John 3:16

Day 8/30

"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 whole and lasting life.  God didn't go to all the trouble of sending His Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was.  He came to help, to put the world right again." - John 3:16-17 (Message)

When we placed some of our favorite and most-inspiring verses of Scripture on the doors of the auditorium a couple of Sundays ago, I anticipated that John 3:16 would reoccur more than any other (go back to day 1/30 blog entry for explanation).  These words truly do embody the Message of Jesus, but could it be possible that, for many of us, we have heard/said them so often that we don't even engage the brain... nor the heart... anymore?

One way I have found to keep these beautiful words of Scripture fresh for me, is to personalize the words "the world" and "anyone."  Doing this reminds me of how fond God really is of me.

"This is how much God loved Steve: He gave His Son, His one and only Son.  And this is why: so that Steve need be destroyed; by believing in Him, Steve can have whole and lasting life.  God didn't go to all the trouble of sending His Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling Steve how bad he was.  He came to help, to put Steve right again."

As I thank my God for loving me this way, I also need to personalize this for someone, or maybe even a group of people, that I find myself at odds with.  WARNING: God really does love democrats as much as He loves republicans, and He wants you to live in that truth!  How about these:

"This is how much God loved Muslims..."

"This is how much God loved an abusive father..."

"This is how much God loved gays..."

"This is how much God loved (insert name of that person who stabbed you in the back)..."

Yep, that's how this thing works for real.  God loves each and every one of us just as we are... and He loves each and every one of us too much to leave us that way.

Comments

Stuart said…
How true it is that sometimes these verses that are so familiar become almost insiginificant. It's wonderful to be reminded of their individual applications once in a while, that not only was it for everyone that Jesus died, but also for me. It is also sobering and delightful at the same time to think that Jesus also died for those with whom we don't always see eye-to-eye or have hurt us or even we ourselves have hurt. Praise God for His grace and mercy that is far above and beyond our human understanding and bless you for this post.

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