Tuesday 22nd November 2016 - Daily Reading:
1 John 4 - God is Love By Alan Mills

Yesterday we saw that mankind’s created image was lost from mankind’s view when Adam sinned. This image was gloriously restored to us through the Cross and it is what God sees when he looks at us today. It is absolutely vital that we see ourselves as He does and so, we’ll explore what our identity in Christ looks like. Let’s begin with what Scripture tells us about God’s image.

1 John 4 tells us in verse 8 and, again in verse 16, that God is love. So, what does love look like? The Greek word for love used here is the word “agapē”. It’s the same word that the apostle Paul uses in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 where he gives us a clear image of what agapē love looks like. "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs, Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails."

So, if God is love and these verses tell us what love looks like, we could quite legitimately replace the word 'love' with the word ‘God’ in these verses and get a clear image of God. Don’t worry, I’m not trying to add or take away from the Bible here! I’m simply stating that this beautiful image of love identifies some of God’s attributes. No one has ever seen God but this image gives us a clue to who He is, His identity, and not only of our heavenly Father, but of the Son and the Holy Spirit also.

So if we had this image of love restored to us through the Cross then what we have just seen is what we now look like to them - love! Therefore, reading these verses and replacing the word “love” with the word “you” would be a legitimate exercise also. Try it and listen to what God’s word is saying about you as you read. Does the image of love that His word portrays reflect how you see yourself? If it does, then give God all the glory. If it doesn’t, then we can still give Him all the glory because, in His mercy and grace, He has sent the Holy Spirit to help us to become love by walking in the identity that we now bear. We’ll begin to explore this tomorrow.

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