“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
I love giving and receiving gifts. The most special gifts I’ve received were the ones where it was evident the giver had taken special care in selecting the gift. Gifts that are given, with such thought and care, are incredibly special. The love, which stands tall behind the gift, is even more precious than the gift itself. In one beautiful sentence, John 3:16 tells us of the greatest gift of all time, born out of the greatest love of all time. It tells us so much about God’s character, doesn’t it? Character is defined as “the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an indivdual.” This scripture highlights the most prominent, distincitive aspect of God’s character, of who He is. LOVE. The exquisite gift of Jesus Christ is proof positive of God’s endless, breathtaking love for us! So, for a moment, I want to focus on the Giver so that we might undertand His character a little better and trust Him a little deeper.
Simply put, God wants to be known by you. God didn’t offer Jesus as a sacrifice to keep you at a distance. It’s just the opposite. The gift of Jesus calls you closer to God. When you accept this gift, God doesn’t see your failures, mistakes or missteps. He looks at you with the greatest love and sees nothing but your righteouess and goodness. So, there’s no reason to feel that you are unworthy or not good enough to have a relationship with the God. God wants you to experience the breadth, the height and the depth of His unending, reckless love for you. Not only today or tomorrow but for all of eternity. Think about that for a moment. Sit with it. Breathe it in. The God, for whom the earth serves as a footstool, wants a deep and abiding relationship with you that will never, ever end. Yes, you! God’s love for you is so indescribable, He moved Heaven and earth just so He doesn’t have to spend a moment apart from you. He loves you just that much!
The astonising, unknowable magniture of God’s love for us pours out of John 3:16. However, if that isn’t enough to take your breath away, God has love notes all throughout scripture, which also highlight the exquisite kind of love, which defines who He is. Here are a few of many:
- Jeremiah 31:3 – “Long ago, the Lord said to Israel, I have loved you with an everlasting love, I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.”
- Luke 12:7 – “And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God then a whole flock of sparrows.“
- Psalm 56:8 – You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.”
- Lamentations 3:22-23 – Because of God’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”
I could go on and on, but you get the picture. Everlasting love, unfailing kindness, otherworldly attentiveness, great compassion, unending mercy. This is the character of God. This is who you are choosing to partner with in this life so that heaven’s resources can rain down upon the earth. So, you can trust God with your relationships, your children, your jobs, your health and, most importantly, your heart. His flawless character rises up and sings from every single page of scripture with the resounding message that He is trustworthy, and that He loves you more than you will ever be able to comprehend. And for those days when you feel unsteady or unsure, remember John 3:16. May it remind you of God’s great love for you and evoke a deeper trust in the One who you have partnered with in this life and the next.
Prayer: Father, I honor you. I thank you. I praise you simply because of who you are. What a loving, faithful and attentive God you are! Help me to understand that you did not sacrifice your only Son to not have a personal, intimate relationship with me. You gave me Jesus so that I might have you! I want more of you God. Enlighten my heart so I realize you do not love from a distance. Draw me closer to you. Increase my awareness of your Presence so that I might partake in the fullness of your joy. Help me surrender my need to control in order to feel safe. Teach me how to trust in you more than I trust in myself. Increase my sensitivity to the Holy Spirit so that I may deeply experience your endless love. And, when the storms of life come my way, help me to rest my heart in the knowledge of your great love for me. I ask all of these things in the beautiful name of Jesus. Amen.