Meditation for Monday

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16

A young man told his girlfriend, ‘If you really loved me, you would give everything you have to me.’ A woman told her husband, ‘If you really loved me, you would take me for a Carribbean cruise.’ We hear those expressions from people who use love like a manipulative claw to demand and extract from those around them. This term – if you really loved me, you would… – is actually a red flag that should alert the hearer to run and hide. People who make use of that expression are cruel and dangerous and know nothing about love. How absolutely different is our God, whose love as described in today’s classic text is unreserved, unlimited, unmerited, and unconditional.

How pathetic human love looks beside that of our God! Even a mother’s love for her baby or a father’s love for his family fade into insignificance when compared to that of our heavenly Father. How can we doubt His great love when we read of its greatest act, the giving of His Son? None of us could imagine giving a son to save good people, let alone despisers and rejectors. Our text speaks of God so loving the world. For a word of only two letters, that word ‘so’ is large enough to span the distance between Heaven and earth, is powerful enough to cleanse and save the worst of sinners, is complete enough to leave no person on this earth without an opportunity to obtain God’s salvation, is real enough to touch our hearts and bring us into the royal household of God. The word ‘so’ is an adverb, meaning that it modifies a verb. In the case of John 3:16, the word ‘so’ takes the love of God in all its purity, power, and provision, and expresses that love as infinite. We have nothing today if not for the love of God. We have everything today because of the love of God.

Did you memorize this verse in Sunday School? Most of us did. Somehow, I think this verse will be framed and hung on the walls of Heaven, to forever remind us of its majestic truth. Because, it will take eternity to measure the magnitude of the love that our Father has displayed to us in the giving of His Son. – Jim MacIntosh

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