Here we are again with more readings from the Gospel of John.
Some of the readings may seem quite long, and I want to encourage you to persevere with the Bible readings even if you can’t get on with these daily notes. Let the Bible speak for itself!
Once again, the main direction in the notes is Love.
Not the vague and whimsical kind of Pop-Song love, but the love that makes a difference to our relationships with family, friends, and the Community around us.
A Prayer for this week:
Heavenly Father, please deepen love in my life so I will be able to reach out to others and love them as you love me.
Enable me to persevere with words and actions that express real love to folk in all kinds of circumstances. In Jesus’ Name. AMEN
vv 16-17. “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.
These verses must be just about the best-known verses in the Bible! They describe so simply and yet fully how God expresses His love. Love is no more than a whimsical notion unless it has an object, a person, to be loved. So here we discover who God loves, how that love is expressed, what is the reason for love, and what is the outcome of that love.
WHO – the whole world, every living soul, is in the compass of God’s love.
HOW – sending Jesus into the world. One history-defining moment.
REASON – to save the world through Him. The Divine Rescue Act.
OUTCOME – Eternal life for those who believe.
Couldn’t be much clearer or more sharply defined than that.
Whatever concept we might have formed about God, or high-sounding religious philosophy that has been promulgated down the ages, here is the primary purpose of God in loving His creatures.
This presupposes that we understand the need for this quality of love to be expressed. The backstory to Jesus is that humanity has, through wilful wrongdoing or sin, fallen short of God’s plan for it. It therefore sits under Creator-God’s judgement and needs to be saved, rescued, redeemed, forgiven, however you express it. Powerless to act on our own, God set out to do what is necessary Himself. This act of God’s love is totally undeserved, and is expressed by the word GRACE – love that is extraordinary in both scope and power. However, we must also note the framework within which God acts ‘that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. ‘ God’s action on our behalf calls for the response of belief, or faith.
This faith, or belief, is a response to God’s love, not the cause of God loving us. The question to ask ourselves is ‘Have I responded to this love of God?