God is a God of justice. He lives a way of life, and that way of life is described and defined by His spiritual law. That spiritual law describes God's nature, for God lives His way of life according to His eternal nature. That nature, that way of life, that spiritual law, can be summed up with the one word, "love".
"He who does not love does not know God, for God is love" (1 John 4:8). "And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him" (1 John 4:16).
God not only lives according to His spiritual law, but He also teaches us to live by that same law of love. God is reproducing Himself in mankind, and we must practice the same way of life He lives so we can be His children.
"But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust" (Matthew 5:44-45).
It is by our living the way of life that God lives, the way of love, that God is able to reproduce His righteous character in us. God's part is to teach us His righteous way of life and to give us His Holy Spirit, and our part is to believe what God teaches us, to agree with His law of love, and to strive with all our might to obey it.
God is a God of justice. He does not command us to live a different way of life than He lives. He practices what He preaches. Jesus Christ has lived a perfect example for us to follow. "For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you" (John 13:15). "For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps" (1 Peter 2:21).
"A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher" (Luke 6:40).
In showing us His perfect example for us to follow, Christ also showed us the Father, for Christ is a perfect reflection of God the Father and the Father's character. "Jesus said to him, 'Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, "Show us the Father"? ' " (John 14:9).
How great is God's love for us?
Consider how God commands us to love Him: " 'And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.' This is the first commandment" (Mark 12:30).
Now, if God practices what He preaches, and if God teaches us the way of life He Himself lives, then if God tells us to love Him with all our being, does it not follow that God's love for us must also be great?
Would God tell us to love Him with a greater love than He loves us?
"We love Him because He first loved us" (1 John 4:19).
God's love is reciprocal. He commands us to love Him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength because His love for us is also great. When we love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, we are only returning to Him the love with which He loves us. God is fair, and He practices what He preaches. He would not command us to love Him if He did not love us as a way of life. In commanding us to love Him, He is only teaching us to practice the same way of life He Himself lives.
And if God so loves each one of us, we ought to love each other.