God IS love.
Let’s break that down first.
I’m going to start with defining the kind of love God is. Some people may think only Agape love (unconditional, charitable, selfless, committed) applies to God’s brand of love, but remember, God doesn’t merely HAVE love, He IS love, so He encompasses all types of love, Philia (brotherly or friendship affection), and Eros (intimate or romantic) as well. The best way to describe that kind of love is like a burning love. When fire is unleashed it does not hold anything back, it is all-consuming and fiery, it is intense, it is unwavering, and it is bold. That kind of burning love is wholehearted, it is powerful, passionate, perpetual, and profound. When consumed with burning love, there is no part of being that goes untouched, it is the essence of heart, mind, body and soul.
Love doesn’t just consume God’s heart, it IS the heart of God, the core or essence of God. God’s entire being is burning love. And if God IS love, then love IS also God! All that defines burning love can be applied to God, but also, authentic love also has the qualities of God; it is eternal, it is unceasing, it is infinite, and it is perfect. Another way we can see God and love are indivisible is through the Trinity. As the old saying goes, love isn’t love until you give it away. Love demands expression. Which is why God is one essence, or nature, expressed in three persons, where this burning love can be, and is, shared within the Trinity.
This is the beginning of the Fellowship of the Burning Heart. But God didn’t stop there, the joy of this burning love shared in the Trinity compelled the triune God to create beings who could also share their love, who could share the experience of the resulting joy. The expression of love doesn’t demand sharing on a small scale, it requires to be shared AND multiplied.
For God so loved that He created the world.
He loved us before we even knew Him. He loves us with the burning love He has for the Trinity (John 17:23). He loved us first, offering us a perfect love to respond to. And when that wasn’t enough...
God so loved the world that He sacrificed His only Son.
The Son He loves intensely, with burning love. Because He loves us intensely, with burning love. All this so that we could participate freely in the Fellowship of the Burning Heart. What we call salvation is really an invitation to participate in the Fellowship. God is searching for those who desire to participate.
Because God did not create humans to be passive recipients of love, but to be part of a fellowship where the love we have for each other consumes us.
Because God doesn’t ask for anything that He hasn’t already given wholeheartedly.
There are so many ways we are privileged to participate in the Fellowship of the Burning Heart!
Delighting in beauty.
Passion for our purpose.
A heart on fire for God has a whole new meaning now!
Imagine my surprise when I picked up this book (Growing in Prayer, Mike Bickles) and started reading this amazing perspective on relationship with God, only to find, I had already branded myself as part of the Fellowship 20 months ago! Yet another layer of meaning God has given me for this tattoo!
Awhile ago I was journalling and asked God more about my purpose, He told me I was His walking billboard, advertising His love, beauty, grace, and joy through my testimony. At the time, it didn't occur to me that He also may have meant this literally, but it makes sense because I have always seen my tattoos as a part of my testimony, etching in significant lessons God has taught me so I never forget but also as a conversation starter.
So here I am, a walking billboard for the Fellowship of the Burning Heart!