“For God so loved the world…”
This phrase is probably one of the best known from the Bible as it starts John 3:16. Probably better known and accepted than the first verse of the Bible, Genesis 1:1.
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”
Yet the two are dependent on each other.
Man didn’t just evolve and then one day God showed up on the scene and decide to love the people of the world. God loved the world because he CREATED the world. It’s his world!
I can’t speak of God’s love without acknowledging God as creator. God loves what he created.
If we are a product of random chance, millions of years and relegated to a higher form of the animal kingdom, God would not be part of the picture, let alone have a deep desire to share a relationship with people forever.
But he is part of the picture.
On day six of creation he created Adam and Eve and brought them together in the first marriage as well as in the first gathering of the “church.” At the essence of church was God’s relationship with his people and they with him. It’s how he created and designed not only the world but the church to be.
So when sin broke that relationship in Genesis 3, God’s love didn’t stop. He didn’t give up, but initiated a plan to bring the people of the world back into a right relationship with him.
“…that he sent his one and only Son…”
Our world has drifted away from a biblical worldview of the origin of things and so it makes sense they have drifted away from God and having an interest in a relationship with him.
But God hasn’t drifted. Like the Father in the parable Jesus told of the “Waiting Father/Prodigal Son” he waits with a heart of love to welcome each person back into a connection with him.
This is unique to the God of the Bible. When people are left on their own to develop God they will make something of nature “god” as well as design a “god” they have to appease in some way. Natural man will only fashion an angry, judgmental god who will severely punish if activity is not in line with his will.
The God of the Bible is just and will punish sin, but what makes him unique is like a human parent, he is both just and loving…perfectly. And like human parents, the predominant quality he wants to be known for is love.
And that he is. God is love.
Apply: Take time to memorize/review Martin Luther’s explanation to the First Article of the Apostle’s Creed:
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.
What does this mean? I believe that God has made me and all creatures; that He has given me my body and soul, eyes, ears, and all my members, my reason and all my senses, and still takes care of them. He also gives me clothing and shoes, food and drink, house and home, wife and children, land, animals, and all I have. He richly and daily provides me with all that I need to support this body and life. He defends me against all danger and guards and protects me from all evil. All this He does only out of fatherly, divine goodness and mercy, without any merit or worthiness in me. For all this it is my duty to thank and praise, serve and obey Him.
This is most certainly true.
Prayer: Father in heaven, thank you for your eternal love for me. AMEN.