16‘For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. 17 ‘Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
Here in just a few words is the Gospel in miniature. Here are brought together all the longings of the prophets and the angels’ song…”that God so loved the world that he gave his only Son.” Here is the reason for this long awaited time of Christmas!
Ponder for a moment the significance and weightiness of the little, two-letter word, “so” in the text; that God so loved the world. It’s such a little word that we might rush right past it. Yet the little word so holds so much meaning for us. The word so expresses intensity and feeling as when we say, “I so love the gift that you gave me!” Or, “I love you so much!” It’s a word that intensifies and adds to the feeling.
What a difference it makes that the Gospels say that God so loved the world. It’s not just that God loved us. It’s that God so loved us. Here is the depth and intensity of God’s passionate love for us.
It’s not that God so loved the good people, or so loved the church, but that God so loved the world. God so loved people that don’t even believe in him or give him any thought, even on his birthday. It is just as the angel said at the first Christmas: “Here is good news of great joy which shall be for all people.” Here is good news for entire the world!
Today’s text says that God did not send his Son into the world to condemn us, to shame us, or make us feel guilty. It says that God sent his Son into the world, “in order that the world might be saved through him.”
Let’s not let another day pass without receiving the greatest of all Christmas gifts! It’s a gift that cannot be bought in any store or mall, and can never be earned, but only received. And it’s the gift of God’s Son who will come and live within us to give us his very life and peace.
10He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. 11He came to what was his own,* and his own people did not accept him. 12But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God. John 1:10-12
Read, Reflect, Respond, and Rest with both of today’s texts
and today’s devotional.
Today’s Moments of Diaphany
- an answer to prayer
- evidence of his love and care
- evidence of his creative power and wisdom
- his help to do his work