John 3:16 The Love of God

Merv was a man who brought his Christian faith everywhere. It was real. It is real. He gently and graciously would commend God’s love to others who need comfort and encouragement and hope.

Merv trusted and in God’s love and this gave him Hope.

Hope is the ability to see something positive and good beyond the current crisis and the pain.

An airplane pilot made this announcement. “We have lost our compass, our radio and our GPS tracking system. Unfortunately we don’t know where we are, and we don’t know which way we are going. The good news is we have an excellent tail wind and we are making excellent time.”

Merv knew where he was going and who was going with him.

Hope strengthened Merv through trials and difficulties. This Hope is anchored in God’s love for him in the Lord Jesus Christ.

The most famous Bible verse of all is John 3:16.

16 “For God so loved the world,9 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.

God’s Love is Contrasted

-with a sinful world

-with a world of sinful men.

It isn’t so much a world in numbers that is being got at here when Jesus said that God so loved the world. He wasn’t thinking just in the terms of the old song, “he’s got the whole world in His hands.” He was expressing the contrast between what god looks like and what the world is like.

Its more like old spiritual song from the George Clooney film “O brother where art thou?”

I am a man of constant sorrow I’ve seen trouble all my days

For six long years I’ve been in trouble No pleasures here on earth I found

For in this world I’m bound to ramble I have no friends to help me now

As Job’s friend said; Man is born for trouble as the sparks fly upwards.

Trouble comes because of the sinfulness of humanity. We live in a fallen world, where sin runs amok, sometimes in the most devastating of ways.

Famous French author, Lavredan, who had long professed to be an atheist, when confronted by the horrors of World War I during which he witnessed the insane destruction in his own country, made this gripping confession:

“I laughed at faith and thought myself wise. Finally this laughter became hollow and vain for I saw France bleeding and mourning. What would become of France if her children did not believe, if her women did not pray? “Oh, a people whose fields are covered with the dead! How difficult it is to remain an atheist on this national cemetery! I cannot! I cannot! I have deceived myself and you who have read my book. It was a delusion, a giddiness, an evil dream. I see death and call for life. Hands equipped with weapons make death; folded hands bring life. France, turn back to faith! To forsake God means to be lost!”

God’s Love is Clear

God didn’t want us to be lost.

16 “For God so loved the world,9 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.

He sent His Son.

His Son Died for Us

Inscribed upon the cross we see In shining letters, God is love;

He bears our sins upon the tree; He brings us mercy from above.

The cross! it takes our guilt away; It holds the fainting spirit up;
It cheers with hope the gloomy day, And sweetens every bitter cup.

It makes the coward spirit brave, And nerves the feeble arm for fight;
It takes the terror from the grave, And gilds the bed of death with light.

The balm of life, the cure of woe, The measure and the pledge of love,
The sinner’s refuge here below, The angels’ theme in Heav’n above.

God’s Love is Caring

16 “For God so loved the world,9 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.

It is the individual that he loves. It isn’t much good if it doesn’t reach right down to you and me. But God’s love does. It reaches to you and I as individuals right where you are today.

God’s Love is Conquering

16 “For God so loved the world,9 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.

It conquered Merv’s Life

There came a day when Merv recognised what the Lord Jesus Christ had done for him. He decided to stop fighting against God and just accept the grace and mercy that God freely offered him in the Lord Jesus Christ.

And Merve believed in Him.

Merv trusted that what Jesus had done was good for Merv too.

There needs to come that day for each one of us. The day where we say as Merv said to me, “I believed in Him. I believed in Jesus dying for my sin on the cross and rising again for me.”

And this conquered Merv’s heart. You see, we love God because He first loved us. And God’s love softended and melted Merv’s heart, as it must melt your heart and my heart. Merv loved God, because God first loved Merv. You will love God when you see that God has first loved you.

It can conquer your life.

This was the source of Merv’s faith and his hope.

Not that Merv loved God, but that God loved Merv.

Do you know that love that God has for you? Have you received it yet?

Its good for eternity, but its only good if you receive it.

I want a religion that can comfort even in death, that can unite me with my loved ones.  Knowing and receiving God’s love in the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ can do just that! Why don’t you receive Him today?

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