A Daily Word from the Word for Thursday, June 26, 2014
“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
Many of God’s children have become too comfortable with this verse. So comfortable, that we have lost our awe and appreciation of the profound and ultimate act of selflessness, of love, that the Creator of the universe demonstrated toward His lost creation.
The entire Bible, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, is pinned on this one very incredible, amazing, and mind-blowing act of love of a heartbroken Father toward his lost children. The Bible is a love story, of a God who was willing to pay the ultimate price, make the ultimate sacrifice, to get back the love of His life—His sons and daughters. “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. We love him, because he first loved us” (Romans 5:8, 1 John 4:8, 1 John 4:19).
God didn’t just offer Himself, or loan Himself, He gave Himself for us, in the person of His Son, Jesus Christ. The Greek word for “gave” as used in this verse is didomi (pr. did-o-mee), which means “to commit, deliver up, minister” (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance). Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines “deliver” as “to hand over, surrender, to set free.” God stepped out of heaven and stepped into time by becoming one of us, so that He could hand himself over and surrender Himself, as His Son, to humanity and for humanity, to set us free from Satan’s death grip.
Jesus Christ “who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness” (Philippians 2:6-8, Isaiah 42:7).
Unlike the world, which is full of strings and conditions, God died unconditionally for all. And knowing that many would not receive Him, He died anyway. “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him” (1 John 3:1). One must only believe, which is pisteuo (pr. pist-yoo-o), and means “to entrust one’s spiritual well-being to Christ,” in order to be saved.
None who call on and believe in Jesus Christ will perish. To perish, apollumi (ap-ol-loo-mee), is “to destroy fully, die.” Ephesians 2:1-8 testifies of Christ’s victory over death in that “And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.
But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.”
Are you looking for a miracle, my brother? Can’t find what you are seeking, my sister? Then look up, to the Risen Savior, who made the miraculous happen; when God Himself, entered the womb of a virgin, and accepted death on the Cross so that we could be brought back to life.
Father, thank You for the Cross. Thank You for dying for us, so that we can have life; and life abundantly. Help us, Most Holy God, to appreciate within every cell of our being, the sacrifice that You made through Your Son, Jesus Christ, for us. Fill our hearts, souls, and spirits to overflowing with Your great love for us, in that while we were yet sinners, You died for us. Let us never become so familiar with this verse that we forget the greatest selfless act of Your love and sacrifice. In Jesus Name, we thank You that we were purchased with the uncompromising and unfathomable price of Your love, through the Blood of Your Son. Amen and Amen.
Take action! Challenge your thinking! Choose to remember the Cross of Christ every single day. Choose to not cheapen the sacrifice of love of the Savior with legalism and dead works. Choose to keep the Cross in its rightful place: as the focal point of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And continue to fight the good fight of reflecting the love of the Father wherever you go; for God, your Everlasting and Perfect Love, has already given you the victory!
If you have never received Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, I encourage you to do it today, right now, by saying this prayer out loud: “Jesus, forgive me for my sins. I am sorry. I truly desire to be saved and reconciled back to God, my Father, through You. I receive Your sinless Blood as payment in full for my sins—past, present, and future. I now call You my Lord and Savior, and invite You to live within my heart, and to permanently live within me. I make You Lord over me and over my life from this moment on. Amen.” Congratulations! You are now a child of God, made whole and made new, by the Blood of Jesus Christ!
God tells us that we are blessed to be a blessing (Genesis 12:2). Be a blessing to someone by sending them this word of encouragement. If God did not already put someone in your spirit and on your heart that needs to read this uplifting message from above, simply ask your Heavenly Father who to bless on today. Forward this message right now by email, facebook, or twitter.
Jesus is coming soon!
May God Bless you and keep you always.
With warmest regards,
And, in service of The Most High King,
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Matthew is founder of HMD Ministries, and sits under the leadership of Apostle Dr. Don Lyon of Faith Center Ministries International in Rockford, Illinois, where he serves as an associate pastor.
All references to Hebrew and Greek words and meanings, unless otherwise noted, are taken from the New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance © 1990 by Thomas Nelson Publishing. All dictionary references are taken from the Merriam-Webster online dictionary © 2014, unless otherwise noted.