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Most well known Bible quotes

Monday Reflection

8 June 2020


For God so loved


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...John 3:16.


We all have our favourite Bible text but the above is probably the most well known of the whole Bible,
even many non-Christians will be familiar with it.

Even if the Bible reference is not remembered the quote is.
Here is the heart of the Bible, the very essence of the gospel - God's gift of love.

An unknown, yet wise old sage once explained John 3:16 like this:
For God........................ - the greatest Lover
so loved....................... - the greatest degree
the world...................... - the greatest company
that He gave................ - the greatest act
His only begotten Son. - the greatest gift
that whoever................ - the greatest opportunity
believes....................... - the greatest simplicity
in Him.......................... - the greatest attraction
should not perish......... - the greatest promise
but............................... - the greatest difference
have............................ - the greatest certainty
everlasting life............. - the greatest possession

God sent his son to earth because he loved us.
At the centre of everything is God's love.
The amazing thing about this verse is that it shows God acting,
not for his own sake, but for ours;
not to satisfy his desire for dominance or power
but like a father who cannot be happy until his rebellious,
disobedient children are re-united with him.

It shows the breadth of his love;
he loved the whole world, not just a tribe,
people or nation; not just good people
or those who were prepared to obey him.
God loves the unlovely, the street people,
the homeless, the lonely who have no-one else,
those who have messed up or rejected him.

All are included in this immeasurable love of God.
As St Augustine put it,
.......... 'God loves each one of us as if there was only one of us to love.'

With the emphasis on verse 16,
so often the following verse is forgotten, but that is equally important.


17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world,
but to save the world through him.


Having been thinking about the love of God we are now faced with judgement.
There is a tension here. For although verse 17 says


'For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world'


in John 9:39, Jesus says,


"For judgment I came into this world ..."


How do we reconcile that with John 3:17?

The Gospels make it clear that Jesus' presence always drew a line that divided people.
As the Light, Jesus' purpose was not to cast shadows, but to bring light.
But the presence of the light unavoidably casts shadows.
Jesus didn't come into a neutral world in order to save some and condemn others.
He came into a lost world to save some, but not all will be saved;
God's purpose in sending His Son was to bring salvation to all who will believe.

The bottom line is we have been given the gift of choice;
God does not impose his will on us, he is not a dictator.

We are offered the gift of eternal life both because Christ died in our place
and because in him is life.
It's up to us to make the choice of whether we accept or reject that gift.

Our destiny is in our hands.


Blessings
Maureen