Session 5

God is love

From What is God Like? A 21-Day Devotional

Our culture is obsessed with love. Romance novels and movies teach us that love should make us feel good and we should do whatever it takes — even if it’s wrong — to get it.

But sex-crazed passion isn’t all there is to love — if that’s even love at all.

When the New Testament was translated from Greek, at least four words were translated as love:

  • storge (liking someone through the fondness of familiarity),
  • philia (the love between friends),
  • eros (the sense of 'being in love'),
  • agape (unconditional 'God' love).

With so many emotions wrapped up in one word, it’s easy to see how the idea of love can be misconstrued.

In a letter to early Christians, John, one of Jesus’ closest friends, gives us a better way to understand love. 1 John 4:8 says, “God is love.”

Love is not something God does; it’s who He is. God is the source of our ability to love. And when we look to God as the standard of what loving looks like, it changes how we treat each other.  

God’s love is best demonstrated in Jesus’ life and death. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

God’s love is self-sacrificing; it doesn’t rely on feelings or lust. God’s love is forever and complete; it’s not keeping an eye out for someone or something better. When we look to culture, love has become a confused, muddled word. But in Christ, love has been redeemed.  

Only when we truly know God are we able to love as He loves. John’s challenge to the churches in his day is the same challenge we face today. Having experienced this love, we are called to go out and share it with others (1 John 4:11).

Reflect:

  • What is one way God has shown that His love is different from what the world offers?
  • What is one way you can show God’s love today?

5 of 21

Devotionals From This Study

to Discover More

Session 1

God is Jehovah

Have you ever been assigned a task you felt was too big to accomplish? Your initial thought is, “Who am I to carry this out?” Whether it’...

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Session 2

God is merciful

“Today is a good day for a good day” has become a popular phrase recently. It might seem cliche. But cliches are cliche because they are ...

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Session 3

God is just

We have no shortages of being hurt, failed, and scorned in life. The question to ponder is who do we trust to rescue us in our time of ne...

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Session 4

God is infinite

Imagine yourself on a sandy white beach, ankle-deep in crystal blue ocean water with a teaspoon in your hand. Now fill the teaspoon with ...

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Session 5

God is love

Our culture is obsessed with love. Romance novels and movies teach us that love should make us feel good and we should do whatever it tak...

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Session 6

God is awesome

Have you ever passed a police officer parked on the side of the road and felt the need to check your speed limit and sort of make sure yo...

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Session 7

God is our Lord

Today, many parents name children based on what’s popular or what sounds good, without much meaning beyond a nod to a family member or fr...

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Session 8

God is our Father

Have you ever had a relationship with someone that made you feel special? People with “connections” get special treatment. They might get...

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Session 9

God is God almighty

As a child, there is no hesitation in asking our parents to provide for our needs and wants. God wants us to come to him in the same way....

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Session 10

God is our banner

Sometimes God’s promises to us involve a fight. We have to fight to keep our focus on Him, fight to move towards the promise we know God ...

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Session 11

God is our healer

The Bible describes God as Jehovah-Rophe (or Jehovah-Rapha) more than 60 times. Jehovah means “God” and Rophe or Rapha means “to restore,...

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Session 12

God is peace

In Judges 6:11-24 Gideon’s hiding away, head down, working hard. Many of us could say the same about our day to day. How often do we toil...

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Session 13

God is our provider

Have you ever sat at the dining table and wondered which bill could be late so your lights would not be turned off? What about sitting in...

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Session 14

God is holy

In fact, God wants you to be different — and not just in personality and personal likes and dislikes. But to understand how each of us ar...

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Session 15

God is wrathful (and that’s a good thing)

We don’t like to think about God’s wrath. “Wrath” makes us think of uncontrolled tempers and impending punishments. It’s difficult to ass...

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Session 16

God is full of grace

Grace can be a tough concept to grasp. God is often described as gracious, but what does that mean for us? We sing about it, we read abou...

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Session 17

God is our comforter

The doctor walks in with a pained face and a positive cancer diagnosis. A policeman knocks on the door to deliver news no parent ever wan...

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Session 18

God is sovereign

Whether we win the lottery or spend our last $5 on the burger in front of us, we choose to trust in a sovereign God. We trust because God...

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Session 19

God is omniscient

Remember trying to get away with something as a kid? Grandma was always quick to say, “I may not know, but God knows.”  At some point, y...

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Session 20

God is self-sufficient

Remember the first time you realized you were pedaling your bicycle on your own? Realizing your mom or dad let go and you don’t need them...

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Session 21

God is good

Psalm 119 declares that God is good and what He does is good (Psalm 119:67). However, we all go through things that make us question God’...

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