“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
It is one thing to tell someone that you love them, but it is a whole different thing to show them you love them. You can say the words “I love you” to someone often, but until you demonstrate that love by your actions, they may have difficulty believing your love for them. Love for another person is acknowledged by words but proven by actions.
Jesus understood that love for others is proven by actions when He spoke the words recorded in John chapter 3. In this chapter, Jesus was talking with a Pharisee named Nicodemus. In their interaction, Jesus explained to Nicodemus how a person could have eternal life. As Jesus explained the message of salvation to Nicodemus, He said 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. Jesus explained to Nicodemus that God did not just say that He loves people with these four words. He proved His love. He showed the world how much He loves us by sending Jesus, His one and only Son, to the world to die for our sins. In other words, Jesus’ life on earth, death, and resurrection is proof of just how much God loves His people.
My friend, if you ever question if you are loved, look to Jesus. If you ever wonder if you are wanted, look to Jesus. If you ever doubt your worth, look to Jesus. God proved just how much He loves you, how much He wants you to have eternal life, and how valuable you are to Him when He came to earth and paid the ultimate price for your sins on the cross. So walk confidently in His love today.
Take some time today to revel in God’s great love for you today. He proved His love when He went to extraordinary lengths to bring you salvation by sending Jesus to earth to live and die for your sins. So take time to journal, using this prompt: In light of God’s love for me, demonstrated by the gift of Jesus Christ who came to earth so that I could have eternal life, how should I live?
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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