For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life
God loves us…
God loves us and wants us to thrive. He wants to bless us and encourage us. He does not hate us. He is not waiting for the opportunity to punish us and destroy us. We do not recognize His love and kindness because what we think we need is so trivial compared to what He is doing and has done. We are children playing in mud puddles and praying that we will have more and better mud, but God is protecting us from the diseases in the mud so we can keep playing. There were times when my father had to take me for shots and even surgery because he loved me even over my objections.
There was a misconception in the minds of the Jewish people at the time of Jesus about who God was, what He was like, and His intentions towards mankind. Jesus came to set the record straight. God loves you and wants your best but gives you a choice whether to choose His way or your own way.
God: This is an important point that Jesus makes. What do you understand about God? How do you conceive of Him? Is He mean, austere, distant, arbitrary, vindictive, and full of anger? Jesus wants you to know that that is not the real God. The Almighty God who created the universe and who is above, beyond, and over everything loves us. This is an amazing assertion. The God that is so far above us that He could easily dismiss us as wretched sinners who are only deserving of wrath and punishment is the God who loves us. The God who is described in the Bible as All powerful, Everywhere present, All knowing, Unchanging, Sovereign, Holy, Good, and Faithful. The God of the Bible loves me and provides what I need for a relationship with Him. Jesus spends a lot of time telling, teaching, and demonstrating that God is good. Which means that He is merciful, loving, benevolent, and kind.
This is what was so shocking about what Jesus taught. God the Father was not a wrathful, vengeful God waiting to slay people. He was instead actively working to provide for them when they could not provide for themselves. He met their needs at the deepest level.
The amazing thing that Jesus kept going out of His way to tell us about God was that He is not like what we think He is like. God is full of love and care for His children. God wants to bless us and fill our lives with abundance. Jesus over and over talked about aspects of God that were not openly discussed or even known to many in His day. Jesus was Himself an explanation of the Father. How Jesus acted was how God was – a perfect explanation of what God the Father was like, an exact representation of God.
so loved: This is the Greek word agapao, which means to love. The best working definition of “agape” love is that it means to meet needs, pursue, and please. When someone has met your need, they have loved you whether you or they feel anything about it or not. God saw the desperate plight of mankind. We were disconnected from the life of God, guilty, and facing just and divine punishment and He had mercy upon us and made a way to reconnect with Him. He did what we could not do. He loved us when we could not meet our own desperate need. Notice that God’s love provided the way to enjoy the two things we most deeply needed: re-connection with God and forgiveness.
the world: This is the Greek word kosmos, which means world. It is sometimes used as the world system or culture as in 1 John 2:15-18. It is used in 1 Peter 3:3 as the whole world and universe in a physical sense. It is used here as the inhabitants of the earth, the whole human race. God gave the human race a gift that meets its deepest need – a need which many do not even know they have – the need to reconnect with God and to be forgiven for your violations of God’s law and plan for your life.
When you reconnect with God, it is like coming home to a place that you have never been before. You realize immediately that you needed this center to your life even though you have never had it.
It is important to realize that Jesus clearly states that this act of love on God’s part is for the whole world. God’s love is extended to the whole race of men. Every man, woman, and child is included here in the “world.” God gave His only begotten Son for every person. All they need to do is believe in Him. If they do not do this, then the gift is of no use to them.
It is absolutely imperative that we get the word out about God’s love and His amazing gift to people all over the world. They must know. We must work hard to pull the scales from the eyes of people that they might see the light of the glory of God in the face of Christ. The Devil has blinded the minds of the world so that they would not see God’s love and gift.
* This material is copyrighted © by Gil Stieglitz who retains all rights to the material. The verses quoted are taken from the NASB Bible 1995 edition.