“For God so loved He gave”
When I was a child my grandmother would offer my brothers and me ice cream just before bed. It wasn’t long, however, until my brothers and I realized Grandma had an agenda. Oh ,it was true, we had ice cream but Grandma also had her Bible. I have fond memories of Grandma telling me about the love of Jesus but it was not until I was older that I truly understood what this love meant.
“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. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”(John 3:16-17)
As a child I did not understand the greatest gift I would ever receive would come from God in the form of His only begotten. God gave His only begotten Son to forgive my sins and so that I might have a relationship with Him. Through Jesus Christ the Son, I have been reconciled to God the Father for life eternal by grace through faith.
Oswald Chambers wrote, “Salvation is not merely deliverance from sin, nor the experience of personal holiness; the salvation of God is deliverance out of self entirely into union with Himself. My experimental knowledge of salvation will be along the line of deliverance from sin and of personal holiness; but salvation means that the Spirit of God has brought me into touch with God's personality, and I am thrilled with something infinitely greater than myself, I am caught up into the abandonment of God.”
As we grow older, we better understand great truths while visiting old scriptures of our youth. When I accepted the gift of grace, I understood the depth of His love and I surrendered my life to Him. Quoting Oswald Chambers again: “The salvation of God is deliverance out of self entirely into union with Himself.”
Paul writes to the church of Corinth in words that express the newness of life: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.” (2 Corinthians 5:17-19)
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son.” God did His part when He gave us His only Son. Our salvation and reconciliation requires us to accept this gift and believe: “…whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. (John 14:6)
Jesus is not the best way. Jesus is not the popular way. Jesus is the only way. He is the truth and the life. I thank the Lord for grandmas like mine who teach children the love of Jesus and take time to train up a child in the way they should go for Proverbs 22:6 tells us when they are old they will not depart from it.
Ned McCarty is pastor of New Life Nazarene Church in Queen Creek.