ODJ: all you need is love

October 8, 2013 

READ: Exodus 34:6-7 

[God lavishes] unfailing love to a thousand generations (v.7).

While sifting through old files on a hard drive recently, I found a 10 minute string of old voicemail messages from Wyatt and Seth when they were 3 and 4 years old. My sons would call me while I was at work or away on a trip. “Daddy, I love you,” a tinny, young voice crackled. “When you get home, can we go for a bike ride?” My favourite was the message when Wyatt simply repeated, in staccato fashion, “I love you Daddy. I love you Daddy. I love you Daddy.” Tears came as I remembered those beautiful days, tears born of intense love.

When you get to the core of things, it’s true that what we all really need, what we’re all longing for, is love. Scripture confirms this human longing and tells us that this unquenchable desire is simply another expression of the fact that we’re all longing for God. “God,” the apostle John says, “is love” (1 John 4:8). It’s not only that God enacts love. Rather, God is love. God is “filled with unfailing love” (Exodus 34:6). God defines love. He concocted the whole notion of it. It’s an expression of His very being.

If we’re strangers to love, we’re strangers to God. “Anyone who does not love does not know God,” John insists (1 John 4:8). But if our love is strong and true, it means we’ve received this gift from our Creator.

Poet and novelist Wendell Berry says it beautifully: “I believe that the world was created and approved by love, that it subsists, coheres and endures by love, and that, insofar as it is redeemable, it can be redeemed only by love. I believe that divine love, incarnate and indwelling in the world, summons the world always towards wholeness, which ultimately is reconciliation and atonement with God.”  —Winn Collier

Read 1 John 4:16. What does it mean to “live in” God? And what connection do you think love has to do with this? 
How has God revealed His love to you? In what areas of your life has love’s absence wounded you? How might God’s love speak into those wounds?