Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

God's Love and Law

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

God's Love and Law

Article excerpt

RECENTLY I was thinking about some of my favorite high-school teachers. A couple of them, I remember, set a very serious tone on the first day of school. With gravity, and even a touch of severity, they told us there was much ground to cover. It was essential that we take our work seriously. While my friends and I at first didn't find this a winning approach, we came to respect these teachers as among the best in the school. And as the year went along, we found that, far from being cold, they expressed a great deal of warmth and love. Their emphasis on diligence and obedience together with their love for the pupils was an ideal combination, and it contributed to our progress.

Remembering their example has been helpful to me in thinking about the nature of God's care and what we can do to feel that care increasingly. The Bible teaches that God is Love. It points to His tender provision for His creation. But the Scriptures also speak of God as Lawgiver and stress the need for obedience to His law. Matthew's Gospel, for example, records how the teachings of Christ Jesus show us the importance of seeking "first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness" rather than giving primary attention to worldly needs.

So, while God is Love, He is also the source of all true law, the very Principle of the universe. It follows, then, that as we conform to divine law, found in the Bible's teachings, we'll more consistently feel and experience His love. As the Psalmist sang, referring to God, "No good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly."

Clearly, divine Love wouldn't be Love unless it were also Principle. But sometimes we may be inclined to feel that God isn't Love if we don't think He has given us what we've asked for in prayer. We know that a parent's love isn't expressed by simply giving a child everything he wants. …

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