Where does love come from? Secular evolutionists suggest love is a social construct; merely a function of evolutionary need. We need a husband or wife to reproduce; we need nurture and protection from parents; we need social love to protect the village. In other words, love is not a reality, it just appears to us to be. I wonder if the evolutionist’s wife appreciates that, “I love you, of course, by that I really mean nothing at all.”
Let’s lay a foundation stone right here. Love comes from God. I don’t mean that God is merely the provider of it, I mean that God is love (1 John 4:8). Not just in the sense that God is the creator of it or is capable of it, but as God Himself describes Himself, He is love.
Remember, before God created, there was nothing but God. No universe. No heaven. No angels. There was God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit. Their relationship was eternally dynamic; filled with communication and joy and dare I say, laughter. They delight in one another. God didn’t create out of a need for more love. The Trinitarian relationships were enough.
Here is where we all need to understand that there was a characteristic in their relationship which was always true. The three persons of the Godhead derived their greatest joy in generating joy in the others.
24 Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. John 17:24 (ESV)
This is how they relate to one another. They give of themselves for the good and joy of the other member of the Trinity. The Father actively seeking the good and joy of the Son and the Spirit. The Son doing the same for the Father and the Spirit. The Spirit directing that energy toward the Father and the Son. They do this with infinite, divine joy and power and perfection. They didn’t call it love in eternity past.
What the Bible calls love is descriptive of the eternal self-relating within the Trinity; the delight and joy and self-giving for the good and delight of the other.
As we have often talked about, God loves to incarnate pictures of Himself. All of creation is a massive self-portrait. Psalm 19, the heavens declare the glory of God. Rom. 1:18-19, God’s divine attributes are clearly seen in creation so that men are without excuse. This world is big because God is big and beautiful because God is beautiful and symmetrical because God is balanced and colorful because God is complex and on and on we can go.
What about love? Is this a part of God’s creation? Where did it come from?
Love comes from God as God allows His creation (us) to participate in the energy of the Trinitarian relationships. When God created, He freely chose to build into human beings the capacity to relate to Him and one another like He relates to Himself. Human relationships picture the Trinitarian ones. What do we see in the Trinity? Robust relating to others in self-giving. When we relate to one another in this way, we are participating in the vibrancy of the life of the Trinity. Why is there such a power in love? Why do we so long for it and mysteriously find such delight in giving for others good? This is 1 John 4,
7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love… 12 No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us. 13 …16 So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 1 John 4:7-8, 12-13, 16 (ESV)
This can sound like biblical mishmash and some of us are looking at it still going, what? How about we read it taking out the word “love” and replacing it with “selfless giving.” Beloved, let us selflessly give for one another. For selfless giving is from God and whoever selflessly gives for the joy of another has been born of God and must know God. Anyone who lives their life without this kind of selfless giving does not know God, because God is and always has given for the good and joy of another. No one has ever seen God; but if we selflessly give for the good and joy of someone else, the life of God abides in us and his own characteristic of selflessness is being perfected in us… God is at his core selfless, generous, and seeking the joy of others, and whoever lives in this selfless, generous, seeking the joy of others way is living in the life of God and the life of God is living in him.
Think of it. Why is love the greatest reality in the world? It is the very life of God humanly experienced in giving love that maximizes our joy as humans. Might this be why there are so many unhappy people today? Might this explain your unhappiness today? Longing to be loved, when the real joy is giving it.
To love selflessly is to step into the life of God Himself. Not that we are gods but God has set up the world in such a way that His creatures can taste and actually experience a little of the joy God has in self-giving.
Jesus said this, It is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35). Is this only birthday gifts and Christmas presents? We can give to another in so many ways; time, attention, encouragement, ministry, service, physical touch, and even bring meals over after knee surgery. Who was happier after the meal was dropped off? Me or them? Okay, that’s not a good illustration because I think I might have been happier…. You get the point. A life lived in self-giving love is the most blessed life indeed. Have we considered that? Think of all the energy we put into making ourselves happy. What an irony if we discover that real happiness is in making others happy.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
© 2010 Steve DeWitt. You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that: (1) you credit the author, (2) any modifications are clearly marked, (3) you do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction, (4) you include Bethel’s web site address (http://www.bethelweb.org/) on the copied resource.