‘God is love.’ (1 John 4:8,16 NIV)
God reveals himself through relationships. From eternity past God has been in a perfect relationship of love with himself.
For one person to simply love themselves and no other would be narcissistic. For two persons to simply love each other and no one else would be a mutual love but it would be exclusive. For mutual love to be perfected it must be shared with a third person, ‘therein lies its consummation and perfection.’
Thus the Father has always loved the Son and the Son has always loved the Father and this mutual love is shared with the Holy Spirit who in turn reciprocates in love.
God is a thoroughly relational God, and so we would expect him to be relational in dealing with humankind; this is exactly what we find. He is Abraham’s best friend, Israel’s first husband, and he’s married to the church. The Father is our beloved Abba-Papa
(Romans 8:15), Christ the firstborn of many brothers and sisters
(Romans 8:29) and the Holy Spirit pours the love of God into our hearts
And it’s not just his relationship to us, but also ours to him. We are his rescued bride he carries across heaven’s threshold. We are his returning prodigal son he rushes to embrace, enrobe and celebrate.
It should not be surprising then that loving relationships is what the Christian life is all about. The two
‘great commandments’ are to
‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind’ and to
‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ (Matthew 22:37–40). We will be known as followers of Christ if we love one another
And if we do not love our brother and sister who we see how can we say we love God?
(cf. 1 John 4:20–21)
How can we be relational beings by loving God and our fellow human beings?
It is only by the relational God of love living in and through us. We are able to love only because the God of love first loved us
(1 John 4:19). As his perfect, unconditional, and inclusive love is shared with us, permeating our beings, only then are we truly free to be who we were created to be: A relational person who loves both God and neighbour.
That is what God longs to have.
He wants to share the perfect love he has had within himself for eternity past with us in eternity future.
Our relational God wants a relationship with us that will never end. We need never be lonely again, never excluded, never on the outside. We are secure, safe and included in the relationship of God, and that means we are and always will be loved.
Abba, Son and Spirit, thank you for sharing your life of love with us. As we participate with you may we love as you love us.
Have a good week building relationships.