A Bible study through John 1-6
It is Valentine’s Day weekend. Love is in the air. And I have the honor of standing up as a bridesmaid for a dear friend as she makes a covenant before God and others to love her man for the rest of her days. While marriage is a wonderful thing and the love God ordained between a man and a woman is beautiful, it is just a weak shadow and imperfect copy of what love truly is. Therefore, as we begin this weekend that celebrates love, I believe it is quite fitting that our next couple verses in John contain some of the most famous words on love in the Bible.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”
is the epitome of love. It is the greatest act of love ever displayed and given. While these verses are very familiar and can be recited by countless people, please take another moment to carefully and slowly read through these profound truths.
Jesus came to earth with a divine mission: save the world. But Jesus didn’t just come of His own accord, He was sent. God the Father sent and gave His Son to be handed over to evil men, beaten, crucified, and rejected. Why? Why would the Creator of the universe send His Son, His only Son, to be put to death by His creation?
All because of love.
John 3:16 says that “God so loved the world that He gave.” His love was so vast, so deep, so unconditional, and so compelling that He was willing to send and sacrifice the greatest thing He had—His only Son, the second person of the Trinity—to buy our redemption and bring us back into right relationship with Him.
This is love. The greatest love. And it’s a love available and extended to all people. No one is excluded or denied access to God’s greatest gift. Jesus died for the world, for all people, and extended the same invitation of salvation through faith to all who will believe.
So the question is what will you do with this truth? Will you accept the love God has for you?
Your earthly father may have failed you. Your latest romantic relationship may have fallen apart. You may not have any good experiences with love because of what people have done to you in the name of love. However, God’s love is perfect, unconditional, and everything you need and desire. And He sent Jesus to show you just how much He loves you.
So on this Valentine’s Day weekend, look to the cross and see the love of your heavenly Father spelled out in red letters in the person of Jesus Christ. You will not find a greater love than what God has extended toward you. Therefore, embrace the gift God has given and walk in the free and immeasurable, eternal love of God.
“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us,
that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!”
~1 John 3:1a (NIV)