“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” (John 3:16)
Did you know that the number one Bible verse of 2015 was John 3:16? That did not surprise me at all as it is the one verse in the Bible that perfectly describes how much God loves us. Last week I shared a poem on being still enough to hear God. This week, by looking at John 3:16 closely, I think we can accurately know the heart of God.
For God So Loved the World
World in Greek is translated as "kosmos" and there are eight different meanings for its biblical usage. Below are three meanings that really stood out for me:
God's greatest creation is not just us, but the entire universe that surrounds us. We know from the first chapter of Genesis that everything created by God was deemed "good". He loves this world He created. So we should take care of it.
Earth is just one of the ornaments that decorates the heavens in this vast universe God created, but we have the incredible privilege of being the only planet where the human family was created. A family that God loves. A family devoid of colour, sexual orientation, religion - anything divisive. You see, to God we are all the same, because despite what we might look like on the outside, on the inside we all have the same parts. And He sent His son for the ENTIRE human family because He loves ALL OF US.
GOD'S LOVE IS SO VAST AND SO DEEP THAT HE CARES EVEN FOR THOSE WHO ARE HOSTILE TOWARD HIM.
That He gave His one and Only Son
This is the single reason why we can be confident that God loves us. He sent His only son into this world because of His divine love. How vast is His love? The Apostle John makes it very clear in the following verses:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God (John 1:1).
WHO WAS THE WORD?
And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth (John 1:14).
JESUS WAS THE WORD!
In other words God came down to earth in the form of a man - Jesus - and walked among us. Why? Again - His love was so great for us that He gave up His heavenly abode in order to walk among us - to teach us the right way to live. This is like the stories of old, when a King desired to walk among His subjects to find out how they really felt about him and to grasp what they were going through. Now think about that for a minute. GOD DID THAT FOR YOU AND ME!
Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men (Philippians 2:5-7, NKJV).
That Whoever Believes in Him Shall Not Perish But Have Eternal Life
Let's keep this in context - God gave His one and only Son, so that whoever believes in him - in Jesus - shall not perish, but have eternal life. John 4:24 says, God is spirit, and it is because of the gift of the Holy Spirit that we are able to have communion with the King of the universe. But, those who reject God's gift of eternal life with Him, are making a conscious decision to lose access to God. To die in their sins. To reject God's saving grace. To reject His very promise to save them from themselves. These are people God loves and they are the reason He came to earth, so that no one would perish.
THIS IS THE HEART OF GOD!