Today's Devotional Verse: John 3:16. God & His Unconditional Love For the World, For Us!
The above verse is embedded in between lines that are about God's salvation and life He prepared for everyone that believes. Before that, Nicodemus (chapter 3:1-10) had started a long conversation with Jesus and the question in discussion was this; how can I be born again? And it seems our today's verse is part of the answer that Jesus gave to such a question; Believe in Jesus Christ!
In the above verse, Jesus is saying that, out of love and love only, God decided to give out His "only begotten son" to the world. The verse emphasizes love for indeed it is out of love that God moves or moved towards us. We didn't have any quality, any feature of attraction, and there was or is nothing admirable about us. And yet, as our culture says, a child, even a rotten one is still your child. In that same parent-like move, God ascends down to save the unworthy humanity.
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The Bible is clear that God loved us first when we didn't know what love is (1 John 4:19) and He emphasizes that He died for us, not because we were His friends but His true and ugly enemies-sinners (Romans 5:8).
Our motivational verse emphasizes that Jesus was the only begotten son to highligh how deep God's love is. Yes, God was able to sacrifice the only son He had just to save us, the unworthy sinners.
Do you get it? I don't! At least, one would sacrifice something dear to himself to save a friend-someone dear to him as well. But here, God is sacrificing His only begotten son for Evil people.
And I suppose the word "world" here does not necessarily mean the gentiles only or non elect or anything specific but us all. The above verse is saying that His love is or was for us all. This destroys the contradiction (usually by hyper-calvinists) that God predestined some to salvation and others to hell. The right idea is that we are or were all on the way to hell and simply those who believe in Him shall be saved and the rest continue on their way to Hell.
He doesn't push us or predestine us to hell; we are or were already on our journey. But He predestines us (some of us) to salvation because none of us was already on the way to heaven.
So God loves you as He loves anyone else. He loved the world, including you and me. He gave up His son to die on the cross and asks us to believe in Him and have life.
The Bible says that we are saved by grace (meaning undeserved favor) alone through faith alone in His mercy and forgiveness on the cross (Ephesians 2:8-9). And so my brother and sister, all you have to do is to believe and trust in His death and atonement for your sins and wickedness and you shall be ushered into His everlasting Kingdom.
The ability to believe in Him is given to you, to us graciously as a gift. And since the Bible says that we can't believe unless we get to hear about His love through His word (Romans 10:17), I suppose God is considering saving you by bringing this word to you. He is the one who opens our eyes to see His glory in this word. We can't even understand His love if He doesn't give it to us. And I want to believe that God is interested in saving you and blessing your life for He has allowed you to drink of His glory and beauty revealed in His word to only those He intends to save.
Our devotional verse says that whosoever believes in Him won't die but should have everlasting life. Do you know why it's possible? Because God Himself is life, the immortal life. He is life giving, the creator of Heaven and earth and all that is in them and He sustains them all. Jesus said, I am the life. He who believes in me shall live even when he dies. Wait! And He adds that actually those who believe in Him shall never die (John 11:25-26).
What else can we ask for? Nothing! God so loved the world, including you. He gave up His only son to come and pay up the price for our sins (we are all sinners, rotten evil, including those who seem to be the best or good in our eyes) on the cross. And He says that the only to make His love and sacrifice efficient or beneficial to us is simply to believe in Him.
And the lovely question pops up; won't you believe in Him today and find peace and rest you never met anywhere?
God bless you
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May God reveal His word and glory to you and us all. And may He enable us to have faith in His grace and be saved or healed by His stripes. Dear brother and sister, find and commit your life to Christ Jesus and see the life you have always longed for and never ever came close. Wish you all the best.
The Complete You Ministry