Posted September 04, 2012
16 “For God so loved the world,that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
John 3:16. With arguably the most famous verse in the Bible, there's the potential that it's become so overly-familiar that we've grown numb to the profound truths found within it. Join us in asking God to give us new eyes this next week, enabling us to see it afresh like it's the first time we're read or heard it... We want to focus your attention on 5 descriptions of God found in these two verses.
1) God the World Lover. This verse teaches us that God is not only the One who loves the Jews, but also the world, Gentiles included! This is amazing news for those outside the line of Abraham... It's a reminder that God's ultimate purpose in blessing Israel and choosing them was precisely to be a blessing and an expression of God's love to the Gentiles (Genesis 12:1-3). Let us remember to join Him in His heart for the whole world and not just those who look & talk like us in our particular denomination & economic background.
2) God the Generous Giver. God's love led to action. It didn't simply exist as a thought in his head or an emotion in his heart. His love for the world led him to give, to sacrifice. He didn't merely give something that wasn't of importance to Him, but rather His only Son! This wasn't merely a gift amongst gifts, but the Greatest Gift in the universe. While we gave God our worst, God came in love and gave us His best! What grace, what mercy... Would we not only thank Him, but also join Him in His sacrificial giving to others.
3) God the Life Sharer. Those who believe in, or put their trust (confidence) in Jesus and all He accomplished for them through His perfect life, atoning death, & resurrection, are then brought into a "shared eternal life". That God would share His eternal life with rebels like you and me is astounding. While we've done nothing to deserve this life, God shares it with us through a simple act of faith in His Son! The fact that God has shared this eternal life with us should in turn lead us to share this good news with others!
4) God the Sacrificial Sender. While God could have sent His Son Jesus to pronounce His rightful condemnation upon a guilty treasonous world, He sent Him instead to lay down His life that his enemies (you and me) might be saved through Him. His first advent two thousand years ago was as a suffering Servant, but His second will be as a judging King. He came first as a sacrificial Lamb, but will return as a reigning Lion.
5) God the Sinner's Savior. This is God's heart: to reconcile creation to himself through His Son! To accomplish this reconciliation, God had to send His only Son Jesus to die. There was no other way. Mankind could not discipline themselves enough to merit eternal life. We were at the bottom of a pit too deep for any ladder we could build. The cross was the rope that God Himself lowered into our pit. The cross declared not man's great ascent to God, but rather God's great descent to us. Christ is the only hope of the world. Turn away from your sin and lesser gods, put your faith in Him, and live in his eternal life today!
If you want to read more on these verses, check out the Fighter Verses blog: http://fighterverses.com/blog-post/why-jesus-came/.
This week's song was written by Brad Kilman & Joel Limpic, sung by Brad Kilman & Shannon Jurrens, and produced by Dustin Ragland. Brad Kilman is a worship leader & songwriter out of Oklahoma City who's written songs like "We Are Hungry" and "Tower". Check out his last record "Mouths Like Trumpets" here (http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/mouths-like-trumpets/id327140368) and "Clouds Are Forming" here (http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/clouds-are-forming/id117928222).
This week's artwork was contributed by Jeremy Limpic of 805collective.com, a web designer / graphic designer out of the Central Coast in California. We've posted iPhone & iPad backgrounds as well as desktop images. Remember the goal for the artwork is that it would help you remember to memorize & meditate on the week's verses.