Day 3

For God so Loved

from the John reading plan

John 3:1-36, Ezekiel 36:25-27, 1 Timothy 2:5-6

When someone gives me a gift, it makes me stop and ponder the reality that they were thinking of me enough to let their day, emotions, and wallet be interrupted on my account. A thoughtful gift makes me realize that I matter.

When God sent Jesus, it was because sinners—like you and me—matter to Him. Love without action is not real love. True love demands action, and there has been no greater act of love by anyone in the cosmos than God the Father giving His only Son to die for sinners like us. In this gift we see the character and nature of God on display.

God is the best gift giver. We hear many promises from lying lips that whisper, “I love you. I will give you everything,” only to then steal from us the attention and worship meant for the One who truly loves us. We must resist the temptation that plagues all men, which is to worship the gifts God gives instead of the Giver Himself.

The joy of receiving a gift increases with the quality of the gift. No man, when proposing to the woman he loves, comes to her with a ring pop or a cracker jack prize. He proposes with a ring of value, made with glimmering jewels and precious metals like gold, silver, or platinum. The quality of gift given by God is of infinite and priceless worth because the Son of God is perfect and matchless. Jesus, in His incarnation, has displayed the love of God. Those who place their trust in the One who gives a gift like this will never be put to shame.

Love is costly. For the joy that was set before Jesus, He endured the cross and was put to shame (Hebrews 12:2). God spared no expense. No, He gave very best. The love of God the Father cost Him temporary separation from His Son so that sinners could eternally be joined to Him.

Friend, you matter to God. Your pain and circumstances—He cares about them all. He does not just talk about His love for you; He shows you.

Written By Jevon Washington

Post Comments (13)

13 thoughts on "For God so Loved"

  1. Phil says:

    Today’s devotional reminds me so much of the song “Tell Me” by Carrollton. If you’ve never heard this song I urge you to check it out and really listen to the words that he is singing to God. I’ve never heard a song that relates more to my internal struggle than this one, and the first time I heard it I had been praying, crying out to God to give me a sign or a reason so that I knew He was there; and just as He is always faithful, this song came on the radio.

    In the song he sings the first chorus in a hopeful pretense, asking God to tell him that He loves him and show him that He knows who he is. The song beautifully changed in the second chorus to a now knowing of God’s amazing love and that he KNOWS God loves him, and he knows that God died for him out of pure love for him. I often struggle with self worth. As a military pilot I am constantly competing for my worth and for being an “important” role in the grand scheme of things and it often leaves me wondering if I truly matter or if I’ll “ever amount to much,” like he sings in the first part of the song. The stress of this daily life often allows me to let the enemy talk me into a dark corner, yet God, in His still small voice, just when I am wanting to give up, reminds me of His undying love for me and of just how important I truly am to Him.

    If you ever struggle with the question of “what is my purpose” or “do I really matter” or “does God even see what I am going through” just know that you are not alone. God knows every fiber on your head, He sees every pain and hurt you endure, and He loves you so much that He was willing to send His ONLY Son to die for you, knowing that you might never turn to run into His arms. It’s so important that we remember this… He sent His Son, but even more amazingly, His Son, Jesus, willingly came because He loved YOU that much! That always blows my mind… willingly He came for you and me, knowing full well what would happen, and yet He said “Despite everything,(insert your name) is worth it.” What an amazing “gift.”

  2. Justin Rigdon says:

    This a a series of passages I, as have probably most of you all. Have reflected on many times. Each time I discover something new, within the scripture or within myself–sometimes both. Everyone recites John 3:16 and many use it to define their faith. Today, In a world full of criticism, hate and general meanness, I find John 3:17 (For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him) to be especially meaningful. We know people are not perfect, they will mess up. They will sin against God, they offend/anger/disappoint us. I must work to not condemn these people in my mind and heart. Instead allowing Jesus to save them through me.

  3. Joseph says:

    We definitely take this for granted. I sometimes think God cares for everyone instead of making it more personal- God cares for ME.

  4. Matthew Suchan says:

    Realizing that being given a gift is more than just the object is what makes this so powerful. Speaking in worldly terms, the giver of the gift had to take time out of his day, money out of his bank account, and think about YOU specifically, all to give you a gift. Jesus Christ wasn’t just a gift from God, but God though of you, and all of us, specifically, and knew it was what we needed most. A savior.

  5. Ryan D says:

    He severed His perfect relationship with His Son to have perfect relationship with us. He brought down the fullest, most powerful, all-consuming wrath upon His Beloved, Jesus, on the cross, so that He could share His infinite and eternal love with us.

  6. Michael Garrison says:

    There’s not much to say…. Jesus became the gift of God so that we may enter his presence. No greater love.

  7. CASON says:

    36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.

    The simple, only way to heaven.

    30 He must increase, I must decrease.

    We need to God before everything, and not be so prideful.

  8. Joshua says:

    God gave the world his one and only son, so that I may have eternal life. It’s uplifting to be reminded that we have been given this gift, not through our own good works but by the work of the cross.

    It’s a reminder for me to study the word, and for Christ’s example to always be my point reference in decisions. I want to make each day count, and to learn how to become more and more Christ like.

  9. Luke Blackburn says:

    God is love. The Bible reinforces this statement time and time again. God the Father had no obligation to save His fallen creation. Our Holy Father was unable to reach the selfish beings known as man. He could’ve have left us to rot in the desires of our flesh or flooded the world again. Instead, He took pity on our fallen souls and sent the perfect atonement for our indiscretions. He sent Jesus. Jesus came into this world and existed as both God and man. He showed how to live in the pursuit of righteousness and His words revealed the hidden mysteries of God. He showed us that the Kingdom of God can come to this fallen Earth. Then He fulfilled the prophecy and atoned our countless sins with the sacrifice of His mortality. He died on that Cross to conquer death and give us access to abundant life in communion with our Holy Father. God is love.

  10. Kevin says:

    Such a cool cool love. Crazy love. He MUST increase and I MUST decrease ><. I'm thankful to matter to the king of kings.

  11. Nate widow says:

    It’s so great to hear that God cares about our pains and circumstances that he even sent his on beloved son Jesus to save us from evil. God gave us the greatest gift we could ever receive, the opportunity for eternal life. God sacrificed separation from his only son in order for us to receive that gift, Jesus. God is good all the time, even through our own pain he is good. Oh God how I needed you. I’m so thankful for his greatest gift he had to give us.

  12. Ben says:

    When I was younger, I got Lego sets for my birthday and for Christmas all the time. I thought that was the best gift anyone could ever get. I got older and became more a gift giver than a gift receiver. When I started paying for those gifts, I realized how much of a sacrifice it was from those who gave me those sets (Legos are expensive!) and appreciated them more than I ever did. As I got older, and grew in my faith, I realized how those sets were nothing compared to the gift of salvation from Christ. Moreover I realized the sacrifice on God’s part that he made to save his church. It was much more than a Lego set. He asked his son to leave the riches of heaven and become flesh to ultimately give that up in exchange for our salvation. A gift is sacrificial, as the study said, of time, effort, thought, and money. In a small way, we have to remember that this is but a shell of the gift that God have us.
    We love getting gifts. Who doesn’t? That feeling is awesome. What we forget daily is that is how we should feel unendingly because this is the gift God gave us, and continues to give us every day. Go back to Exodus 34:14. Our God is a jealous God. If you’re jealous for something, don’t you wish that subject would realize it and return the favor? That’s how God feels all the time, even when we’re saved. He always wants our attention, so let’s give it to Him.

  13. Nick Crawford says:

    I know that I can never match the great and perfect gift God gave to us in giving us His Son for our salvation, but today’s study made me seek to show more of my love to God in all that I do, and for others to see the love of God in my actions.
    God help me to live in gratitude for all that You have done for me: in saving me, in loving me and carrying me. Help me to see You in all the wonderful gifts You give and to turn my praise to You.
    Thank you God for caring for us so much that You gave us your Son Jesus.

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