"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
There is a reason why the Bible is often referred to as God's love letter to us. You see, the entire message of the Bible is that a perfect and holy God loves us so much that He did whatever it took to bring us back to Him when we were separated from Him because of our sin (John 3:16). As followers of Jesus, we can be absolutely sure that God loves us, and nothing we could say or do can change that love. We are going to talk about God's incredible love for us today as we study a passage that might be very familiar to you: John 3.
Throughout all of our Bible study, this one thing is abundantly clear: we are fiercely loved. We are loved because God has chosen to make us His children if we believe in Him, and, as the perfect parent, we know that He loves His children greatly. John 3:16 explains that not only are we loved because we are His children, but also because of what Jesus did for us on the cross. You see, Jesus left Heaven, came to Earth, lived a perfect life, and died a criminal's death on the cross, although completely innocent, so that He could pay the price demanded for your sin and mine. This, my friends, is the ultimate picture of love, a love so perfect and strong that one would die for their loved one.
What does it mean to be loved so perfectly and fiercely? It means to live in that love. Have you ever observed a child who has a parent who truly and greatly loves them? They have a level of peace and confidence in their parent, don't they? You can look at that child and say, "They are thriving because of the love and care their parent has given them." This same lifestyle of peace and confidence is to exude a follower of Christ. Christians can live securely, knowing their Heavenly Father loves them dearly.
My friend, because we have a perfect Heavenly Father who has demonstrated the perfect expression of love, you can have peace and confidence in Him. Rest assured knowing how loved and valued you are and believe that He is taking care of you every step of the way.
Often, we need to be reminded of just how much God loves us. Spend time today re-reading the verses from the "Going Deeper" section of this devotion at least three times. As you read, marvel at God's great love for you that went to extraordinary lengths to bring you back to Him.
Read 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.”