God is Love, Part 27

Well, perhaps I haven’t written 26 previous posts entitled ‘God is Love’, but it certainly feels that way! This particular post isn’t going to be one of my (relatively) carefully crafted, meticulously edited, posts… It’s going to be more ‘stream of consciousness’ and so it may be a bit rough around the edges. In a way, I want to write about the latest, awful, school massacre in the USA, but I don't know what I could add to the debate. So I won’t comment, even though ‘business as usual’ feels rather flat and hollow in the circumstances.

On Tuesday evening my wife Linda was leading our church lifegroup meeting. She asked us to think of ways to describe God’s character. I found myself thinking (almost inevitably, given that it’s an obsession of mine!) God is Love (from 1 John 4). But then I thought on from there, in a fairly meditative way, and found myself reading a chunk of 1 Corinthians 13:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

and then mentally substituting the word ‘God’ for ‘love’ (and ‘it’). That, obviously, gave me the following:

God is patient, God is kind. God does not envy, He does not boast, He is not proud. God does not dishonour others, He is not self-seeking, He is not easily angered, He keeps no record of wrongs. God does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. God always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

That, for me, sums up the God I worship. My experience of God, and my reading of the gradual revelation of God’s true nature in scripture does not allow me to subscribe to the view many hold, of an angry, vengeful, god who is intending to return to smite his enemies and consign them to eternal conscious torment - that, it seems to me, is humanity projecting humanity’s desire for vengeance onto a God whose nature is the opposite of that. The God I worship will go to any lengths, including dying on the cross, to restore all His creatures and His entire creation to a right relationship with Him.

God bless you.

Copyright Phil Hendry, 2022