We hear plenty of things about God, but what is He really like? I know what I think He’s like, or how my pastor describes Him, but what is He really all about? What are the characteristics of God?
First let’s define characteristic. Webster’s dictionary defines it as a “distinguishing trait or quality.” Abraham Lincoln was honest. That earned him the nickname, “Honest Abe.” Honesty is a characteristic of his. So what about God? What is He?
“And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love (agape); and he that dwelleth in love (agape) dwelleth in God, and God in him.” 1 John 4:16
God is love. This is not a human love. This is God’s love. Click here to read a concise definition of agape. From the verse above you can logically deduce that you cannot have agape without being born again of God’s Spirit. It is impossible. Agape is a spiritual love. But what are the characteristics of Agape? How can I know if I’m dwelling in it? Or that I’m seeing God’s love towards me?
Elsewhere in the Word it says that of hope and faith and love (agape), love is the greatest. Those are all great! And love is the greatest? Wow. I think we should learn what it is and what it is not. So how do we learn that? I’m glad you asked! God gave us a handy reference with 8 –what it is– and, 7 –what it’s nots– in a list. If it’s the greatest and God did not give us the spirit of fear, but of power, and love and a sound mind, then I think we should study all of those here at Supporting Godly Women. Wait! That’s what we do! So where is this list?
1 Corinthians 13:4-7
- suffereth long,
- [and] is kind;
- charity envieth not;
- charity vaunteth not itself,
- is not puffed up,
- doth not behave itself unseemly,
- seeketh not her own,
- is not easily provoked,
- thinketh no evil;
- rejoiceth not in iniquity,
- but rejoiceth in the truth;
- Beareth all things,
- believeth all things,
- hopeth all things,
- endureth all things.”
Wow! Over the course of the next few weeks we’re going to scrutinize and expound on each incredible truth. If these are the characteristics of God, who is agape, love, then I want to savour and enjoy each one to the fullest. Don’t you? Let me ask, is there anything better we, as His kids, could be looking into? Well, put your finger up to your face and look at it. What you focus on becomes magnified to you. When you look at that finger, you’ll begin to notice the ridges of your fingerprint, the texture, the color, the shape of it. That is what will happen here too. As we focus deeper into each of these amazing characteristics, you’ll begin noticing extraordinary things about yourself and God. Should we instead be talking about aWall Street drama, or latest fashion trends? The Love of God enriches these, and many more, topics with new perspective. There isn’t a better topic in the world to study than His love.
In review: “Look With Me, Closely” defined how God created us hungry for His Love. He built an appetite for it in the framework of our DNA. It’s exciting to see, love is something He planned for our lives from the beginning.
Today we have defined what it is and what it is not. (Please make sure to click the link above and read the definition of Agape. We’ll be using that definition as our working definition throughout the series.)
Tomorrow we’ll head into the first characteristic of the Love of God. Patience. We’ll talk about how a fresh perspective keeps this easy and enjoyable to do.