God’s Love…and the Fonze

November 08, 2021

“Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.” 1 John 4:8-9

Love is a central component of the Christian life. Jesus reminded us in John 13:35 that people will be able to authenticate our relationship to Him by our love. He also claimed that “love” was the essence of all the commandments—love of God and love of those around us (Matthew 22:36). And Paul wrote that the greatest characteristic of all is love (1 Corinthians 13:13). To put an exclamation point at the end of things, John—who history would come to know as the beloved disciple—pointed out that those who do not love cannot possibly know God, for God is love (1 John 4:8).

Notice that John did not say that God is loving. He said that God IS love. And there’s a big difference between those two things. 

A little illustration might help at this point:

In the sitcom of the late ’70s and ’80s called Happy Days, there was a character that was the essence of cool. He established hair combing and leather jackets as standards in the culture—he was the Fonze

When the Fonze pounded on a jukebox or snapped his fingers, he wasn’t just doing cool things. (If Richie or Ralph or Potsy would have pounded on a jukebox or snapped their fingers, it wouldn’t have been cool.) The actions were cool because the Fonze was cool.

For the Fonze, “cool” was not a commentary on his actions. It was a statement regarding his nature.

In a manner of speaking, we might apply the same logic to God. You see, in the first of today’s verses, John was not making a statement about the actions of God; He was making a statement about His nature. John wants us to see that love finds its very definition in who God is. 

This means that in some mysterious way, whatever comes into our lives has been filtered through God, whose very nature is love.  

Even in the midst of difficulty, we must remember that no matter what else happens, God has shown His love to be true and real through the cross of Jesus Christ.  We can rest in confidence that everything He does for us as believers flows from the fountain of His loving character.

Written by Michael Kelley, Guest ContributorTo read more of Michael’s writing, check out his daily blog,

Forward Progress.http://michaelkelley.co/