John 3:16 is the Summation of the Whole Thing
John 3:16 may be the shortest Cliffs Notes ever. This verse is the whole Bible in one sentence. God loved us so much that he gave His Son to pay for our mistakes with his life. In return, our love for God is believing this to be true. Everything in the book points to this one thing and this one thing covers every other thing.
Real love is simple but hard.
Love is treating others the way God would treat them. We don’t do this very well. He’s had millions of reasons to condemn the world, but He hasn’t. The number of times we have given Him reasons to erase this whole thing and start over from scratch are too many to count.
“God is love. Those who live in love, live in God, and God lives in them.” 1 John 4:7-21 Love comes from God. We are given opportunities to exhibit this love, but it doesn’t work if we don’t “do” it. We must choose to be different, to do different.
Rene Denfeld experienced a difficult childhood. She lived on the streets to stay clear of her registered sex offender stepfather and the long line of pedophiles that came in and out of her life. She grew to become a Chief Investigator for the public defender’s office, an author and an adoptive parent of three children from foster care.
She wrote about her kids in a New York Times essay “Four Castaway’s Make a Family”. “I had come to believe that the most important therapy is permanence. Children can sense when they are in a temporary home. All my children grew rapidly once settled, going from below the fifth percentile in height and weight to close to average. More important, they grew emotionally.”
“It is love that feeds the soul, allows us all to flourish.”
Love is serving. God loved us first and His never ends. We have been given talents and abilities that are specific to us. If we love God and love others, we’ll use them to make other’s lives better. In 1 Corinthians 13 it says that if we use these “without love, we are nothing”.
Our human nature is to be selfish. Loving others is about placing their needs above our wants.
John R. Fox sacrificed his life in World War II when he called for an artillery strike on the very position where he and his men were located. Fox was behind enemy lines and was surrounded by German soldiers. When he called for a strike right where he was, the soldier who got the message knew it. Fox was informed and he said, “Fire it.” After some further questions by the artillery operator Fox confirmed his coordinates and stated, “There’s more of them than there is of us.” His actions led to a halt in the German offensive.
The instructions given to us in John 3:16 are simple. We’ve heard this scripture used so much, we often take it for granted and don’t give it the significance it’s due. Most of the time we try to make things more complicated than they need to be.
Don’t over complicate this simple thing.
God loves you; I love you; go out and share that love.