The Where True Love Is devotional is structured to lead the reader on a journey of scriptural exploration. Each week centers around a specific topic. The first week deals with the question "Who is God?"
Here's the introduction to the week, along with the first devotion.
Before we begin exploring the scriptural view of the LGBTQI+ community we must first understand the one who breathed life into the collection of books which make up the Bible. Who is this God we worship?
This section is critical because all that follows hinges on who we know God to be. Jesus tells us when we see him, we see the Father. Jesus is the full revelation of God. That means understanding scripture, relationships, and the world around us all hinge on this central question. Who is God?
Day 1: Love
Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. (1 John 4: 7-8, NIV)
As you read through scripture, you can find God described as merciful, jealous, compassionate, angry, and forgiving. These adjectives describe God’s attributes and responses. But they don’t say who God is. John’s statement above stands out from all the other descriptors in a very powerful way, because it doesn’t describe a characteristic or emotion. It proclaims God’s very being.
John doesn’t say “God is loving.” He says “God is love.” That’s a world of difference.
Remember the author of the passage is the beloved disciple. The one who reclined at Jesus’ side and laid his head on Jesus’ shoulder at that final supper. The only male who stood beneath the cross as Jesus suffered and died. The one to whom Jesus entrusted the care of his mother. It can be argued that of all the apostles, John knew Jesus best.
Let’s look at John’s wonderful proclamation again: “Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.”
What a powerfully inclusive statement.
A famous hymn written by James Quinn called Here in Christ we Gather contains the following refrain:
“God is love, and where true love is
God himself is there.”
The name for this devotional came from these lyrics. We are formed in the image and likeness of our creator, and we are called to love. True love is not selfish or judgmental. It is not focused on sex acts. It crosses all genders, races, physical and emotional handicaps, sexual orientations, and other artificial labels designed to create separation between humans. True love springs from God and unites us all into oneness with the beautiful image and likeness of Christ.
Where true love is, God himself is there.
Deep within my existence something said, without any words, “This is what life is supposed to be. You were created to feel deeply and love deeply, without doubt, without shame, and without guilt.”