“God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.” Jn. 3:16
There is a reason that Jn. 3:16 is held up by people in the stands at sports events. This famous Gospel passage reveals the heart of God. It shows that God is passionately in love with the world.
God doesn’t love the world as He would like the world to be. He does not love the world because it is good or perfect. God loves the world as it is. God loves it in the midst of its brokenness and pain. God loves the world in spite of its rejection of His ways. God showers down mercy on a world that often rejects Him. He doesn’t love the world only when it is good. In fact, God loves the world when it is at its worst. Like a Father who loves His kids even as he helps them deal with a drug addiction or bails them out of jail, God sees the darkest part of the world and loves us through it.
God’s love for the world is not cheap or easy love. God is not a fair weather friend. His love is “costly,” as the theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer would say. God’s love is so great that He is willing to sacrifice for the good of His beloved. God loves us so much He is willing to sacrifice for us. Now that is love!
No wonder Jn. 3:16 is held up all over the place.
This week, may we experience how deeply God loves us.
Dcn. Lincoln A. Wood