God is a Lover

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” – The Bible NIV [John 3:16]

On the way to daycare this morning with our little guy, my husband put on one of T.D. Jakes’ messages. He was talking about giving and John 3:16 was his main verse. He was looking at giving from another angle – not the typical stuff we hear when preachers talk about giving. It resonated with me. So here are a few thoughts (most of them T.D. Jakes’ and a few of my own).

God is a lover.

Not a “lover” like how you’re thinking right now. We’ve been conditioned to think of the word “lover” only in relation to sex, but love, of course is much bigger and broader than just sex. True love changes things. It changes our perspective. It changes our motives. It changes our actions and behavior.

God is a lover.

It’s his nature to love. God IS love. It motivates everything He does. It is behind every action, every move. “God SO LOVED the world…”

What makes God a lover? “THAT HE GAVE…” He’s a LOVER because He’s a GIVER. Loving and giving are inseparably tied together. True love desires to give. True love doesn’t take. It’s not self-seeking. It gives without expectations or conditions.

If you really love someone, you’ll give to them.

But of course there are lots of people who might be labeled “givers” but who are not in fact “lovers.” I liked T.D. Jakes’ term for these people – “lusters.” They are not lovers – they are lusters. What is lust? Again when we hear the word “lust” our minds jump straight to sex – but again the idea of lust is bigger than just sex. Other words associated with lust can be – passion, desire, covet, crave, want, wish for, long for, hunger for, etc. All of these words can apply to many things. Lust is the opposite of love. If love is about giving, lust is about taking. Lust is concerned with itself, it’s own desires and wants first and foremost. It always wants something in return – it is interested in how much it can get. “What’s in it for me?” “What can I get?” “What will make me feel good?”

So T.D. Jakes asked an interesting question – “Are you a lover or a luster?”

Hmm…

But be careful how you answer. Take a moment because it might be harder than you think. You see lovers and lusters initialy many times might appear quite similar. They might do similar things. They both give. They both say nice things. Some of their actions look the same. So where’s the difference? – It’s inside. It’s a matter of your heart – the motives of your heart. WHY are you doing what you’re doing?

I liked another thing T.D. Jakes said (I’m paraphrasing) … “When we get up to heaven and we face the judgement of God it will be less about WHAT we did and more about WHY we did it.” Just let that sink in. As humans we are mostly consumed with WHAT we do. The good deeds, the bad deeds, the number of deeds. God is much less concerned with what we do (of course because that can’t save us anyways) and much more concerned with why we do what we do. What the motive of our heart is. What is driving us to act the way we do – towards Him, towards ourselves and towards other people.

So now let me ask again. Are you a lover or a luster? You may consider yourself a generous person, a giver – but why do you give? Maybe the answer to this question will help you answer the first.

Food for thought this morning. Always welcome your thoughts!

Oh and go listen to some T.D. Jakes – he’s got some good stuff to say! (Even if he’s “not your style” listen for the content – learn and grow.) Happy Friday!

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