God desires to have a relationship with you! Have you discovered this? Have you allowed Him to come into your life, walking with you through the struggles and successes you experience? He loves you, and he has gone to extraordinary lengths to let you know it!
In fact, as we search through the Bible to discover just who this God is, we find that His love is one of His defining characteristics. It is evident throughout His story. Most of us have seen people sitting in the stands of a sporting event, holding up a sign with the words John 3:16. Have you ever wondered why they chose that verse? Why that message? Simply put, it is because that verse encapsulates one of the central themes of God’s story. That verse tells us that God loved us so much that He gave His Son so that we could be reconciled to him.
In 1 John, we find this amazing truth: “God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him” (4:16). What an amazing statement! Notice that we are not told that God is loving, but that He is love. It is not enough to say that love is a characteristic describing God; rather, we must say that He Himself is the very essence of love and those of us who abide in Him abide in love. Later on in the same passage, we are told that it is God‘s love for us that allows us to love in the first place: “We love because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19). Without God’s love, His story and our lives would not be the same!
Some have claimed that God is not loving at all, citing what they perceive as a sort of schizophrenia in His character between the Old and New Testaments. They would claim that He was angry in the Old Testament, but must ha