Imagine the child you love with all your heart rejecting you, as if you were a monster who only wanted to destroy him. Instead of living in the safety of a loving home, your little child follows a voice in his head to sleep on the streets, eating out of garbage cans, and constantly running from you whenever you come near. It would break your heart to live that nightmare. You would give your life to rescue your child from that evil inside of him. And that’s exactly what the love of God has done for us, on a massive, eternal scale.
God’s love is all about rescuing, saving, snatching us out of the hands of destruction. He created us to be children empowered with His own authority and blessed with all good things to live with Him now and forever. He gave Himself up for us all, He died and shed His blood. He has done everything possible to rescue us. But that screaming voice is so convincing. “Don’t sacrifice, don’t obey, don’t follow, don’t listen… God loves you just the way you are, you don’t need to change... God’s love is so big, there’s no such thing as hell… You’re such a good person… As long as you love everyone, you’re fine… A loving God wouldn’t demand obedience…” We hear this demonic voice every day, but it’s up to us to choose. Will we choose our abuser who feasts off of our misery, or our heavenly Father who loves us immensely and wants nothing more than to bring us to safety and eternal joy? Let Him rescue you today. And if you’ve already been rescued, join the fight to rescue others.
As the Father loved Me, I also loved you. Remain in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will remain in My love, even as I have kept My Father’s commandments and remain in His love. I have spoken these things to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. This is My commandment: that you love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love has no man than this: that a man lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. I no longer call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master does. But I have called you friends, for everything that I have heard from My Father have I made known to you. You did not choose Me, but I chose you, and appointed you, that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that the Father may give you whatever you ask Him in My name. This I command you: that you love one another. John 15:9-17, MEV