John 3:16 (NIV)
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.
Well, what can I say about what is arguably the most “famous” verse in the Bible? It was my first memory verse as a very young child, so this verse has been with me my whole life. And, as it is with anything very familiar, it’s easy to forget how truly special this verse is. So, this is my attempt to try and look at John 3:16 with fresh eyes.
“God so loved the world…”. Not “God was so disappointed, angry, disgusted, and frustrated with the world…”.
Love is God’s primary motivation for action. Love is the best response and the best answer to every situation. May love be my best response as well.
“God so loved the world that He gave…”. Not “God so loved the world that He was despondent and gave up on us…”.
I’m so grateful that God did not, and has not, called it quits on the world, but He gave of Himself. May giving be my best response as well.
“God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son…”. Not “God so loved the world that He came up with a plan that wasn’t going to inconvenience Him too much…”.
God deeply, sacrificially gave Himself to save us through His Son Jesus. Giving when it hurts me personally is definitely not my strong suit but may sacrifice be my best response as well.
“God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life…”. Not “God so loved the world that whoever is ‘good enough’ will not perish…”.
God is amazingly gracious and forgiving towards us deeply imperfect people. May grace and forgiveness be my best response as well.
Loving, giving, sacrificial, gracious, and forgiving – it’s all there in John 3:16. That is who our Father God is, and for that we can be eternally grateful.
Written by Shelley Witt