Love Like God's
This is a teaching and praise song about love that is like God's, and about becoming like God in this love.
Love Like God's lead sheet in new window
In our church, understanding what Christianity is has become very clear and simplified. However, many of the praise songs available today do not have this clarity. It seems to me that too many of these are songs based on the feelings experienced in an individual Christian's life rather than on what Christianity is. Songs that directly praise God are good. But even in that, many of those are so vague that the meaning is indeterminate.
This song is about Jesus' Kingdom which is not earthly (Jn 18:36). The Kingdom is in the hearts of His people. When we live as citizens of this (humanly) unusual Kingdom, our relationships with everyone (especially with those in the Kingdom) are made better. This is God's design. Christianity is all about relationships.
Although it is not notated: to end the song, repeat the first verse and then repeat the last phrase "on earth as is in heav'n".
Verse one: The beginning of this verse in regard to worship is surprising, but should not be so. Christ calls us to live lives of sacrificial love for others - just as he did. And as Romans 12:1 says, when we do this, we are worshipping God. So worship happens all week long as we do our daily living - definitely not just in church.
Significant promises are given in scripture regarding God's answers to us to our prayers. To not become discouraged in prayer, it is important to understand that these promises are primarily about changing hearts to become more Christ-like. This is how Jesus taught us to pray (Mt 6:9) and it is how he prayed in the garden of Gethsemane (Mt 26:36..). So the meaning of the 2nd part of the 1st verse is a reminder that God promises to change us to be more like him in sacrificial loving when we ask him in prayer.
Verse two is about forgiveness. God forgives anyone who repents. This is so essential to Christianity that if we are unforgiving to others (when we have been asked), then God doesn't even forgive us. Again, this should not be surprising because Jesus' greatest work in coming to earth was to bring forgiveness to us. God wants us to adopt His value system and become like him. If we are unforgiving, then it shows that we have not become like God, and still reject what God has asked of us. We have not really become part of His Kingdom (Mt 18:21..). We have not repented, and so our offenses against Him can't be forgiven.
Verse three is about how God's value system of sacrificial love is better than the law of the Old Testament. (Heb 8) When Jesus was asked about the most important commandment (Mt 22:38..40), he replied with two. However, both of these were not ordinary does and don't. They were to love God and love others. And then He said that all the other rules (laws) of living depended on these.
Why then do we continue to look to rules of behavior for our guidance in living? One answer is because we like simple metrics that we can use to rate ourselves and others. But according to Jesus' words, following rules isn't what God wants. He wants us to adopt His value system and love like He does. Then everything else is automatically taken care of.