We begin out discussion with God. Some people have a very fuzzy picture of God. He’s described as “the man upstairs” and other vague references. Yet, the Bible paints a very clear picture of God.
In Genesis 1 it was God who created the heavens and the earth. He spoke things into existence and judged them to be good. He created man and woman and judged them to be very good.
In Genesis 2 it was God who put his hands into the dirt and breathed life into Adam.
In Genesis 12 it was God who called Abraham and blessed his family and through Abraham’s family God blessed the nations.
In Exodus 3 it was God who appeared to Moses in a bush and called Moses to be the deliverer of God’s people.
In Joshua 1 God spoke to Joshua … “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”
In 1 Kings 19 God spoke to Elijah in a gentle whisper.
In Psalm 23 God is described as the shepherd who makes his sheep lie down in green pastures, leads his sheep beside quit waters, and refreshes their souls.
Throughout the Old Testament the LORD is described as compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.
The Bible is a big book and it tells us about God. When John 3:16 says “God” it is not a reference to a vague unknowable deity. No. John 3:16 is a reference to the God of the Bible.
GOD SO LOVED
Some people have a very fuzzy picture of love. We love family but we also love tacos or we love the Dallas Cowboys. Yet, the Bible paints a very clear picture of love.
In fact … Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love (1 John 4:8).
God is the definition of love. You can’t know love without knowing God. When you know God you know the truth of John 15, My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends (John 15:12~13).
Ultimately, love is giving not taking. Love is selfless not selfish. Love is self-emptying not self-serving.
GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD
Some people have a very fuzzy picture of God’s love. They might say: God loves his favorites. God loves certain kind of people. God loves churchgoers. God loves those that love him in return.
No. God so loved the world.
That means he loved the scarred and sinful.
That means he loved the bitter and broken.
That means he loved those angry and addicted.
That means he loved those filled with fears and failures.
That means he loved those lost and lonely.
That means he loved you and me.