"It is good to give thanks to the LORD, to sing praises to Your name, O Most High;
to declare Your steadfast love in the morning, and Your faithfulness by night..."
~ Psalm 92:1
In a time where all our minds are on what we want, what we'd like to ask for, how and with whom we will celebrate Christmas; let us remember God, who gave....
"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. Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because He has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment; the Light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the Light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the Light and does not come into the Light, lest His works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes into the Light, so that it may be clearly seen that His works have been carried out in God."
~ John 3:16-21
Too often, John 3:16 is used to tell the world that God loves them so much and can't stand to live in Heaven without them, so He sacrificed Himself to save their souls. This is not true. We must always read Scripture in the context in which God Himself meant for it to be read. Jesus lived in Heaven for a l-o-n-g time without us, and if we judge this with sober minds, we'll remember Jesus doesn't "need" us to be in Heaven with Him because, after all, He IS God and is fully sufficient in Himself. On the other hand, we have a need to be saved, and we can't live without Him. And Heaven (that is, eternal life; a Christian's final Sabbath Rest) is a place God has so graciously bestowed upon all His children as a gift; not because we're "worth" it or deserve it (because truly, which one of us can honestly say that we believe that our lives are worth the suffering and sacrifice of Christ?).
The message of John 3:16 is not the message of the modern day, man-centered Gospel. The message of John 3:16 is the same message God-centered Gospel from the same God of yesterday, today and tomorrow: it's a strong, righteous, good and pure message that should cause anyone to fear God, be utterly grateful for His salvation and humble themselves before such a righteous, good and merciful God. This is why I never share John 3:16 with anyone without verses 17-21. That way, I can be sure that the hearer is benefited by God's truth and provided with much grace in the light of God's truth and extravagant love.
So let all those, who are called by God, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light be different than the rest of the world, and instead of asking for things or looking forward to receiving or even giving to other people; let us, God's beloved children, let us give to God what is due Him:
every morning for His steadfast love,
and every night for His faithfulness.
and all God's people say: