"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 4:16 ESV
I realized it was a concept I'd always known, and accepted, but never really thought about. I mean, God is love sounds good. It sounds right. But, what does it mean? Love is an emotion. If God is God, then how can he be an emotion?
Once I started picking it apart, it stopped making sense. Did it mean that God is just something that we feel, but not really there. I wasn't going to accept that. I believe there is a there there. So, if God is real, if he's (I'm using "him" for the sake of convenience to keep my mind from exploding as I write this) "there," then how can he be love?
Assuming that the idea is more than just what some people say as they hand out flowers at the airport, there had to be an answer. I decided a good starting point would be to first understand what love is.
According to the Bible, "Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things." ~ 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 ESV
While I don't necessarily think God believes all things, and I think He does insist on His own way, the rest of the quotation works. God is patient and kind; God does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. He is not irritable or resentful; He does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. God bears all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Perhaps instead of love being God, it's more accurate to say that love possesses the same characteristics as God. If so, then when we act in ways that are motivated by love we're doing as God would have us do.