For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
The word “love” is a term we sometimes use lightly. When hanging up the phone or telling a friend goodbye or see you later, we unthinkingly fling out the phase, “I love you” or “love ya,” without really meaning it. We may be fond of someone, but to say, “I love you” carries a weight of responsibility.
When we love, we are willing to give of our resources and our time. Within our heart dwells a strong affection that isn’t easily broken. We see no request upon us as overwhelming or irritating. While wrestling and playing with my kids, I stopped and gave one of them the biggest hug. I said to him with both arms wrapped tightly around his extra-large frame, “I so love you.”
Later, while thinking about my statement to him, I came to understand more of God’s love for humanity. God does not simply love us; He “so” loves us. The word “so” puts a whole new revelation on the depths of the Almighty’s feelings for His children.
No man would lay down his life for a casual acquaintance. Yet Christ laid down His life because the Father so loved us. He took away our sins by nailing them to the cross. He forever removed the barrier between God and man by his death. He endured a great trial of mockery from both Jews and Romans because He knew the end result would be the salvation of many people from every tribe and nation. He endured because He looked forward to the day that He could gather in one all those for whom he died.
God so loves his children that he would not withhold one good thing that pertains to our life and godliness. Not only that, but he protects His own with a fierce loyalty. He not only provides for us all the material things but also has given us the hope of a most glorious future-a place in eternity with Him, a reunion with loved ones that no words can describe. A quick and expedient departure from this life by either the way of the grave or by the catching away of the saints.
If we love someone, let us “so” love them, not in word only, but in deed and in truth.
“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)
Sue West is available to speak at churches and home Bible Study groups. Contact her at email@example.com