God Loves You, Always!

Every two weeks I participate in a blog carnival. The idea is that on a specific day bloggers will all post on the same topic or in this case the same word. This is called the One Word at a Time Blog Carnival. Bloggers of all walks of life participate and I have edified by all of the posts in the past. Here is my contribution to this weeks carnival.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16
How many times have we seen this passage? We see it in the end zone at football games and we hear it many times at church and out of church. I am sure it is the most memorized verse of Scripture.
But do we really know what it is actually saying? We need to push past the words and discover the underlying meaning. In these 25 words the entirety of John’s Gospel has been summarized. The vision here is that God does not just love this part or that part of the world but the whole world. But the striking thing for me is the word “should.”
“… that whoever believes in Him SHOULD not perish but have eternal life.”
This was one of those “a ha” moments for me. I was preparing for a sermon years ago and I read this verse again. And there is was. God does not condemn anyone we condemn ourselves! WOW, that was a bigy for me. We condemn ourselves. God loves us and wants to save us but we have to do the work. God stands there with His hand out and all we need to do it take it and hold on, but we have to take the first step.
As a child I had this image of a God that sits in judgment and sends us to hell or to heaven. The book of life is opened and a sum total of our life is taken, if it adds up with positive numbers we get into heaven, if it is negative numbers we go to hell. God pulls the big leaver and down we go for all eternity.
I serve on the faculty of a local college, and thus I have to provide grades for my students. One semester a student came to complain about a grade I had given him. I started by correcting him by saying that I only write down the grade you earn. Well God works the same way. He does not wish any of us to be condemned to hell for all eternity, in fact as the verse I quoted above states, He sent His only Son, He wants us all in heaven, but we have to do the work. God judges us on what we have done or left undone as we say in Orthodoxy. We hold all the cards, condemnation comes with the hand we hold.
We are the only ones that can avoid condemnation, us and only us. No one else is responsible for our actions and one day we will have to answer for them. The one comfort I find in all of this is that God loves me, and will love me no matter what, as long as I walk with Him all will be well. Even when I stumble and fall, and it does happen, God is right there to help me up and carry on, even when I neglect Him or ignore Him, he is still there and always will be.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16


  1. Enjoyed your post and YOU are making a difference. Amazing isn't it that the next verse John 3:17 states that God did not send His son to Condemn the world, but to save the world.

  2. How true! Such a good way of describing this walk through life that we have as we head towards our eternal life with our dear Lord.

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