…God is love. 1 John 4:8
This statement identifies the irreducible essence of God. It means that love is not an attribute of God, but that the attributes of God are also attributes of love. God does not ‘have’ love; He is love. The plan of God is not to do something for us, but to be love to us. We must get beyond the mechanical view of God, as if He were a Chief Executive Officer or Managing Director running the universe. God can only be Himself to us when we receive Him into our being. Salvation always begins with God doing something for us, but then, as we let Him be the focus of our lives, there comes a moment when we begin to know and to marvel at the ocean of love that He is. The name we give to this experience will endanger it; we may call it ‘the baptism with the Holy Spirit’. But it is not an ‘it’ – it is Him. It cannot be limited to a mere ‘label’ or something that indicates we are ‘deeper’ Christians than others. This will result in God being like a membership card to an exclusive club. The whole realm of the Kingdom is God Himself, who is love. As soon as we know Him as love, our hearts will be melted, and we will never be satisfied again with anything less.
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