For God So Loved The World — Morning Devotions - Hope 103.2

For God So Loved The World — Morning Devotions

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

By Chris WittsSaturday 18 May 2024Morning Devotions with Chris WittsFaithReading Time: 1 minute

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I like the story of the young boy standing on a street corner in Chicago one night, very cold, and he stopped a policeman and asked if there was somewhere warm that he could stay for the night and the policeman pointed to a big house down the street. So just knock on the door and say, John 3:16 and see what happens. The boy was a bit confused by this, but he followed very gratefully the man’s instructions. He got to the house knocked on the door, and the woman opened the door. John 3:16, He said.

Well, she said, Come in, son. She took him by the hand and sat him in a large chair next to the fireplace. She got him something to eat, ran a bath for him, tucked him into the bed. Nice, clean sheets. And the young fellow was amazed at the lady’s kindness and more amazed at what he said John 3:16.

And so before he went to sleep, he thought, I don’t understand this, but it sure makes a cold boy warm and fed and bathed and rested. So at breakfast the next morning, he asked the lady what this meant. And she opened her Bible to John’s gospel and told him in John, Chapter three, Verse 16, How God loved Him so much that he gave Jesus to die in his place so that he, this young boy, might have eternal life. And he gave his heart to Jesus that morning.

I don’t understand it, he said, but it sure makes a lost boy feel safe.

I like the story because the text in John Chapter three, Verse 16 is one of the most powerful texts that you’ll ever hear – for God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son so that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Now it’s been called the world’s greatest text. Children learn it when they’re young. Preachers often speak about from their church pulpits, and believers who have walked with God for years are amazed at these words. So one of the key words here, of course, is love. God loved the world so much. Our God is the initiator, if you like, he stands at the beginning of our salvation. He loved us and gave us his son. Now we use the word today love to describe everything from a great movie to strawberry ice cream.

And we just love that overseas holiday. So the word is overused. It’s really lost a lot of its meaning, hasn’t it? But God’s love is something else. It’s stronger than death. It will not let us go. That love that we’re talking about here passes all knowledge. It rejoices in the truth, and God’s love, we’re told in the Bible, always protects and trusts, hopes, perseveres and lasts forever. And this is how God showed his love for us. And in the epistle of John, we read this. He sent his one and only son into the world that we might have life through him. He loved us and sent his son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. That’s 1 John 4:9-10. So I think it’s wonderful to know that God will never take back this gift. He’ll never say, Oh, I didn’t mean you to keep it.

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Jesus has been handed over to the world, and when I say that God loved the world, this is the big picture here. The world is a very large place. There are lots of people living in the world. But do you know that God loves you and me? He didn’t come into the world to just save a few people or the nice religious people. He came into the world in really the all-encompassing circle of men, women, boys and girls who live on this planet.

So when God gave Jesus to the world, he gave him to all people, universally, without distinction. Even the worst criminal is deserving of God’s love. So think of it like that, that God loves the world. But he loves one person at a time, as if that one person was the only person living in the world.

Well, there’s lots of other things in this wonderful verse John 3:16. The words like perish and eternal life. The text says that we will not perish, but we’ll have eternal life.

So God doesn’t want anyone to perish. The Bible says this is the testimony that God has given us eternal life. And this life is in his son. He who has the son, has life. He who does not have, the son of God does not have life. So they’re challenging words. Wonderful words about God’s love.

Let’s Pray

Heavenly Father, thank you today that you love the world so much, that the great text John 3:16 speaks to our heart. May it be true, Lord, as we thank you for your love for us. Amen.