Today, I want to start sharing some things with you which really impacted and changed my life. These things may be simplistic for some of you – you may be looking for “the deeper stuff” – but you people who are often looking for the deepest stuff are the people that really need the simple stuff. It’s a good thing for us to be refreshed in the foundations of our faith and refreshed and what we know to be true. I am going to share a few things with you that were key in impacting and changing my life.
John 3:16 New King James Version (NKJV)
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.
I know it’s a “fridge magnet scripture” but it’s a powerful scripture. The first thing that I want to pull out of this is that it was love that motivated God to send Jesus; God’s love for the world. It wasn’t anger. A lot of people see Jesus coming to earth to die for us because of God’s immense anger. This scripture says that love was the motivating force, not anger. Love motivated God to send Jesus to rescue the world.
John 3:16 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)
For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life.
We need to ask ourselves as the church, as Christians, whether or not we “so greatly love and dearly prize the world” or not? Too many Christians don’t love the world as God does. We tend to love ourselves more! We should love the world so much that we’re willing to give (of ourselves) to help rescue the world (in an evangelistic sense). Love motivated God to give Himself, to rescue the world. As the truth of His love impacts our hearts it will transform our lives and as a result, it will overflow out of us as a love for the world. If you’ve got the love of God inside of you, it’ll cause you to start to love the world. Not the things of the world, but the people in the world. I’m not talking about the things of the world; we shouldn’t be in love with the things of the world. We should be in love with the people in the world because God loves people! We should be so impacted by God’s love that it results in us loving people so much that we accept that God has sent us into this world to be ambassadors for Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20) and to reach this world with the message of His good news.
John 20:21 English Standard Version (ESV)
Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.”
Love is what motivated Jesus to send us into the world (Matthew 28:18-20). In the same way that the Father sent Jesus, so Jesus has sent us! Jesus did not say, “I’m just so angry with the world for their sin. You need to go and tell them how angry I am and get them to turn or else they will burn…!” Jesus didn’t say that. He said, “as the father has sent me, even so, I am sending you.” The motivation of Jesus’ coming was love. The motivation for us reaching the world with the Gospel is love. For God, so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He sent you and me…For God so dearly loved and greatly prized your business, your place of employment, your community, your family or your place of study, that He is sending you! Reaching the world for Christ shouldn’t be seen as something you have to do, it’s something you get to do because of love – love is our motivation!
1 Corinthians 13:1-3 English Standard Version (ESV)
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
If whatever you do isn’t motivated by love, it’s useless. Love needs to be our motivation. And when love is our motivation, it will cause great fruitfulness. “For God, so greatly loved and dearly prized you” that he sent Jesus to rescue you from perishing and give you eternal life. Isn’t God awesome? Isn’t that good news that God didn’t want to see you perish?