By Jothany Blackwood
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16
Nothing expresses the concept of God’ love more comprehensively than John 3:16. It’s a scripture that children are taught to learn and adults learn to lean upon. When the Scripture speaks of God’s love, we must embrace the fact that it is not limited to a selected few or one favored group. If that was the case, it’s a real possibility we would not be included. But it is an inclusive love that has the breadth to go beyond our failings and the depth to lift us from our falls.
When John declares this gift is for the whole world, it’s inspiring because it means that even folk like us still benefit from its reach. Folk that may not be where they need to be yet but are pressing forward are renewed by His presence. And His love transforms the possibilities in our lives into purpose and we are simply better because of it.
Think of the ways in which we share our love for our mates, family, friends, even in our giving to strangers. We may choose service, affection, gifts, or simply language to transfer our feelings to that individual. But God’s love is expressed in the giving of his most priceless gift, His only son Jesus Christ.
When I reflect on the reality that He gave His only, I realize that normally we wouldn’t give people our only of anything. Human nature would caution us to keep back something for ourselves. Even the most benevolent spirit that freely shares would hesitate on giving away their only coat, their only car, or their only dollar.
I recall as a child, if there was only one of something left in the refrigerator, you asked for it. The only slice of pie or only cup of milk had special significance because it might be needed for something important or promised to someone else. If you dared take the only of anything without permission, it was certain that you would bring the wrath of Big Mama upon your little head.
And so I’ve always been encouraged that John reveals that God “so loved” us that his love is solidified with action and not just in words. It moved beyond rhetoric to the reality of giving that which He valued most, Jesus Christ. And we are all beneficiaries of that wonderful gift.
And so the immense power of God’ love is that He says, “I’m not just going to give you what I have, I’m going to give you all I have.”
God chooses to love us even when we aren’t that loveable and gently looks beyond our faults. And therein rests the power of love. That it gives us not only the chance to become better, but to become a part of something greater than ourselves through His love.