Only Begotten Son

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 NIV

Nothing expresses the concept of God’ love more comprehensively than John 3:16: 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. It’s a scripture that children are taught to memorize and adults learn to lean upon. When the Scriptures speak of God’s love, we must embrace the fact that it is not limited to a selected few or one favored group. If that was the case, it’s a real possibility we would not be included. Notice the word world. God’s love is an inclusive love that goes beyond our failings and lifts us up when we fall. 

John declares this gift is for the whole world; not just Israel. It’s inspiring because it means that all people benefit from its reach. Many may not be where they need to be yet, but are pressing forward, are renewed by His presence. And His love transforms the possibilities in our lives into purpose and we are simply better because of it. 

Think of the ways in which we share our love for our mates, family, friends, even in our giving to strangers. We may choose service, affection, gifts, or simply language to transfer our feelings to that individual. But God’s love is expressed in the giving of his most priceless gift, His only son Jesus Christ; in essence, Himself.

When I reflect on the reality what He gave, I realize that normally we wouldn’t give people our only of anything. Human nature would caution us to keep back something for ourselves…we’re greedy creatures by nature. Even the most benevolent spirit that freely shares would hesitate on giving away their only coat, their only car, or their only dollar.

I recall as a child, if there was only one of something left in the refrigerator, you asked for it. The only slice of pie or only cup of milk had special significance because it might be needed for something important or intended for someone else. If you dared take the only of anything without permission, it was certain that you would bring the wrath of mom or dad upon your little head.

We can be encouraged by John’s revelation that God “so loved” us that His love is solidified with action and not just in words. It moved beyond rhetoric to the reality of giving that which He valued most, Jesus Christ. And we are all beneficiaries of that wonderful gift.

The immense power of God’s love is that He says, “I’m not just going to give you what I have, I’m going to give you all I have.”

God chooses to love us even when we aren’t that loveable and gently looks beyond our faults. And therein rests the power of love. That it gives us not only the chance to become better, but to become a part of something greater than ourselves through His love.

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