Lifelines: For God so loved ...
by Bettie Marlowe
Dec 20, 2013 | 325 views | 0 0 comments | 32 32 recommendations | email to a friend | print
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

This one verse is a synopsis of the Bible — all about the Son of God. The Scripture not only tells of the love of our Father, but shows the action it generates. So loved ... He gave.

The coming of Christ to this world is the greatest “Love Story” ever. The Father loved, the Son loved ... and so we love. “We love him, because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19 KJV).

That makes this Christmas season a celebration of love. If that is lost or ignored, Christmas holds no meaning for anyone. Not that we celebrate Christ’s birth on a certain day, but to recognize that God so loved, He gave ... that whosoever believed on the Son of God could have everlasting life. What a gift!

This is a time to remind each other, “You are loved.”

A church sign says it this way: “Jesus loves you and I do, too.”

That love doesn’t stop with disapproval of actions or disappointment in people. Pure love is strong and goes beyond the faults and sins of others.

Yes, you can love the person and hate the sin. If you can’t do that, you have not experienced the love of God in your life. You don’t have to approve of someone’s behavior to love them. You don’t have to condone what people do or don’t do to love. If that were true, none of us deserve love — not from God or from others.

Dottie Rambo wrote a song that stated “He looked beyond my faults and saw my need.” We are not entitled to the redemption power of Christ — except through His love in dying on the cross for our sins.

When Jesus was born in Bethlehem, it was for a purpose. Jesus himself explained that purpose as He stood in the temple and quoted from the Prophet Isaiah’s words. “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears” (Luke 18-21 KJV).

These verses all speak of love.

When Jesus said the words in John 3:16, he was talking to Nicodemus — words of love for all of us.

“And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved” John 3:13-16 KJV).

God loved ... He gave.