Summary: In a fresh look at John 3:16 we look at what it means to be so loved by God. Pt 2 investigates in scripture how Gods love gives to his people.
Pt 2 - He Gave
We began last week working through this most familiar passage in scripture as we point our hearts towards the beginning of Advent. We began talking about this God who So Loved us. Remember this morning that His is Creator love boundless, endless, perfect and unconditional. His is Father love warm, positive, protective, and compassionate. His is the Bridegrooms love personal, singular, intimate. With so much negative in the world and even in the church isn’t it wonderful for a change to spend a few moments just contemplating and drinking in the pure, positive, and personal love that God has for His people?
I love this passage so much because it truly speaks the heart of God. For God so loved - have you ever thought about what it means that God “so loved”? What the Spirit of God is saying through John is this - God loved the world (His creation - His people) in such tremendous quantity and with such great quality that something happened as a result. Have you ever had someone say that they loved you in one breath while they cursed you in another? Oh I love him or her but he’s such a jerk. Friend that’s not love - it’s not what love looks like. You want to know what real love looks like - God so loved the world that He gave. The word “gave” is the Greek word Didômi – also translated “lavished” it means to give freely as a gift – no strings attached.
In Creator Love - God gives us…
• Our being - forming us in His image - each of us unique unrepeatable miracles of His creative heart. As God reached down and formed Adam out of the dust of the earth - He reached down and formed you in your mothers womb. Psalm 139.
• Our life - Gen 2:7 - God breathed into the lungs of Adam the breath of life – the breath is the Hebrew word Neshama and it means Spirit. He made man unique among all His creation – He gave us life and with it choice. While plants and animals are alive there is something that separates us from them and it is not the opposable thumb or the ability to use tools. It’s the ability to make choice. To conquer instinct and decide the course of our lives. Why? To truly love one must have the choice not to love. With wild abandon God created man with the choice to break His heart. Why? Because He loved us and wanted to be loved in return by us. Risking everything He gave us the reigns of our lives and said to us “Follow Me”.
• Dominion -Gen 1:28- the responsibility over His creation - He gave us the stewardship of all the work of His creative whisper. To rule over it and cultivate it and to care for it. In creator Love God gave us all that we see around us - this great big beautiful playground to enjoy to care for and to keep.
In Father Love - God gives us…
• Boundaries - When our disobedience broke the world He created rather than destroying us and starting over - His great love reached out to us and set the boundaries for life. The Law far from being the restrictive dominating rule we have made it out to be is intended to shape life with boundaries that keep us safe, productive, and successful even in the midst of a broken world. God told Joshua - “This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.”
• Guidance - From the time spent walking in the garden with Adam, to the burning bushes and prophets of old, to the still small voice of the Spirit dwelling within us God has never left us to find our own way - His hand of guidance has always been at work to lead us into His blessing. Psalm 119:105 - Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Psalm 23 -He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Countless scriptures like these assure us of His constant vigilance in leading us into the blessing of His promise.
• Provision - Isaiah 58:11 says “And the LORD will continually guide you, and satisfy your desire in scorched places, and give strength to your bones; and you will be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water whose waters do not fail.” In a world of doomsayers and fear mongers it’s wonderful to turn to the hand of God who says to us “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.”