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“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rustdestroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." (Matthew 6:19-21, ESV)

 

12 of 12 is love

Chad Karger

Today marks the end of the Twelve Days of Christmas (if you count Dec 25). Each day I've been highlighting different aspect of God's character. Each time we learn something about our true nature and our need for God's grace in Jesus.

The Good News (or gospel) contains the power for salvation (Romans 1:16). The power of God emanates from the essence of God. My ramblings here have only described God's essence: creative, mysterious, healing, and powerful. There's so much more that I don't know; even if I saw the more words would fail me.

My list, however, would be incomplete if we didn't stop to consider one of the most important. 

"For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:16)

God is love

Instead of taking what I commonly think of as love and assigning it to God, I mean to say what I know about love is/needs to be shaped by who God is. God is love.  

Here's why... Emotions. Chills. Romantic chasms that people fall into and out of depending upon where they are in life. Much praise and worship music is written with this human-centered idea of love and assigns it to God; the result is a sound and feel of repetitive and shallow romantic songs about Jesus and God.

There's so much more to say...

To say God is love is to approach an essential feature of God's character. It is to approach the power of the gospel, the transforming power that liberates the human heart from judgement for transgression. Instead of thinking of how I feel about God's character, God's love is acting upon me: saving and redeeming me -- the whole of creation. Instead of feelings, think of gravity. 

Where would we be without gravity? Lost, to say the least! Groundless. Nothing. I take it for granted every second of the day even though it is acting on me every step of the way.

Embraced by faith, the love of God through Jesus plants us firmly in the family of God. We cry "Abba" because we are loved. Moreover...

For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39, ESV) 

Nothing overpowers love. Even when we doubt its power, go in search of cheap substitutes, we are fools who are loved nonetheless...

To whom will you liken me and make me equal, and compare me, that we may be alike? (Isaiah 46:5, ESV)

If you want to walk in this love in 2014 don't go searching for a feeling or an emotion to overtake. It's not there. Search for the One who IS LOVE. If you wan to love more, get to know the ONE WHO IS LOVE!

And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. (Philippians 1:9-11, ESV)

Love abounds in the knowledge and discernment of God. 

God is love.