In a world consumed with hatred, war, cheating, corruption, etc., one of the bible's greatest contributions to the world is the concept that God loves us. The Bible give us wisdom about the meaning of love: the love of God for us and the love that we are called to share with others in order to make the world a better place. Please consider these selections when thinking about love.
PSALM 139:7-8 offers us a glimpse of just how far God's love will go, even past the portal of death: "Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths of [sheol], you are there."
The universality of God's love, as it originates in Abraham, has its roots in GENESIS 12:3 "I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed."
The reach of God's love is found in PSALM 139:7-8 "Where can I go from your spirit? Or where can I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there; if I make my bed in She'ol, you are there."
God's patience, expressed in love can be found in PSALM 145:8-10 "The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. The Lord is good to all, and his compassion is over all that he has made. All your works shall give thanks to you, O Lord, and all your faithful shall bless you."
God's gift of love, to all, is expressed in JOEL 2:28 "I will pour out my spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions."
Jesus explains the love of God in a way that is a challenge to many North Americans, in MATTHEW 5:43-46, "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have?"
Jesus tells a short story about God's love in LUKE 15:4 "Which one of you, having a hundred sheep and losing one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one that is lost until he finds it? When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders and rejoices. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.'"
Paul gives us a beautiful image of love in 1 CORINTHIANS 13:4-8 "Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends."