Summary: Have you ever wondered how much God loves you? Ever wondered why He loves you so much. Reread this most wonderful of verses and find how much God really loves the world.
For God So Loved the World
A couple of weeks ago while I was on vacation I had the opportunity to visit in my old home church. The young pastor spoke from the passage in John’s Gospel where Jesus asks Peter three times, “Peter do you love me?” He challenged us in our love for God. During that message God began to challenge my heart in a different way. The Spirit of God drew from my heart a passage that I have dwelt on all week. “For God so loved the world…”. What does that mean? Why does God love me? How much does God really love me? Those are the thoughts that meandered through my brain this week.
Sunday night strangely enough one of my children came to me and asked me, “Daddy do you love me?” It’s not the first time the question has been asked. I told her how foolish a question it was and assured her in no uncertain terms of my abiding love for her and her sisters. But it turned my thoughts again to the passage that had consumed my heart “For God so loved the world…”. “Daddy, do you love me?
Skip ahead to the events that unfolded in the mining disaster in WV. In a mine just 5 miles from where Lea’s grandmother lives – 12 men lost their lives – for 3 shining hours the families of those miners believed them to be alive. During those hours the church bells rung – they sang How Great Thou art – they praised God for a miracle. Then the bitter news came that someone had made a mistake – that only one of those men was alive. In the same Church where praises had been sung – now the cursing was heard. One family member said “We don’t even know if there is a Lord anymore.” Those words rang out to me again “Daddy, do you love me?”
I watch the news and see the hatred of Islamic fundamentalists in Iraq, see the callous way that men bent on destruction throw away life. I see men reveling in the suffering of Arial Sharon and hiding behind the banner of righteousness. The words ring out again “Daddy, do you love me?”
I watched the news coverage of a pro-life leader who was supporting the nomination of Judge Alito to the Supreme Court. A woman came into the news conference with the bottom of her shirt stained blood red and raved over a woman’s right to choose and the butchery of back street abortionists. I wondered how she would feel if her shirt was stained with the blood of the millions of innocent babies that have been killed since abortion was made legal. The words rang out again “Daddy, do you love me?”
I made a few overly sarcastic remarks to put an end to the conversation with a person this week who had just plucked my last nerve and walked away feeling very self-righteous and satisfied with myself. A voice in the back of my mind scolded me for being a fool – and the words rang out again “Daddy, do you love me?”
This passage of scripture shouts out to us from God “what a foolish question child of course I love you.” The great part is that is says I love you let me show you – let me prove it to you. For God so love the world that He gave…” There are several things I want to share with you this morning about what God says about His love for you.
1) It’s Unlimited - no one is left out. The world – is a wonderful phrase. In the Greek the word is Kosmos. There is universality to the term. It doesn’t mean some it is inclusive of all. God’s love is not confined to a race, nationality, or denomination. God’s love is universal. He loved the Kosmos – the world – and all of His creation. His love is not limited by who we are or what we do. God loves the Islamic terrorist just as much as He loves the Saint praying on her knees. Don’t misunderstand me I am not saying that all men are saved, all men are saints no matter what they believe, or that all actions are equal. I am saying that “God demonstrated His love for us in that while we were yet sinners He died for us.” You cannot go where God does not love you. He may weep over your lostness as He did over Jerusalem but His love remains. The Apostle John cries out in his epistle “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!”