For there to be a perfect love then God must possess it. Because, as we saw in yesterday’s reading, God is indeed perfect.
When someone knows they are truly loved by someone, they don’t fear the motives or genuine nature of the love of that person. They trust that love to have their best interest at heart. Perfect love has an additional quality. It drives away fear that a person may have. It banishes fear from the relationship.
To begin to understand that kind of love, you need to understand the character of God’s love. And that means understanding that God doesn’t just love...He is love.
John tells us in I John 4:16, “God is love.” The structure in the Greek is emphatic that God IS the essence of love. It is an intrinsic part of God’s character that defines who God is. Without love, God would cease to be God.
It’s like saying the sun is hot. The sun cannot, not be hot. It’s impossible. The sun is defined by the characteristic of heat. It’s intrinsic to what it is. It is the source of heat. Heat is what makes the sun, the sun.
So is love with God. Love is an inextricable part of His character that defines who He is. He is the source of love. And for Him to be unloving would mean that He would cease to be God.
And because God is everlasting and unfailing, His love is therefore everlasting and unfailing.
The psalmist in Psalm 136 tries to put to words the unfailing nature of God’s love. That it endures for eternity. Twenty-six times he reminds us that God’s love endures forever. It’s as though he picks up the diamond of God’s love and turns it so you can see the facets of His love in a different light.
The psalmist shows that God’s perfect love is rooted in the reality that He is God of gods, Lord of lords, creator and giver of life, of all that is good. Therefore, His love, just like Him, endures forever. And then the psalmist turns that diamond over and over to show that God’s perfect love is reflected in the fact that He is the one who comes to our aid when there is no way forward. He is the one who protects, fights, and graces us with every good gift.
God’s perfect love endures for eternity. Never, ever ceasing.
God manifests His love for us in so many ways, but chief among those ways is that it drove Him to give us His Son. It’s become such a common trope among Christians that we have lost the awe and wonder of this reality. As Paul tells us in Romans 5, “God demonstrates His own love for us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” And Jesus tells us in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John goes on to say in I John 3:16, “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us."
The thought of our eternal damnation because of sin and death was so unbearable to God because of His perfect love for us, that the Word put on flesh, became obedient to death, ultimately being murdered in the most excruciating and humiliating way thinkable. Why? I John 3:1 says, “See how great a love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!” And in I John 4:9, “This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his only Son into the world that we might live through him."
Yes, the love of the all-powerful, eternal, pure, and holy God toward you is so all-consuming, it drove Him to the ultimate sacrifice so He could take you from death to life, from darkness to light, and make you His very own child. That’s how much He loves you. It’s a radical, all-consuming love that can’t be shaken or quenched and will go to whatever lengths necessary to rescue and redeem.
God is perfect love. And as a perfect, unblemished love, it by design casts out all fear, all questioning, all doubts. It’s a love that is so pure and so intense, it is manifest in everything God does.
One final thought: John states that “love comes from God” (I John 4:7). That is a powerful thought. Because God is love, it means that any love found in the universe emanates from Him. Wherever love exists, it bears witness to the existence and character of God. This is a far cry from the lie from hell that God is a vengeful and wrath-filled God.
Today, regardless of what you might be facing God loves you with a perfect, unblemished, unfailing love. It can’t be any greater or less. It can never be quenched. And He has proven the depth of that love by giving everything for you. It’s a love you can fully trust.
RESPOND: Take a moment right now to bathe in God’s love for you. Embrace that love and ask God to help you recall that love any time you struggle to trust Him.