1 Peter 1:8 Identity: Lover of God

Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy,

Lover of God

The first commandment is to love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.  How does one love in a vacuum?  How does one keep love fresh and passionate?  How does one keep love new?  There has to be an inexhaustible source of love that keeps all loves constant.  There has to be an eternal love.  There has to be an infinite love.  If there is no eternal, infinite source we do not have the resources to guarantee that we will be constant in our love.  We often draw from shallow wells of affection and we find that we start scraping the bottom and draw up our own sludge and dirt before ultimately the well runs dry.  What if we met Jesus and drew from his well?  The Bible says that we, as Christians, love because he first loved us.  We do not initiate our consistent love life, the infinite and eternal Word of God speaks love into our lives.  It is up to us to stay close and listen to his words of love.  For example, he tells us some things that often we find it hard to believe.  Jesus accepts Christians unconditionally.  He does not love us more because we behave well.  He loves us enough not to leave us as he finds us.  He changes us and sometimes allows pain and brings hardships so that our character will be formed.

As we see the cross and all that it does for us each day, we respond with love that has been gifted to us.  As we see the sacrifice Jesus makes for us, we sacrifice ourselves for others.  The one for whom we ultimately sacrifice ourselves is God.  We have not seen God with our eyes, we have not sensed God with the five senses, but through faith we sense him around us in other ways.  As we allow that life’s circumstances, that creation, and that our relationships communicate God’s presence to us, so we feel more enveloped and enraptured by his love.  The day we are broken and understand mercy and grace is a day when we throw ourselves into the arms of our redeemer.

Prayer

God, warm the passions of my heart.  Let me see your constant, eternal love for me.  Let me respond appropriately with love for you and for my family, friends, and enemies.  Let me be grateful and content with all that you have given me.  I rely on your emotional and physical strength because I am mortal and dependent on you even for the air I breathe.

Questions

  1. In spite of what impediment do Christians love God?
  2. How does sight often help love?
  3. Describe the love one might have for God.
  4. When does the well of your love become shallow or dry?
  5. How do you constantly work to fill your well of love?
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About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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4 Responses to 1 Peter 1:8 Identity: Lover of God

  1. 33324bg says:

    As believers I think we can get so easily into the trap of viewing “our well” as separate from “His well” of love. We are amazed at the love God has poured into our hearts at our conversion (Rom 5:5), but perhaps we think of loving God too much like loving another human being, and so we get into the mode of “pay back.” Another human being loves me, and I love them. I’m thankful for them, I like them. This other human being does help me to love them in being “lovable,” in being kind and caring toward me, but this other human being does not give me the love and affection in which to love them, this other human being does not produce in me thanksgiving toward him…but this is what happens with God.

    My well is not separate from God’s well. When I think that way, I am thinking like an unbeliever and failing to believe the gospel- that I am united with Jesus Christ and am not my own. God’s love is mine, from Him I do not part, the fact that He is always with me and in me is a greater truth than we far realize. I have access to His resources of love, faith, hope, courage, etc, all the time, and when I act as if I do not and have to rely on my own person I am failing to believe in and thus act on my true identity. I am failing to “put on the new person.” . In other words, I am being an idiot! Given, it is strange to think of loving God with His own love. But we are not mindless robots in the matter. Our will, our self is involved and we have to remember that God is far different from any other and so it would naturally make sense that loving Him varies in crucial ways from loving humans, though there are similarities…

  2. Christina Zezulak says:

    We love God, although we have not yet seen Him face to face. Without God’s continual love pouring into us, our attempts of love will be fruitless and in vain, dried up within a matter of time. Even though I know that God’s love is being poured into me in each moment, I find myself still trying to (but not always) love others in my own strength. I will never be able to love people the way God has called us to love others if I do it in my own strength. I think I struggle with this because I am not always aware of God’s eternal love in my life. My mind often gets sidetracked with thoughts of how to please God and serve God but not just resting in the reality that He loves me and that I love Him. To avoid becoming shallow and dry, I must always be in prayer. I must continue asking the Lord to make His love to me and for me to overflow with His love and onto others. I continuously recognize that without being in constant prayer and seeking His presence in every moment, I faithfully fall short.

  3. Eric Wildermuth says:

    Even though we have not seen God, we love Him. “Love at first sight.” This is often used to describe the infatuation one can have with a person the first time a guy sees a girl walk into a room–however, this is probably only infatuation, and almost certainly not true love. Sight helps us know the person better, which helps us love them more.
    The love one might have for God would be loving Him as a Father, as redeemer, as our substitute and mediator.
    When I am distracted from keeping my thoughts on God, I become bend in on myself and focus my love on myself more than I seem to love God. When I try to love myself so much, I lose the source of love–I don’t draw from the well of God’s first love.
    Working to fill the well of love has to focus on knowing God, at a heart-deep level. To know God and be beholden to Him–He is the source of the well of love and I must go to Him to continue to draw from it.

  4. Loving God may sound easy, but when it comes to the everyday grind, you are confronted with truth if you really are loving God or not. I think hindrances to loving God can be: failure in work, relationships, pregnancy, making the team. There are many things that can come into our lives very quickly that can suck our love of God away. Server events that scar our lives or hinder our lives can also hinder our love for God.
    Even though I love my wife in word and thoughts, she still wants to see my love for her through my actions and giving attention to her.
    Some love to God can be very irreverent and childish, but then some love is through living very legalistic strict lives. It almost seems our love for God can be very bipolar.
    When I am dry I know I need to just spend time with God. Focusing on Him and stop thinking about everything that i need to be getting done.

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