Friday, May 25, 2007

Where is the Love?

Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love (1 John 4:8).

Here we come face to face with that tremendous declaration of the Scriptures: "God is love." It means that at the root all God does is love. No matter how difficult it may appear to us, the fountain from which all God's activity stems is this kind of self-giving love. Even His judgments, His condemnations, arrive from love. Judgment is not something separate from love. If you convince me that a holy, loving God cannot judge a sinful person, then you will also convince me that He cannot love a sinful person. Inherent in the quality of love is an antagonism toward anything that opposes the object of love. Also, inherent in it is the quality of judgment. God is a purifying fire, consuming and burning away the dross in order that He might preserve the gold. That, incidentally, is how the book of Hebrews describes Him. "Our God is a consuming fire" (Hebrews 12:29). Love is not always easy to live with because of that very quality, yet it is the most wonderful thing in the world because of its warmth and its all-embracing inclusiveness that takes in all kinds and all conditions, without looking for merit on the part of the object loved. That is the love of God.

I don't like the words "sin" or "sinners" because most people just turn off when they hear those and don't understand what they mean - just some religious mumbo jumbo. Sin is nothing more than lawbreaking.

(1John 3:4) Everyone practicing sin also practices lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.

God did not arbitrarily create the laws of the universe. The law of gravity, for instance, could not behave in any other manner without tearing apart the universe. The same goes for every other law this creation must abide by. They are what they are because that is what they must be in order to create the orderly universe we so often take for granted.

Now, the physical laws we can pretty much figure out on our own - we got that part down (well, most of us), but there are spiritual laws that govern humanity that we cannot figure out on our own, they must be revealed by the Creator. We cannot naturally see the spiritual. The breaking of them we feel, we see it all around us. Many of us strive to heal the sickness but have no clue as to the cause.

Lawbreaking should not be tolerated by a loving society, to tolerate or excuse it is not love. Love can be tough at times, but it is always looking to the betterment of the individual and the society.

Quote above taken from the May 25th Daily Devotion by Ray Stedman.
© 2007 by Elaine Stedman -- From the book The Power of His Presence: a year of devotions from the writings of Ray Stedman; compiled by Mark Mitchell. Devotion pages, excerpts, or quotes may be used as long as the copyright notice includes the book title and author along with a reference or a hyperlink to the Official Ray C. Stedman Library web site at

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