This morning, I took a brief glance at the headlines from around the world and this is what I saw…
- S.C. Woman Sentenced After Authorities Say She Put Her Newborn in the Refrigerator and He Died.
- Missing Girls Found in Utah Storage Unit as Alleged Self-Proclaimed ‘Prophet’ Is Charged.
- Bomb kills 8 in Syria, IS claims attack.
Myanmar Forces May Be Guilty of Genocide Against Rohingya, U.N. Says.
As I switched computer screens to begin writing, these headlines still rattling through my mind, I asked God, “What do you want me to tell them today?” He said, “Tell them I love them,” and immediately a Bible verse came to mind.
For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son
that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).
I know of no other Bible verse that says it so plainly. This might be the most recognized scripture in the world being seen in sports arenas and on billboards, but let’s not rush past its familiar, yet timely words.
First, what is this verse NOT saying? It’s not saying for God so loved church-goers or only those who haven’t done anything wrong. Look at it again. Who did He love? The WORLD. Wow! Did He not see those headlines?
This verse says He loved the world knowing it was filled with hate, murder, and war. He loved a world that included child abusers, sexual predators, and killers. That doesn’t mean He approved of their evil ways, but that He loved the people and made a way for them to be free from their sin. If God loved those people enough to send His Son, don’t you think He could love you, too?
No Matter What You’ve Done
Do you believe it? No really, do you truly and honestly, with all your mind and heart believe that God loves you? That He loves you right now no matter what you’ve done or what your past looks like, despite all your mistakes, weaknesses, and failures?
Want Proof That God Loves You?
There’s no wrong you can commit that will ever change the fact that God’s love sent Jesus to die for you. Want proof? Look at how Jesus responded to this woman.
John 8:1-11 is a story about a man and woman caught red-handed having sex. The problem: She was married to another man. The so-called religious leaders drug her into the temple courts, making her stand in front of the people gathered there. Then they addressed Jesus saying, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?”
Here is the perfect opportunity for Jesus to say, “That’s a terrible sin. I only came to save those who live right.” Or he could have said, “I’m going to die later but only for perfect people, so go ahead and kill her. Who cares about an adulterer?”
Nope, Here’s What He Really Said.
“If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” So of course, the religious hypocrites left one by one until all her accusers were gone. Jesus asked, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
“No one, sir,” she said.
“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
This woman was cheating on her husband and yet Jesus still loved her. She was told to stop sinning because Jesus knew it was destroying her life, but he never once looked at her with disgust. There was only love in his eyes as he treated her with dignity and offered her a better way to live.
The Sentence Handed Down
There’s no denying the fact that this adulterous woman was caught and found guilty. The first part of Romans 6:23 says the wages of sin is death and in ancient times, the sentence for adultery was death by stoning. So why didn’t Jesus allow them to stone her? Read the rest of verse 23.
For the wages of sin is death,
but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Jesus didn’t let them kill her because he came to be killed in her place. God so loved this adulterous woman that He sent His one and only Son to take her punishment. If Jesus did it for her, he did it for you.
The question now is what to do with all of this. Maybe you already believe in Jesus, but somewhere along life’s road, the guilt of your past caused you to think God is still mad at you. I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to carry that guilt any longer. Whatever you’ve done or didn’t do, Jesus has already paid for it. Confess it to your Heavenly Father and come back up into His arms of mercy.
Or maybe you’re the woman in our story. You’ve done terrible things and can’t see how anyone, especially God, could love you. If so, He sent me to tell you…He adores you!! He wants to love on you, treat you with dignity, and give you a better life than the one you’ve got. What do you have to do to get it?
Believe John 3:16
Allow me to substitute a few words…
For God so loved you that He gave his one and only Son
that if you’ll believe in him, you won’t perish but will have eternal life.
For God so loved the world that He sent His Son to die…for you! That proves He loves you! If you’ll believe this, then you can be adopted into God’s family. He’ll send His Spirit to connect with your spirit so you can have a personal relationship with Him. His Spirit will give you wisdom teaching you how to live a better way. Talk to God daily, ask your questions, share your thoughts and fears, and then wait to hear what He says. Get involved with other believers and study God’s Word together. Before long, you’ll look back and realize how much your life has changed and you’ll want to tell others about God. That’s what it means to be a Christian, loving God and loving others enough to tell them about Him.
Let me know you believe, so I can pray for you and then, share this post with others who need to know God loves them.
To read how I became a believer, read My Story of how God saved me from ending my own life.