“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
Who is the most generous person that you know? Seeing generous people and hearing stories of great generosity is incredibly inspiring. It makes us want to be generous people. But, the truth is, when it comes to generosity, we have the ultimate example, God. He is incredibly generous towards His people and calls us to be generous as well.
Jesus spoke about God’s generosity toward us in John chapter 3. In this chapter, He talked with a Pharisee named Nicodemus about having eternal life. As Jesus explained the message of salvation to Nicodemus, He spoke about God’s generosity in the very, very well-known words found in John 3:16: “For this is how God loved the World: He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”
Did you catch the first four words on John 3:16? We are so familiar with this verse that we may miss part of this verse’s significance if we are not careful. “For this is how…”, John 3:16 begins. With these four words, Jesus explained the extravagant generosity of God, which was demonstrated by sending Jesus, His one and only Son, to the world to die for our sins. He held nothing back when it came to saving us.
God has been so incredibly generous towards us. This generosity compels us and propels us to live generously in response. After all, when we have been recipients of such extravagant generosity, there is no other response but to live generously as well.
Unfortunately, when it comes to God’s generosity, we are easily forgetful. We forget just how gracious and generous He has been to us. Take some time to list at least 20 ways God has been gracious towards you. As you remember, one by one, all of the gifts God has given to you thank Him for how generous He has been to you and ask Him to give you a generous heart as well. Then, because He shared His love, why don’t you take the action step of inviting someone to church this week with you. You might just make someone’s list because you took time to invite them to Sagebrush!
John 3:1-21 (NLT)
There was a man named Nicodemus, a Jewish religious leader who was a Pharisee. After dark one evening, he came to speak with Jesus. “Rabbi,” he said, “we all know that God has sent you to teach us. Your miraculous signs are evidence that God is with you.”
Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.”
“What do you mean?” exclaimed Nicodemus. “How can an old man go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?”
Jesus replied, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life. So don’t be surprised when I say, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it wants. Just as you can hear the wind but can’t tell where it comes from or where it is going, so you can’t explain how people are born of the Spirit.”
“How are these things possible?” Nicodemus asked.
Jesus replied, “You are a respected Jewish teacher, and yet you don’t understand these things? I assure you, we tell you what we know and have seen, and yet you won’t believe our testimony. But if you don’t believe me when I tell you about earthly things, how can you possibly believe if I tell you about heavenly things? No one has ever gone to heaven and returned. But the Son of Man has come down from heaven. And as Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him will have eternal life.
“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.
“There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son. And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants.”
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