God is love (1 John 4:8)
God is love! In a world of bad news, the Bible brings a message of hope. The one who created us and holds our breath in his hand is fundamentally defined by his love. It’s not something he does: it’s who he is. With God, love is not awarded on the basis of good performance. It is not revoked when things go sour. In a world that uses his name as a swear word, a world that denies his power and existence, a world that grabs the gifts but forgets the giver, God is love. In hearts that harbour sin and its pleasures, hearts that raise themselves in pride against him, God is love. To those who have “had it with religion” and those who are “too far gone”, God is love. In Palestine, two thousand years ago, when a baby was born in a seemingly insignificant little town outside Jerusalem, God was love. When humanity cast their verdict against God and nailed Jesus Christ on a cross to die, God was love. As the news of his resurrection continues to sweep through the world, God is love. How different everything would be if God were not love.
The Bible makes it clear that in our natural state of rebellion against God, we will never enjoy the blessings he designed us for. God loves his creation so much that he will not allow the devastating effects of sin -- the very things that break our hearts today -- to exist for ever. Because God is love, sin must be judged. The brokenness of our world will give way to a glorious new creation. By all rights, we should be swept away in this judgment. But God is love. In the greatest act of self-sacrifice, he has paid the ultimate price to reconcile his enemies to himself. The Bible says it this way: In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (1 John 4:10). Simply, this means that Christ’s death on the cross enables God to offer forgiveness without compromising his own moral standard. Where does this leave you? God’s love will not force you to turn to him. Instead, he calls: Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28). When you confess your position as a sinner, accept Christ’s sacrifice on your behalf, and freely trust him with your eternal well-being, you come into the good of this promise.