For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16 (King James)
My Utmost for His Highest directed me to this verse today. I have been thinking about it and reading it in different translations this morning. This is the very first verse I remember learning as a child. In fact, to remember it we learned it as a song.
In Utmost the top of the page says, "For God so loved the world, that he gave. . ." I don't know about you, but that is a pretty powerful statement. Not only is God a loving God, but He is also a giving God. And He gave us the most precious gift that He could give. His one and only son. Most people that read this blog have children. Can you imagine sending your child to a place that you knew he wouldn't be accepted. To a place that your child would be ridiculed by many people. And sending them knowing that they would be tortured and sacrificed on a cross.
I think about how my mama bear instinct comes out even when I think one of my girls is getting treated unfairly. I want to protect them from the world and all of its ugliness. I would like to send them out into the world in a bubble so they never get hurt.
I love The Message translation of this verse. It says, "This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life." Can you grasp the magnitude of God's love?
He sent His Son to save us. He has given us eternal life. What have we given to Him? I have a long list of requests that I take to Him everyday. People that need healing, relationships that need mending, people that need saving. But what am I giving to Him? I read in Utmost yesterday this statement, "We have become so self-centered that we go to God only for something from Him, and not for God Himself."
His love for us is so much bigger than we will ever understand. "He pays even greater attention to you, down to the last detail—even numbering the hairs on your head!" Matthew 10:30 (The Message) He knows the number of every hair on our head. He wants us to love Him back. He wants us to seek Him. He wants us to talk to Him like we talk to our loved ones. He wants us to be still and listen to Him with our hearts.
But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul. Deuteronomy 4:29
Think about how angry you get when someone you love is being treated unfairly. Think about someone that you love so much it hurts. That is the love that God has for you! And what He wants more than anything in the world is for you to love Him back.