If you could peel away the layers of your life and see who you really are…what would you see?

Consider the simple declaration: “God is LOVE.” (1 John 4:8)

It’s an interesting statement…because God doesn’t depend on anything external to define Him.

He is LOVE…
…even if people don’t believe–or could care less–if He exists.
…even if people don’t understand why troubles, wars, cruelty, and hate exist in the world.
…even if people misunderstand–or don’t care to understand–who He is.
…even when people don’t recognize His Creations…or His hand in their life.
…even when people can’t see how He loves them.
…even when people take His teachings and twist them around.
…even when people take his name and throw it around like trash.
…even when people demean Him, mock Him, curse Him, or express their disgust to Him.
…even if people disagree with Him.
…even if people seek to make themselves equal to or better than Him.
…even if people choose to replace Him with themselves.

None of that matters. They don’t change or affect who He is.

He is still LOVE. He embodies it.
His thoughts are love.
His words are love.
His actions are love.
His work is love.
His entire being is love.

His love is not the same love as our ‘typical’ understanding of love (the romantic or even filial kind).

And once you get a taste of His love…you are *naturally* drawn to it.

How do I know?

Because we are creatures of the very same love that comes from Him. We don’t readily recognize it’s His. However, he gave us a gift, a tool, so that we could learn to recognize His love…one that you would naturally be drawn to…

It’s a simple gift:
The embrace.

The embrace is a physical representation of His love, and each one of us possesses this ability. Not only is it easy to give…but it’s easy to give freely. And even if we don’t think of ourselves as “the huggy” type…we hunger for it, we yearn for it, and our heart melts once wrapped in it.

The “tree” of His love has many “fruits”:
* Forgiveness
* Patience
* The second chance
* Joy in your successes
* Mourns for your sorrows
* Kindness and Generosity
* Slow to anger, not easily agitated or provoked
* Suffers criticisms and oppressions for someone else’s sake
* Faithfulness and loyalty
* Encouragement, full of anticipatory Hope
* Regards and esteems another better than oneself
* Truthfulness
* Seeks to benefit another more than self
* Seeks no attention for self, but focuses on you instead
* Carries your burden with you…
* Loves without condition

If you’ve tasted any of these…you’ve tasted His love. Do you remember the good feelings you had towards that person who showed any of these things to you any time in your life? Did that person embrace you or hug you as well? Didn’t it feel good?

This is how God is in each one of us: the seeds of His character are already planted inside each one of us. Just as a little bit of our parents and our ancestry are in each one of us through genetics…whether we like it or not…God’s “spiritual genes” are in each of us as well.

The Lord says, “I AM.”

You can say, “I am” as well:
I am forgiving…so I forgive…
I am patient…so I wait…
I give second chances…
I rejoice in your success…
I mourn with you…
I am kind and generous…
and so on…
until I can truthfully tell you,

You don’t need the world’s perspectives to shape your identity. You don’t need their opinions, their branding, their habits and practices and labels and addictively attractive culture to make your identity. Your identity already exists; it was there when you were born. There is a portion of the Divine that’s in you, a piece of Heaven, a piece of God. You just need to peel away the superficial layers to see it.

Just as God is LOVE…You and I, too, can start to be LOVE…His way…and embrace it.

“behold, the Lord hath redeemed
my soul from hell;
I have beheld his glory,
and I am encircled about eternally
in the arms of his love.”