Developing Your Spiritual Core - THE BASICS

Developing Your Spiritual Core - THE BASICS


Loving God—Part One

“We love because God first loved us.” I John 4: 19

The above title can be read two ways. One way is to consider the idea that God is a loving God, that God in fact loves us. The Bible says this in a number of different, indirect ways, but in few places as clearly and directly as in the verse from 1 John.

Greek is the language of the New Testament, the “Jesus” part of the Bible. The Greek word translated into English as “love” in part has a sense of personal warmth and closeness as we today might understand the word. However, in the verse I quote from this week’s readings (and in most of the New Testament for that matter) “love” also includes the idea of a deliberate choice, a matter of principle, even a duty.

I remember a lyric from a song by a Christian musician that I heard decades ago that said, “love is not a feeling, it’s an act of your will.” Even at the time it struck me as catchy and memorable. But now, having had children who’ve gone through the “terrible twos” and (mostly) through adolescence, I understand it at a whole new level. There were times when I genuinely did not feel “warm and fuzzy” towards them, but realized that I still loved them because I chose to do so because it was the right thing to do.

To think that God chooses to love me, love each of us and all of us in this unconditional way is powerful, reassuring, humbling. It gives me a solid foundation to build my life on and for us to build our life on together as a congregation. Our God is a profoundly loving God!

Next week: Loving God—Part Two
- Rev. Dirk Jessen