God is Love…period

LoveWhenever someone takes issue with my focus on the love of God, it usually goes something like this…“Yes, God is love, but He’s also just…..”

So, I would like to do my best today to dispel this popular evangelical myth, for there is no “also” with God.

And I understand what they’re trying to do, but I don’t think they understand what they are doing. By attempting to somehow “balance out” God with their “but” they have proven that they don’t really understand Love. They’re trying to make Love conditional with their legal disclaimers in the fine print.

For this knee-jerk response comes from our long-standing love affair with stainless steel legal jurisprudence, not from our being properly informed by who God truly is from the view of His embrace.

Saying that “God is love but…” compartmentalizes and dissects who He is–it actually negates Love.

For Love is not one of His attributes, it’s the very Person of God. It’s the full revelation of who He truly is.

For you cannot divorce God’s justice or holiness–or anything else about Him–from Love. For when you do, you end up with an angry vindictive, distant God which, unfortunately, many of His beloved have in view in their orphaned minds.

Every response of God, even His justice and anger, is because of His unconditional and reckless love…for YOU.

I remember a few years back when I had a daily radio spot called, “God Moments.” And the theme was always about the goodness of God and how He invites everyone to embrace this love. One day, I mentioned that God is not angry at us, that He’s like the Prodigal’s father who’s waiting for us to open our hearts to His love. Later that day, when I got to my office there was a message on my phone from an angry woman that went something like this…

“You are deceiving people! The Bible says that God is angry with sinners all day long…you need to tell them the truth!” Click!

Of course, she was parroting what a lot of Christians believe, and they get this from one solitary verse in the Bible, actually the King James Version of this verse, which is Psalm 7:11…

“God judgeth the righteous,
and God is angry with the wicked every day.” (KJV)

Case closed, right?

Well, it would be if that’s what it actually said in the original language. You see, your Bible will probably have “with the wicked” in italics, which means that those words were added because they weren’t in the original text. In other words, you’re getting the translators interpretative lens, or bias, on what they think God meant here. Not that this is necessarily bad, but sometimes it can lead to confusion, or just plain wrong ideas about God.

While the original text of your Bible, in the original language with the original intent and meaning is inspired, the translation is not necessarily inspired.

And this is why it’s good to have several translations to make sure you’re getting the true essence of what God is actually saying, rather than what the interpreters assume that He meant.

So, let’s look at this verse in other translations (bold-text added)…

“God [is] a righteous judge,
And He is not angry at all times.” (Young’s Literal Translation)

Wow, that has a different spin, doesn’t it! This very literal rendering of the original Hebrew text says that God is NOT angry at all times with no mention of the wicked here.

Now, how about a more modern rendering.

“God is a fair judge,
a God who is angered by injustice every day.” (God’s Word Translation)

 My personal biased lens would probably prefer this rendering. I mean, which one sounds more like the God who is love?

So, what angers God? It’s not sinners or the wicked. It’s injustice. And He is always for His beloved…you!  

Did He not “so love” every person who will ever inhabit this world, even those who hate Him, that He came in the form of a man–Jesus–to release us from the entanglements and toxicities of our fallenness? (John 3:16)

Did Jesus not come, not to condemn sinners, but to free them from their prison? (Luke 4:18; John 3:17)

Is Jesus not the exact representation of the Father (Heb.1:3), who said to His wicked persecutors, forgive them for they know not what they do”? (Luke 23:34).

Isn’t His compassion for the rejected, the abandoned, the forsaken, the abused and misused? For when you love someone the way God loves, you can’t stand to see them to suffer in any way.

God is not conflicted here–loving the world He died for and hating them every day at the same time! We are the ones with the issues here.

Jesus told us to love those who would want to be our enemies, not be angry with them all day long. Why? Because this is how God rolls (bold-type added).

“But I say to you, love your enemies,
bless those who curse you,
do good to those who hate you,
and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,
 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven;
for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good,
and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” (Matt.5:44-45 NKJV)

Okay, hopefully you get the idea. God is love…period. Everything God does is because of His love. His full range of emotions are fueled by His burning hot love for you.

I will dispel more of our “sinners in the hands of an angry God” myths in future posts. For now, know that God is for you not against you…even when you’re still trying to be against Him.

You are SO loved!

 

 

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About Mel Wild

God's favorite (and so are you), a son and a father, happily married to the same beautiful woman for 37 years. We have three incredible adult children. My passion is pursuing the Father's heart in Christ and giving it away to others. My favorite pastime is being iconoclastic and trailblazing the depths of God's grace. I'm also senior pastor of Cornerstone Church in Wisconsin.
This entry was posted in Father Heart of God, Love, Theology and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

25 Responses to God is Love…period

  1. Amen. I could not agree more.

  2. John Cummuta says:

    Truth!

    Since God has always known ALL of what we call “time,” he would never have created us if he didn’t also intend to save us after the fall. He SO loved us enough to start the whole thing rolling in the first place, knowing many would reject him. And, even if Adam’s sin in the Garden caught God by surprise, if he didn’t SO love us, he would have stopped the human experiment right there.

    The fact that we’re still here on planet earth is evidence that he SO loves us.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Amen. In fact, Revelation tells us that Jesus was the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world, which would have to be before the Fall. Actually, outside of time itself. God has always loved us, provided for us, and will never change His mind.

  3. Cindy Powell says:

    Amen! No “buts” when it comes to God’s love … and I love that!!!

  4. There you go again… shining the light on ‘dark’ verses… and using an upgrade lens to more correctly interpret God’s Word. Love it. You go, Mel!!!

  5. Amen! So many people have the vengeful, angry picture of God that is ready to strike them down for sins and mistakes at any second and though God is just and will judge according to what we do He loves us greatly and we should never doubt that His love is constant for us even when we mess up. If He is angry it is at our sin and not at us and He has the power to help us repent and begin new with Him. Thank you for shedding much needed light on these scriptures. Be blessed!

    • Mel Wild says:

      Thanks Anna. Really appreciate your comments. I think this is the upgrade we’re coming into in the body of Christ in this hour. We’ve had centuries of “Sinner’s in the hands of an Angry God” mental imagery deeply burned into our conscientiousness. So when someone dares to say that He is good, we feel we need to qualify it (which actually negates it!). But do we really think He’s dangling sinners like a spider over the fire? Really? If this were a person doing this, what would we think of him? He would probably be locked up! No wonder people are hiding from God!

      And, Yes, fear is a powerful manipulator of people’s emotions, but there is no fear in love, and the Kingdom of God works only on love.

      Thank God we’re coming out of our Medieval Dante’s Inferno obsession with this mythological angry, abusive child abuser and terrorist we’ve called God, and are now learning that He’s a loving Father who wants His kids back, who wants us to approach Him with confidence, having had our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscious (Heb.10:19-23)!

  6. gailmanizak says:

    Amen Mel, I said in my re-blog of one of your recent posts. “God is Just.” Yes God is LOVE, {PERIOD). But I believe due to another message being preached in regard to grace, we need to read all the scriptures and listen and obey all the scriptures. Yes God is a God of LOVE, Just ONE example, He loved the (the parable) 10 Virgins, but there would come a day that 5 of those would be told by the LORD, “I never knew you”. There will come a day in time we will all answer to a God who DOES LOVE US and He will be just on that day. He has given us all the grace we need to serve Him, what we do with that precious GRACE is up to each one of us. Blessings to all.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Thanks for your comments. Yes, I agree. God loves the five foolish virgins too. We are the ones who are foolish and refuse to accept His love, keeping our distance from Him. It’s never distance on His side. Like the man who hid His talent, he viewed his master as “austere” which was the wrong view (of God). The same is true today, which is why so many hide from God rather than embrace His love. As C.S.Lewis said, the gates of Hell are locked from the inside. We condemn ourselves because we don’t want His love (John 3:18-21). We’re the ones who’ve made Him our enemy and needed reconciliation with Him. His heart has always been to restore, not to condemn.

      Our problem is rooted in our deeply entrenched view of the atonement, which we’ve interpreted legally rather than by His love. The early church fathers never interpreted the cross this way. I will cover this in greater depth in future posts. God’s justice is for us, to deliver us and defend us from the oppressor, not to condemn us. It’s like a good father defending His child from abuse. This is why we can’t divorce His justice from His love. His justice is always an expression of His love, whether people accept it or not. I hope this makes sense. 🙂

  7. paulfg says:

    “Because this is how God rolls” – Love is the answer, now what’s your question? Keep banging the drum Mel – it’s too simple to accept without repetition!! 🙂

  8. Justin says:

    Amen! Thanks for the reminder of the truth of His love. The last couple weeks everywhere I go I’m hearing the song “How He Loves”. Guess the Holy Spirit has been wanting to drill a point with me 🙂

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  11. Saskia Hart says:

    Ahhh.. .deep breaths of pure supernatural Father love. Need to hear this every single day. Thanks so much!!

  12. Chad says:

    Mel – amen and amen!! I wrote a very similar post recently, we must be talking to the same God or something! Blessings to you!

  13. Pingback: Saving Easter – part four | In My Father's House

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