God’s love: it is what it is (not)


With its emphasis on the love of God, the Verse of the Day for February 11, 2018 continues with the unfolding of 1 Corinthians 13 and its quintessential definition of love, as we move even closer toward Valentine’s Day. The next section from verses 4-5 illustrates the distinctive power of the love of God:

1 Corinthians 13:4-5 (NIV):

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

Here the Word of God continues to answer in detail “What is love?” What unfolds is an extended  definition of the concept of “love” or “agape”, the unique expression of the love of God used throughout the New Testament, particularly in 1 Corinthians 13. Actually, the extended definition of love takes the form of a definition by negation, meaning the concept is explained in terms of its opposites or what it is not.What something is not becomes what it is. “It is what it is,” one of the popular sayings of the day, brings to light that “charity” or “the love of God” or “agape” is the opposite of what the Scriptures declare it is not.

And so the definition of the love of God continues to unfold. “Foreigner,” the British-American rock band released the pop-hit of the 1980s featuring the New Jersey Mass Choir with lyrics that expresses this desire: “I wanna know what love is.” To truly know what love is, we must know who God is, for God is love. First Corinthians 13 provides this magnificent definition of the love of God.

As we seek an even greater understanding of agape, the highest expression of love, we must remember there is no fear in love. When an individual is “perfected in love” and walks in or demonstrates that love, there no room for fear. The love of God is the key that releases each believer from the bondage of any “self-imposed prison,” from which Christ came to set the captives free. As believers, we must never forget:

There is no fear in love

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear,

because fear involves torment. But he who fears

has not been made perfect in love.

I John 4:18


“Fear is a self-imposed prison that will keep you

 from becoming what God intends for you to be.”

Rick Warren


There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear

And abounds to transform any adverse atmosphere.

We are perfected and made whole when we walk in love,

A true love that we live and not one we just speak of.

Such love is pure and never repels but draws us near.


This balm of love heals all wounds, no matter how severe

With words of compassion each soul on earth longs to hear;

A true love that we live and not one we just speak of.

There is no fear in love.


We follow in Christ’s steps, knowing our mandate is clear.

Assured of triumph, there is never a need to fear.

We press toward the mark, the prize we seek to lay hold of

To ascend in victory on wings of a gentle dove.

We walk forth as bold pioneers on a love frontier:

There is no fear in love.

We close our discussion of God’s love with this reminder: “Love Never Fails” by Jim Brickman and Amy Sky:

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