“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” -John 3:16-17
Activity: Words of affirmation. Take some time to share what you love about the other people around the table.
We love all sorts of things. We love family, fast food, and nice clothes. We love songs that make us feel happy and teachers that help us learn. We know how to love, especially things and people that make our lives brighter.
But there are things that we don’t love. We don’t love going to the doctor for shots. We don’t love having to exercise, or doing lots of homework. We don’t love people who are mean to us or pick on us. We don’t love things that make our lives harder.
So basically, we love nice things that are nice to us, and we don’t love things that are not nice to us.
“God so loved the world.”
In the beginning, God made the world and He said that it was good. It was the artistic work of His hands, His masterpiece of creation. He made beautiful flowers and fluffy clouds. He made flitting butterflies and juicy fruit. And all of it was good. And then He made His favorite part of all that He had made… Humans. God loved the world as He looked over it and declared, “it was very good!” (Gen 1:31).
But then things changed. Humans started sinning. First by disobeying God by eating a piece of fruit, but soon people started lying, stealing, and even killing one another. By Genesis 6, only a few pages into the Bible, we read that every thought of man was only evil, all the time.
God loved the world, but the world didn’t show much love for God. And we are the same way. Quite often the things that we want and love are all about ourselves, not others, and certainly not about our God.
So how does God treat a sinful world that does not love Him back. He sends His Son to save it. For some reason God still loves the sinful and broken world. He loves it so much that He sent Jesus to be born, to die, and to rise again as part of His plan to save the world that He so greatly loves.
PRAYER: Dear God, Thank you for loving the world, and me, way more than we deserve. In Jesus’ name we pray, AMEN.