"Our Answer is God. God's answer is us. Through partnership we make our world better." - Dorian Scott Cole
Follow on:    RSS
An RSS reader allows you to monitor the headlines on Web sites that feature RSS. Many RSS readers are free, and many browsers support RSS, such as ie 7 and Firefox.

One Spirit Resources publishes around 50 articles a year.

Click the RSS button on your browser RSS pic to subscribe. Or to obtain the URL for your RSS reader, click the rss button RSS.

The Watering Hole - Conversations on 21st. Century religion.

Can You Get Your Mind Around the Love of God?

Can You Get Your Mind Around the Love of God?

Image by Dorian Scott Cole.

Can you wrap your mind around God’s love? I can’t.

Love from God permeates all creation, including all people in it. But to love or hate is our choice.

Every ancient civilization had some notion of a Creator God. Some thought he was like humans with human emotions, whims, and even fickle tastes in people. Some of these ancient notions were better to be avoided, not followed.

In the days of Noah, probably before 4000-6000 BC, people were said to do what was right in their own mind. The Noah story is widely known in ancient Middle Eastern cultures, so likely had some element of historical fact, not just analogy. A flood in Turkey was likely. From that era some Jews cite the development of “Natural Laws,” recognized by all as important, that later became the foundation of the Ten Commandments that Moses inscribed, and he added allegiance to God.

Ancient Egypt had a slew of special purpose gods, some responsible for judgement, some for procreation, some for agriculture, etc. Ma’at was responsible for regulating society, or law, which boiled down to common sense, culture, and tradition, and for judgement that weighed good actions against bad.

Ancient Sumer, about the same beginning date, or slightly before Egypt, 3500 BC, had a slew of gods with similar responsibilities to that of Egypt. Their laws were very fair, especially between genders. Way ahead of laws even today in some areas.

Abraham came out of Ancient Sumer and entered the lands of Palestine and Egypt. The stories surrounding Job and the destruction of Sodom for horribly mistreating others, is dated archeologically to around 1200 BC. It actually was destroyed by fire at that time and never reinhabited. Others date Abraham to around 2150 BC, preceding the Babylonian Empire in that geographical area.

The Canaanites that Abraham met in Palestine, and the Israelites encountered later, worshiped the creator God Ba’al (AKA Lord). They seemed to have acquired their religion from other areas of the MidEast. While they seemed humane, they also practiced human sacrifice and all kinds of Temple prostitution. They weren’t a good act to follow.

Was temple prostitution in all religions, including Judaism, in ancient times? Did Prostitution Really Exist in the Temples of Antiquity?

The Moses story supposedly dates to as early as 1600 BC, possibly preceding the events in Abraham’s time, or coming after. Some say 1250 BC. Judaism suggests 1391–1271 BC. What's a thousand years? The crossing of the Red Sea story seems to come from multiple documents, one in which it was not Moses, but God and the wind that parted the Red Sea. It wasn’t deep at that time – you could walk across it.

Ancient Greece – well we know the tales of the gods and their too human like characteristics, pitting one individual against another. Despite the ungodly behavior of the gods, which in some ways may reflect morality and natural law, the Greeks were moral people. Being humble was a virtue, and excessive pride was a fault. The fault they considered the worst was believing you were entitled, which was part of the idea of hubris.

Persia developed Zoroastrian dualism, around 650 BC, emphasizing good thoughts. It possibly influenced other religions. It saw the spiritual world as pitting Satan against the Creator God. Jews in exile in Babylon likely picked this up.

Buddha, 563 B.C in India, influencing the Hindu religions, taught love for humanity.

Confucius, 551 BC, China, also taught love for humanity.

Native Americans differed hugely in their beliefs. Spirituality factored into all aspects of daily life; the natural and supernatural worlds were one and the same, and marked by a constant sense of gratitude. A more common belief was one of balance. Destruction generally requires rebalancing.

Many other small religious groups thought it necessary to appease an angered god by throwing human sacrifices into a volcano.

Into this melee of differing beliefs, God set the nation of Israel to be an example. It wasn’t to be an exclusive nation. The wider world was not known to them. Anyone could become a Hebrew - Israelite … later know as Jew. It wasn’t meant to be the only religion in the world. It was meant as an example to others. The important thing was allegiance to God and the 613 laws, or instruction for living, that developed from the earliest days. The most important laws were love of God and love of others.

“Your unfailing love, O LORD, is as vast as the heavens; your faithfulness reaches beyond the clouds. Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, Your justice like the ocean depths. You care for people and animals alike, O LORD. How precious is Your unfailing love, O God! All humanity finds shelter in the shadow of Your wings.” (Psalm 36:5-7)

Jesus came with two missions, first to fulfill the prophecies of Ancient Israel and fulfill the Law, which made the reason for the Law more apparent and reset the priorities. Secondly to send his ambassadors into the rest of the world to tell the Good News. The Good News is: The Kingdom of God is here and you can be part of it. It’s for everyone. There is no reason to carry around a burden of guilt that separates you from others - forgiveness of sins comes simply by asking God. (We should always try to reconcile with others for past offenses.) Meaningful activity can be ours if we treat others well, not useless or vanity activities.

John 13:34 “A new commandment I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so also you must love one another.” In the development of Judaism you see this same thought reflected. God loves people and is merciful to them. Much later God expects people to show mercy to others.


For God so loved the world. The Apostle John said that God is love. He also said that love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. Love is the way we know others who are of God.

1 John 4:16 “And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.”

1 John 4:20 “If anyone says, “I love God,” but hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.”

John 13:35 “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

Prior to Jesus, the Prophet Amos said that God has shown humanity what is good, and that is to act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with God. Jesus established the same: act justly, love mercy, walk humbly with God. Jesus showed us the way: “I am the way, the truth, and the life.”

From the very first days of the world, God loved his creation: human beings. Some want to lock that love up for themselves and declare that it can only be for them, because they were “chosen,” and all the rest of God’s creation is bound for destruction. It’s an easy conceit. “Me know secret. Me good, you bad. I’m entitled.” But love isn’t about secrets or being entitled. It’s about how we treat others.

God is love, also known as goodness, or charity, or even law. How we treat others is of paramount importance. This is apparent in Buddhism, Confucianism, Hinduism, Native American religion, Egyptian (Ma’at and goodness), Ancient Greek religion, Zoroastrianism, Islam, and many other religions.

God, whatever God is – we only know God through what is asked of us – allows each of us to choose our path through life. We can choose to be completely selfish and to mistreat others. Or we can choose to be good to others, just as we are to ourselves. God doesn’t hate any of us – he loves us all. He may not like some of the things we do, but he is quick to have mercy and forgive every single person in his creation. God isn’t capricious, uncaring, and unpredictable like the Greek gods. He is the same to everyone.

Jesus told a parable about God, about a sheep who was lost from the flock. The shepherd left the flock to find the lost sheep, and continued looking until he found the sheep and returned it to the flock. God is not willing that any of his children, that's everyone in the entire world, should be lost.

The Spirit of God is in all of us. We all have compassion for others. But we choose our path, and choose whether to be compassionate toward others. We can also choose to be distant from God.

We’re not to judge others – that’s not our job. Not unless we want to be judged by the same standards, and we know we all fail. We are not the judges of who is in the Kingdom of God or who is falling short. Our job is to love others. Our job is to show others the improved life that comes from following the ways God has shown us through his examples – these give us life, these “save” us.

Can you get your mind around that kind of love? Inconceivable task for me.

Love works magic within us. Galatians 5:22 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness.”

Love is about what we do, not a feeling. Galatians 6:9 (NIV) “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

A lifetime of experience may be required to even begin to understand. “And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. (Ephesians 3:18-19)

- Dorian

  1  Page go right 2

Or click a Page selection on the top menu.

1 Page go left  2  Page go right 3

Or click a Page selection on the top menu.


2 Page go left  3  Page go right 4

Or click a Page selection on the top menu.


3 Page go left  4  Page go right 5

- Dorian

4 Page go left  5  Page go right 6

Or click a Page selection on the top menu.

5 Page go left  6  Page go right 7

Or click a Page selection on the top menu.

6 Page go left  7  

Or click a Page selection on the top menu.

In this article:


Sister site: www.visualwriter.com, a free resource site for writers, since 1996.

One Spirit Resources is a production of TechGenie Media, LLC - www.techgeniemedia.com

Copyright © 2008 - 2012Dorian Scott Cole.
Feedback and statistical corrections are welcome: Author, Webmaster, publisher.