- It starts with God - If we had written it, we would most likely say something like this: For when man was completely dead in his sin and helpless, God loved and gave. We like to start with the focus on us, but this verse doesn't do that - the one to focus on is God
- God loved - He not only loved but He "so" loved - He loved so much. It is a deep, eternal bond that flowed from the Creator to the created. We struggle to love in this way. We tend to love conditionally - romantic love starts out very sacrificial (we're willing to give up our time, our hobbies, our phone minutes to be with the one we love), but quickly becomes difficult to give when our rights are overlooked or we feel neglected or our attentions get diverted to children or others. When God loves, it's forever
- God loved so He gave - His love caused an action. What actions come from your love? Compare the action toward your husband and to your children, or your parents and your friends. Which relationships in your life cause sacrificial actions and which cause hoarding actions? Does your love cause you to give of yourself or take?
- God loved so much that He gave His Son - the closest, most intimate relationship He had - He willingly gave His Son because of His love for us. For us parents, this is hard to wrap our minds around - I think we would give our lives for our children but to give our child for someone else? It's mind blowing. Of course, we know that Jesus, as Creator, willingly laid down His life for His children, so there are more aspects to this story, but in this verse, remember the focus is on the Father
- Belief in Jesus removes eternal death and brings eternal life - the love of the Father in giving the Son causes the opportunity for saving belief. Just read that line again because it is rich in theology
Monday, October 7, 2013
For God so loved the world,
that He gave His only begotten Son,
that whoever believes in Him
shall not perish, but have eternal life.
Undoubtedly the most famous verse ever.
I almost feel ridiculous blogging on it because in 500 words what could I possibly expound that would do this truth justice? But, since I am committed to marinating on our verse pack, I will faithfully continue on...
What do you think of the Monopoly Game card above? I googled "John 3:16" and this is one of the images that came up. Let me start by saying I went to the website on the card and I don't think that address has anything to do with this card, so don't bother going there. This card is supposed to be kind of a tract of sorts - a way to catch someone's attention. And yes, the claim is true but it doesn't come near to representing the truths in John 3:16.
Let me list a few of the deep truths in this verse:
I think we often focus on the sacrifice of Jesus Christ in salvation without taking the Father's role in account. This week, as we review this verse (because most of us will already have it memorized), rest in the deep truths of the actions of the Father. Turn your heart to Him in thanksgiving for the sacrifice He made on our behalf. I get the fact that the Father and the Son are One, but this verse tells us that the Father loved so much that He gave His Son - Jesus did not suffer alone in our salvation story. We see God as the source of wrath but let us not miss the fact that He suffered in giving His Son, as well. It was a sacrificial love that sent His Son and there is always suffering in sacrifice.
Just think about it for a while - don't let this truth escape you and may it turn your heart to the Father in gratitude for such a great price that was given and paid for your salvation.