“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
A.W. Tozer said of this text, “I can no more do justice to this awesome and wonder-filled topic than a child can grasp a star. Still, by reaching toward the star the child may call attention to it and even indicate the direction one must look to see it. And so, I stretch my heart toward the high, shining love of God so that we may be encouraged to look up and have hope.”
Why does this verse mean so much to so many people? I have a theory that it is because this verse answers the real answers of our heart.
Could God Really Love Someone Like Me? For God so loved the world…
How could God love the world? Look at the shape it’s in. God sees…what we cannot see.
*His Creation – it was Good
*His Image – in every man, woman, and child
*His Plan – He intends to spend eternity with His Creation
*His Interventions-created opportunities / worked in lives
*His ability to make straight that which is crooked
God loves in ways we cannot love. Unconditionally – seeks the best for us … not for himself. Beyond our mistakes / faults / rebellions. He is heartbroken when we ruin our lives with sin. He heals. God can love someone like me.
For God so loved the world…
2. Will God Ever Stop Loving Me? …that he gave his one and only Son…
The cross- great mystery of love – sacrifices all for unworthy. See the cross at face value – God will never stop loving us. Look what a price He paid to save us. Look what Jesus endured to save us. Look at the promise of the resurrection. God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son…
3. How Can I Get Close to God? …that whoever believes in him…
Believe in Him … Trust Jesus … Take Him At His Word. We live in a cynical age, largely rejects religion, thinks itself too enlightened to believe in fairy tales. What great philosophy or teaching or teacher exists to show a clearer way than Jesus? When we believe in him we enter into a new life. John 3:5. 1 John 4:9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son that whoever believes in him…
4. Can I Ever Have Peace of Mind and Heart? …shall not perish but have eternal life.
An overzealous preacher felt it was his calling to aggressively “make” people become Christians as they would ride on the city bus system. One day a drunk stumbled onto the bus that the preacher was on. He sprang into action and shook his Bible in the face of the inebriated man and yelled, “Did you know you’re headed for Hell?” The drunk replied, “Oh, no, I’m on the wrong bus again!”
We may feel that we’ve been on the wrong bus in our life. Grief, guilt, uncertainty, fear of death, fear of God …We find our final answers in Jesus: escape from hell /entrance into life. No matter what this life throws at us … what heartbreaks we face …what disappointments we endure … eternal life in Christ is ours. Death does not have the final victory after all.
– Could God really love someone like me?
– Will God ever stop loving me?
– How can I get close to God?
– Can I ever have peace of mind and heart?
These are heart-questions … and God has the answer for us in the Golden Text of the Bible … the sweetest words we ever took to heart.
“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.’
(Audio of this message can be heard HERE.)