Saturday, December 3, 2011


“God loved the world so much
that he gave his one and only Son,
so that everyone who believes in him
will not perish but have eternal life.”
John 3:16 NLT

Most of us have been familiar with John 3:16 for so long that at times we have taken it for granted. Let’s take a moment to refocus on how incredible God’s love is.

When we consider the creation of heaven and earth - from the endless expanse of space to the microscopic forms of life – from angels – plants – animals - God is the creator of them all. As a climax to His creation He said, Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us. The “us” in this passage is a reference to the Trinity. He designed us with the ability to communicate and have fellowship with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit as they have with each other. Of all His created beings, only people are made in His image - which is the only way He can have the warm and loving relationship He longs to have with us now, and throughout eternity.

We all know what happened in the Garden of Eden. Sin separated the human race from the God of love who also is the God of justice and requires that the penalty for sin be paid in full. Our sinful nature makes it impossible for us to pay the penalty we are charged with.

This is where God’s love comes to the rescue – He loved us so much that he gave his one and only Son. We get our first glimpse of the Son in human form as a helpless infant in the manger of Bethlehem. At the outset of His ministry He was tempted by the Devil, and each time He fought him off by quoting appropriate scriptures. Hebrews tells us He has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. That makes Him absolutely unique. Only He had the credentials to pay the penalty that human sin incurred.

Throughout the years of His ministry He was keenly aware why He had come to this world. He came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many. Repeatedly He said, it was written long ago that the Messiah would suffer and die and rise from the dead on the third day. Even though He knew He would rise again, He also knew taking our sin upon Himself meant separation from the Father, and that was unthinkable. So in Gethsemane He repeatedly cried out in prayer, My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine. His love for us won out – He went to the cross and died in our place!

“Oh, love of God,
how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure -
The saints’ and angels' song.”

Click on  THE LOVE OF GOD  to Hear Billy Graham and The Gaithers