“For this is how much God loved the world—He gave His one and only, unique Son as a gift. So now everyone who believes in Him will never perish but experience everlasting life.” (John 3:16 TPT)
I believe this is the most memorized verse in the Bible, yet I wonder how many of us really came to put on the brakes, to pause, to think, to meditate, to regurgitate, to digest, to confess and to declare until it becomes a part of us.
The Word of God is only as effective as it is revealed beyond the letters that we read. The Word needs to be believed in our hearts for our intellect can only grasp so far. The Good News is beyond comprehension yet experienceable. The Holy Spirit is the One Who breathes life into the Word and unveils our eyes to see the truth of what is being spoken to us and for us. Living out the revealed Word of God can never be done apart from the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit let alone doable apart from our relationship with Jesus whose Name is The Word, “The Word made flesh and dwelt among us.”
I attended one Sunday service a few months ago. When it was time for communion, the person who exorted came up to the platform, paused and slowly yet boldly proclaimed, “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 NKJV) Oh wow … how these words pierced my heart and brought tears to my eyes. From that day onwards, I never took this verse for granted any longer. It has been engraved deeper in my heart as the Holy Spirit unraveled it that day and He is still continually unraveling this same verse to today and forever will be as it echoes from deep within me.
God created the world so beautifully and He so approved of it. From the first day to the fifth, every after the specified creation, God saw and declared, “IT WAS GOOD“ (Genesis 1:10, v.12, v.18. v.21, v.25). But on the sixth day after He created man, He surveyed everything He had made, savoring its beauty and appreciating its goodness. “God saw everything that He had made, and indeed “IT WAS VERY GOOD.” (Genesis 1:31)
The word “very” means in high degree, extremely, exceedingly, exceptionally, especially, tremendously, immensely, vastly, extraordinarily, overly, excessively, abundantly, significantly, outstandingly, remarkably, mightily, and the list goes on.
Man was created extremely SPECIAL and supremely above the rest of His creation that God said,
“Now let US conceive a NEW CREATION – humanity – made in OUR image, fashioned according to OUR likeness. And let US grant them authority over ALL the earth – the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, the domesticated animals and the small creeping creatures on the earth. So God did just that. He created humanity in HIS image, created them male and female.
Then God BLESSED them and gave them this directive: “Be fruitful and multiply. Populate the earth. I make you trustees of My estate, so care for My creation and rule over the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, and every creature that roams across the earth.” (Genesis 1:26-28 The Voice)
I so love the “note” written after these verses in The Voice Translation.
“The crown of God’s creation is a new creature, a creature that can sound the heartbeat of its Creator. That creature, made male and female, reflects God’s own relational richness. The human family is to join God in the ongoing work of creation. The earth below and the sky above with all their inhabitants are too beautiful and too good to be left alone. They need the tender care and close attention that only God’s favored creature can give.”
You and I did not just pop up like bubbles in the earth and go just as the same way, almost seemingly denying our existence. We were intricately thought of before the foundation of time to be with Him, walk with Him, talk to Him and co-labor with Him. Man’s intimate relationship with God was intentionally thought of and purposed for. We were designed to function with Him and never independent from Him.
The Psalmist said …
I will offer You my grateful heart, for I am Your unique creation filled with wonder and awe.
You have approached even the smallest details with excellence;
Your works are wonderful;
I carry this knowledge deep within my soul.
You see all things; nothing about me was hidden from You
As I took shape in secret,
carefully crafted in the heart of the earth before I was born from its womb.
You see all things;
You saw me growing, changing in my mother’s womb;
Every detail of my life was already written in Your book;
You established the length of my life before I ever tasted the sweetness of it.
(Psalm 134:14-16 The Voice)
Apart from being fearfully and wonderfully made, we were set out and custom-designed as divine stewards of God’s beautiful creation. He said, “I make you trustees of My estate, so care for My creation.” (Genesis 1:28 The Voice) We are His special forces, His delegated hands and feet on the earth. He BLESSED us. Blessed means empowered to prosper in everything that we do, not by might nor by power, but by the Spirit of God. This is our original identity and purpose.
But all these were interrupted when Adam and Eve fell at the deception of the enemy in the Garden of Eden. Instead of obeying what God told them to enjoy and partake of the fruit every tree except for ONE, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they succumb to the temptation to eat the fruit from that ONE forbidden tree when “the serpent said to the woman, You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Genesis 3:4-5)
Hmmmm … the fight against man’s identity was his target and mind you until today, this is what he is still after. God just said that man was created according to Their image and likeness, and there he was telling Eve “you will be LIKE God” if she would eat from that tree. True enough, when she saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she obeyed the voice of enemy, ate from it and gave her husband, then, their pledge of allegiance was re-directed. The Bible says, “Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey?” (Romans 6:16 NLT) As a result, humanity was spiritually separated from God because of the sin of disobedience. Together with being spiritually cut off from the presence of God, the authority and dominion that once was given to mankind became the enemy’s.
Why is chaos present in world? Our God Who is good, Who is ALL THE TIME good is NEVER the author of it. Know that there is someone else running it, although his power and authority were unplugged 2000 years ago when Jesus died at the cross. But until you and I know this truth, we will always be under this deceptive thought that it is but norm to have a chaotic life inside out. KNOW that it is “through Jesus’ death at the cross that destroyed and paralyzed him that HAD the “power of death”, that is, the devil; and delivered us who through “fear of death” were all in lifetime subject to bondage.” (Hebrews 2:14-15) God is so rich in mercy and abounding in love that He gave us His beloved Son, Jesus, Who brought us freedom and bought us from the kingdom of darkness and ignorance and INTO the kingdom of His marvelous LIGHT where you and I can see and experience the revealed truth of His Word.
“For God SO LOVED the world that He gave His only begotten Son …” (John 3:16)
God so loved the world that He gave us Jesus Christ as His redemptive solution to the sin of disobedience committed at the Garden of Eden. When He shed His blood at the cross ONCE AND FOR ALL, He washed away our sins by becoming sin Himself, just as so we may become the RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD in Christ. Jesus fully obeyed the Father even to the point of death, for the joy that was set before Him, you and I being intimately reconciled back into His presence without interruption.
He gave us Jesus Who is The Word Himself, The Word that is likened to water that cleanses us when we fall short of His glory and restores us back every time. No one is perfect, therefore we need His ever reassuring redemptive Word to keep us from living in guilt and condemnation that sets us apart from Him. His Word is a refreshing drink every time He unveils our eyes to see the truth of what He is speaking, Who He is and who we are before His very eyes, His beloveds.
He gave us Jesus Who is the Grace of God. We do not need to earn, nor merit, nor deserve to join into the family God. He so loved us that He highly favored us to experience this life worth living by us believing and receiving Jesus in our hearts.
God knew that left on our own, we are helpless and hopeless. God knew that there is NO other way to redeem us. If there was any other way to bring us back into His loving embrace, to walk with Him and talk to Him in the cool of the day, then it would be an extremely cruel act of the Father to give us and sacrifice His Son. This is how SPECIAL you and I are before Him. This is how much He values us.
“For God SO LOVED the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish …” (John 3:16)
There will always be blinders as we walk on the truth of Who Jesus is. We do not know it all and we never will because our God is inexhaustible, yet every time we take a glimpse of Who He is, no matter how tiny as a mustard seed that revelation is, it catapults our faith to a different level that changes us.
We are to be aware that we are always fighting a good fight of faith, for the author that blinds us to the truth is still doing his job, keeping us in unbelief. Thanks be to God Who always causes us to triumph in Christ. The enemy never desires for us to see the LIGHT of the glorious gospel, for when our eyes are open to see this truth, he does not stand a chance. His eternal damnation was sealed by the Blood of Jesus Christ, but we can only partake of the benefit of Jesus’ finished work when we have the knowledge and revelation of it.
“Even if our gospel message is veiled, it is only veiled to those who are perishing, for their minds have been blinded by the god of this age, leaving them in unbelief. Their blindness keeps them from seeing the dayspring light of the wonderful news of the glory of Jesus Christ, who is the divine image of God.” (2 Corinthians 4:3-4 TPT)
The eternal truth of His Word says, before one can perceive God’s kingdom realm, he must first experience a rebirth. (John 3:3 TPT) The once lost intimate connection that man had with his Creator in the Garden of Eden, when humanity was separated from Divinity, needs to be reconnected and reconciled. To be physically born is our first birth. But when we acknowledge, believe and receive His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, we become born of God, born again, born of the Spirit and it is miraculously an instant re-connection and reconciliation.
“As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:12-13)
This is our Father’s heart’s desire: for us to be with Him FOREVER in SPIRIT and IN TRUTH, never perishing but for us to come to eternal life. Love relationship has always been in His heart. I so love when Jesus made this statement, “Ask and you shall. Seek and you shall find. Knock and it shall be opened unto you.” (Matthew 7:7) For me, this is such a powerful demonstration of a love-relationship. He loves for us to ask, for Him to give us the desires of our hearts as we delight ourselves in Him. He knows that when our hearts are beating in the unforced rhythm of His grace, we will never ask anything that does not bring Him nor bring us pleasure. He never forces anything to us nor for us. His love for us was established in expressing it powerfully when He sent us Jesus, and our response to His given Son, He delights in. He desires for us to choose Him and never forces us to choose Him. That is love in itself.
“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 NKJV)
God loves you and I so much that He desires for us to live with Him eternally, forever and ever. What a beautiful reality indeed. Come to think of it, when you love someone so much, you would desire to spend the rest of your life with that person, right? How much more when God, Who is Love, longs to be with us forever? Hmmmm … oh how richly valuable we are to Him.
“This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” (John 17:3 NKJV) The voice translation says, “… all who receive Me will experience everlasting life, a NEW INTIMATE RELATIONSHIP with You (the one True God) and Jesus the Anointed (the One You have sent).”
Just as who He originally created us to be in the Garden of Eden, according to His image and likeness, living our lives in absolute connectedness with Him in intimacy, Jesus came to fully restore. More so, God loves us so much that He made us His dwelling place, His home and made Himself at home in us in the presence of His Spirit.
When we welcome Jesus into our hearts to become His holy habitation, He brought in everything with Him and moved in. He brought His anointing, His provision, His mercy, His healing, His wisdom, His direction, His strength, His peace, His joy, His love. Name it, He has it and He brought it with Him IN US. That in itself is the greatest miracle of all time and such is a powerful revelation that He is inviting us to explore and experience day in and day out.
As we discover His attributes defined in our lives slowly but surely, it transforms us as His written words become revealed and unveiled. When He said, “I make you trustees of My estate, so care for My creation.” (Genesis 1:28 The Voice), our stewardship will effortlessly blossom and bear fruit that comes from our intimate relationship with Jesus Christ in the presence of the Holy Spirit abiding in us. The power and authority that Jesus restored back to us come from Him living His life in and through us.
Now, it is understandable why people hunger for power and authority. It is innate for humanity. If we do it independent of Him Who is the source of it all, it will be a misguided desire that can lead to destruction. But if we do it as His vessels with His excellence in power flowing in and through us, we can do ALL THINGS through Christ Who strengthens us. Then, we can be trustees of His estate and become excellent stewards of His creation fueled with passion and love in our hearts.
Paul the apostle said in Galatians 2:20 TPT, “My old identity has been co-crucified with Messiah and no longer lives; for the nails of His cross crucified me with Him. And now the essence of this new life is no longer mine, for the Anointed One lives His life through me—we live in union as one! My new life is empowered by the faith of the Son of God WHO LOVES ME SO MUCH that He gave Himself for me, and dispenses His life into mine!
Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. To today, He is still doing what He used to do, going around doing good, healing ALL who are oppressed by the devil, but this time, He called us to co-labor with Him, Him working with us, Him residing within us, confirming His Word with signs following. When we are moved by God, we are moved with compassion. As a result, we have the answer to every need. He positions us to this place where what we see becomes an opportunity for God to do something, not by might nor by power, but by the Spirit of God. Anytime we are moved with compassion, Him triggering our hearts to beat like His, is an open door for Him to visit His people and eventually be His habitation that comes with His miraculous presence.
We are called to be proof providers with the evidence of His lordship, His indwelling and His anointing, Christ in us, the HOPE of glory. We are witnesses that Jesus is alive. We are witnesses that God so loved the World that He gave us His only begotten Son, Jesus. We are witnesses of how much He loves us and how He desires to be with us always, by His choice of making His home in us, being at home in us. We are witnesses that He is continually on the move, showing Himself strong to us and through us that people will become born of God, born into the family of God in the power of the Holy Spirit, rooted and grounded in His love that never fails.
Indeed belonging to God’s kingdom, washed by His Precious Blood, called by His Name, created to be the temple of the Holy Spirit and anointed to be the diffuser of the fragrance of His love is the true source of our authority that brings us true joy. This is who we are in Him. This is how special you and I are to Him.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for putting Your love on the line for us by offering Your Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to You. Thank You that even if we were far too weak and rebellious to do anything to get ourselves ready, You made a way for us to be redeemed and restored. Thank You, Jesus for withholding nothing from us, not even Your own Self. You arrived right on time to make this happen for us to be called back and be called Your own.
I believe in You, Jesus. I receive You into my heart as my Lord and Savior. Make me Your home and teach me to make You at home in me. Thank You for letting me know that I am special, that I am the object of Your affection, that I am the apple of Your eye. Thank You that it was Your love for me that kept you at the cross to the very end that made a way for me to come in union with You.
Thank You, Holy Spirit for piercing my heart with the light of God’s revealed Word. Fill and flood me with the richest measure of Your presence. Teach me to know You. Teach me to be led by You and to walk in Your ways. Have Your way in me. Amen!
“But you are God’s chosen treasure – priests who are kings, a spiritual “nation” set apart as God’s devoted ones. He called you out of darkness to experience His marvelous light, and now He claims you as His very own. He did this so that you would broadcast His glorious wonders throughout the world” (1 Peter 2:9 TPT)
Photo Credits: Melai GF; April 2020