This is like one of those stories you might hear from a grandparent about the “good old days…”
Back when my husband and I were dating (almost 30 years ago!), cell phones weren’t a thing. (Strange, but true.) We started dating our freshman year of college. Since I lived in Virginia and he lived in Georgia, we were separated for most of the summer. There was such a thing as long distance calling in those days, and it cost money, so we typically only talked on the phone once a week.
However, we wrote each other letters several times a week. My husband was a good letter writer. I’d be so excited when I got home from working my summer job and found a letter in the mail from him! Of course I’ve saved those love letters all these years, because they’re a sweet and visible reminder of his love.
I don’t know if people who are “in love” still write each other letters or not, but my husband (then boyfriend) taking the time to sit down and write a long letter was one way that I knew that he loved me. He wanted to share what was going on in his life, and wanted to hear about what was going on in mine.
While it’s a special blessing to be loved by another person, there’s no greater example of true love than God’s love for each one of us.
In Tuesday’s post we defined love. Today, let’s break down a very famous verse that tells us about how God loves us.
“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
Here’s what I see about love in that verse.
It’s for everyone.
Your gender, race, nationality, political party, personality, good works, past sins – none of that matters when it comes to God’s love. He created every human being, and His love extends to all. There are no conditions I have to meet to be eligible for His love.
It’s a great love.
The verse says, “For God SO loved the world…” God’s love isn’t a shallow feeling or a passing fancy. His love for us is strong and led Him to make an incredible sacrifice for us.
Ephesians 2:4 says, “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us…” God’s love is abundantly merciful, deep and abiding, and is there for us whether we feel it in every moment or not.
His love is a gift.
I can’t earn it, and I’ll certainly never be worthy of it. God freely gives His love with no strings attached.
His gift was the greatest sacrifice.
God had only one Son, and He willingly sacrificed Him to a death on the cross for sinners. Love is shown by action, and there’s no greater way God could have shown His love than by sending Jesus to die for my sins.
I John 3:16 says, “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us…” We know God loves us because He literally gave Himself for us.
His love requires a response from me.
While God’s love is a gift, I have to be willing to accept that gift. When I believe that Jesus died for me and I accept Him as my Savior, I receive the full benefits of salvation.
God’s gift of love gives me everlasting life.
God wants me to live with Him forever! He loves each one of us so much that He allows all who trust in Jesus to live with Him in heaven for all eternity.
Our church’s children’s program that I work in on Wednesday nights has John 3:16 as its theme verse. Our group will say it together from memory often – and, sadly, I sometimes repeat the words without really thinking about their meaning.
May I never take God’s great love for granted!! If I’m looking, I can see it manifested in my life every day.