He is tender with you and me.
The love of God is so sweet, so lovely, so unimaginably complete.
As I rest in the promises of His revealed character and covenant commitments, I am reminded again and again not only of the quantity of His love but the quality as well. Who could ever dream of a love so perfectly whole, all-encompassing, and unconditional?
His love holds me, and His love holds you too. 1 John 4:7-12 says “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and His love is perfected in us.”
This is worded so strongly, so uniquely from other statements about who God is, that I believe it was made to stand out. God is telling us that love is not only one of His multifaceted perfected characteristics, but it also encompasses and motivates all the others. His grace is not necessarily motivated by His righteous anger, nor vice versa, and yet both come from His love. This love extends mercy and gives what is undeserved; however, it is also is the root for the displeasure when those He cares infinitely for turn their back on Him.
All His characteristics are perfect in balance and intensity, but love is so significant to God that He says that He is love. He also tells us that the two greatest commandments are to love God and love others, and all others are dependant on these two.
Now, I’m not spouting the false gospel that God is only love or, rather, some people’s ideas of what love looks like. The Bible is clear that God doesn’t accept everyone into heaven, that there is a place called Hell where unbelievers will be separated from Him for all eternity, and that there are tests from God and trials that He allows (see Job). But all this stems from a love more perfect than we can imagine. A love that knows all and understands all.
And isn’t that so relieving to the soul, to know that the love we crave is fulfilled to the point where our cups overflow? When I am lonely, when I can’t stand people, when I am tired, when I have more energy than I know what to do with, His love is my security, and His Spirit within me is my freedom.
Wherever you are at right now, embrace the fullness of God’s character. Recognize all His attributes, and realize that all that He is and does is love.