This week I read a story of a young Irishman by the name of Harry Moorhouse. A 17 year-old, who had a profound revelation and understanding of John 3:16. He managed to preach seven sermons for seven nights on that one verse from John 3:16; and each night people would fall at the altar weeping, as they had a divine revelation of God’s love for them. DL Moody (in whose church Moorhouse was preaching) commented that he felt his heart begin to thaw as this young man preached on the love of God. These were church going people who lived their faith out under such condemnation of their sinfulness; struggling to believe that God could actually love them. From that moment on DL Moody preached differently and lived out his faith differently.
John 3:16 says, “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.”
How about you and I? Do we believe, really believe, that God loves us? This verse says that “God so loved.” Not a selfish, self-absorbed, grasping love like the world gives; but an eternal, unending, and life-changing love. A love that is freely given, not because we deserve it, but a love lavished on us because He can do no other; for God is love! It’s an unselfish love; a giving love that resulted in God sending His one and only son – Jesus Christ – to die a terrible and painful death on your and my behalf.
Oh, what love the Father has for us. This love sets us apart as His children. 1 John 3: 1 says, “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!”
Next it says, “God so loved, that he gave…” The free online dictionary defines the word gave – “to present voluntarily and without expecting compensation: to hand to someone.” God gave his son Jesus Christ to be handed over for death on a cross for you and me voluntarily and without expecting anything back. He handed over his son because he loved us. Wow, what love! That means Jesus came when the Father asked him, and voluntarily laid down his life for us. He suffered at the hands of men, was tortured, beaten and killed for us. Every whip on his back, every beating, every blow of the hammer on the nails that were nailed through his hands and feet was for us. He did it because He loves us sacrificially and unselfishly. It cost him everything, with nothing in return!
The truth is we are a sinful and sin-filled people. We have all thought and done sinful things, and yet he loved us and willingly went to the cross for us. It doesn’t matter how good you and I think we are, we are still sinful and a sacrifice is required so that we can get into right friendship with God. Romans 3:23 says, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
We all needed, and still need, a loving Savior who was willing to die for us. And that’s exactly what happened, Jesus died in our place so we could have a relationship and friendship with God forever and ever. “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). It wasn’t the nails that kept him on that cross, it was His LOVE.
But it didn’t end with His death on the cross. He rose again and he still lives and loves us! God so loved us – each one of us – that he sent Jesus Christ, his only son, to die on our behalf so that we might live for eternity with Him who loves us. It doesn’t just affect our lives now on planet earth, but this love affects us for all of time. It resounds out for all eternity – I love you child, I love you! It’s time to start believing that…