We love because he first loved us. 1 John 4:19 NIV
When we think of great love stories, we may think of classics such as Romeo and Juliet, Pride and Prejudice, and Casablanca. There are many beautiful examples of what the world considers love, romance fueled by obstacles, and passion. However, I would argue that the Holy Bible is the greatest book of love ever written.
The relationship begins in the opening pages with God's creation of two people, His beloved, who he communes with each day in the garden. Though they and their children and their children's children would error and make mistakes, He constantly forgives and gives them new chances, never loving them the less for these missteps. They would abandon him, loving others, yet he loved on.
God came as Jesus Christ to live among us for a brief time. Throughout Christ's short ministry, He demonstrated what his Father's love looks like—caring for the sick, feeding the hungry, and speaking about justice and mercy. On the cross, Jesus asked forgiveness for those who would be his enemies. He made this selfless sacrifice out of his love for his creation. In departing, it was by God's grace he sent the Holy Spirit, another manifestation of His love.
Reading the greatest love story ever told, we begin to comprehend the depths of God's love. Not the simple sexual attraction type of love on which the world is so focused, but a love that allows us to care deeply and passionately for everyone and to extend forgiveness–even to those who might hate us. When we accept Christ as our Lord, this transformation begins and is perfected as we continue to walk with the Holy Spirit.
Precious Father, we thank you for your love. In your Word, we have the proof of your limitless love and compassion for your children. Through Jesus Christ, you gave us the example of how we should live, and by the gift of the Holy Spirit, you make this possible. When we falter and stumble, by your love, you grant forgiveness. Help us to live into your love so the world may know your goodness. Amen.