Heathdale flower 18th August 2023

The Greatest Word

Discover the power and depth of the word 'love' and its connection to God's nature and profound impact on humanity.

Heathdale flower

What do you think is the greatest word, no matter what language or dialect?

I googled what is the greatest English word and it brought up the top ten. Here are some of them:

- Serendipity - The chance occurrence of events in a beneficial way.
- Petrichor - The pleasant, earthy smell after rain.
- Aurora - The dawn in the early morning.
- Euphoria - A feeling or state of intense excitement and happiness.
- Sequoia - A redwood tree, a species of a California redwood; also a particular favourite of Scrabble players, with seven letters including Q and all five vowels!

As interesting as these words are, they are not the ones I would have chosen. I would have chosen the word 'Love'. Love is a powerful word that has so much emotion tied with it. It is the name of the condition we all long for: to be loved. It is a word that binds, unites and allows one to feel safe and know that they are deeply valued.

I can vividly recall as someone who had recently decided to be a follower of Jesus, walking into a friend’s church and above the alter were the words, ‘God is love’ which is part of a verse found in 1 John 4:16. Love finds it’s true definition in God. Love is part of His DNA and so therefore is very much a part of our makeup. This is why I believe the word love is the greatest of all words, no matter the language or dialect!

I can recall listening to my church minister one day as he introduced the sermon saying, “as I sat down to prepare a series of sermons on God’s love, I began to go through the books of the Bible. I was surprised to realise that in the first four books (Genesis, Exodus, Numbers and Leviticus), there was no specific reference or mention of God’s love! Though, of course, there are many references that God clearly loves everyone. When I came to the fifth book of the Bible, Deuteronomy, there were several references to God’s eternal love for His people, His creation.”

My minister then said he skipped to the New Testament and again found that in the first three books (Matthew, Mark and Luke), there was no specific reference to God’s eternal love. Again, like in the Old Testament, there are many references that indicate that Gods does love us, but not directly stated.

Then coming to John’s Gospel (the fourth book of the New Testament), right near the beginning is a mighty declaration of God’s love. In Chapter 3, verse 16 are the words, “for God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son…” These words are like a burst of sunlight in darkness, and it is simply an overwhelming declaration of love that reaches in and grabs hold of our souls. This is the depth, breadth, height and width of God’s love for you and me.

The great Christian theologian, Charles Spurgeon, once said that if all of the Bible was lost to us and we had only one text – John 3:16 – there is enough divine revelation in this one verse to allow every human being on Earth to know that they are deeply loved by God.

Let the words of this incredible verse be able to sink into your mind, heart and soul this day, as it is a thought we have the delight of bringing to our students each and every day: they ARE (and you ARE) loved by God.


Ross Grace
Executive Principal