As I mentioned in yesterdays devotional, this week we are looking through what the bible has to say about love, and in particular using the bible verses that the children have taken a look at during the Discipleship Group recently. Yesterday, we had a look at John 14, and how our love for Jesus should bring us to a place of obedience. We also looked at how God has not left us alone, but has sent the Holy Spirit as our Counsellor and our helper!
Today we are going to take a look at God's love for mankind, in which is probably the most well known verse in the bible. John 3:16 says "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." Perhaps this verse has now become so well known and so quoted that we don't fully grasp the magnitude of what Jesus is saying to the Jewish teacher, Nicodemus. However, when we stop to break it down, what Jesus is saying here is massive, and absolutely amazing!
For God so loved the world: You see, God didn't wait for the world to turn to Him first. Rather, God loved the fallen world first!
He gave his one and only Son: Here we see the gift of God's love towards us. God saw the fallen world, he saw the sin in the world and he did something about it! He sent his Son. He gave to the world the most precious thing that He could! His one and only Son, Jesus.
Whoever believes in Him: This term to 'believe in' goes far deeper than an intellectual awareness, or an intellectual belief. It means to trust in, to rely on, and to cling to! We have seen that God loves the world, and that he has sent the world his Son, but we only receive that free gift if we come to a place of faith in Jesus.
Shall not perish: God's love for the world saves man from eternal destruction! God does not want us to perish! And so, in his love for the world, he extends the gift of salvation in Jesus Christ.
Have eternal life: The love that we may receive from other people may fade away, however, here is some great news for us! God's love will never change! He will never stop loving His people!