John 3:16 is probably Christianity’s most known verse. “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.”
So familiar. We recite it without even thinking about it. I think because of this, it has lost its power to us. But if we look again and really think about the words, we can begin to realize what they mean, and the impact becomes overwhelming.
Think about it:
I love my children; they are my world. I have great plans for them. They are so precious to me. There is not a single person I love so much that I would be willing to sacrifice any of my children’s lives for. Yet that’s what God did. And he not only did it, but he had it planned before any of us were in existence. He loved us all so much that he planned and purposed to sacrifice his ONLY son for ONE of us. Of course he wanted it to be for all of us, but if even just ONE believed and received, it would have been worth it to him.
That’s incredible! Soak that in for a minute. God loves YOU so much, that his most precious and prized possession, his ONLY son, was purposefully sent to die to save you, so that he could have YOU with him forever. WOW!
Paul tries to explain this to us when he muses in Romans 5: “7 Indeed, rarely will anyone die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person someone might actually dare to die. 8 But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us.” While we were still sinning, still hating God, still being ridiculously and completely unlovable, he died to bring us into relationship with him.
That kind of love is incomprehensible. No one in the world ever has or ever will love someone else like that. It is amazing. It is also life changing if we let it be. It is our true identity. We are not rejected, abandoned, abused, or misunderstood. We are LOVED, more deeply than we can imagine. We are CHERISHED. We are accepted. We are WANTED!
I’ve spent a good deal of my life feeling, unloved, and unwanted, with low self-worth. I have tried to find love, acceptance and admiration from people to take that ache away, but no amount of human love can ever top or even meet the love our Heavenly Father has for us. When I feel like I’m not enough, I know in God, I am more than enough.
Think about that this Valentine’s Day. No one will ever love you as much as God loves you. No one will ever demonstrate their love for you in such an over-the-top, reckless, scandalous way. Let the kitschy Red hearts we wish we had someone to give us on Valentine’s Day remind us of the ultimate gift we were already given in the blood that was shed, because we are that loved. We are worthy of being his prize.
To quote Finding Favour in their song Refuge: “I could search the skies, I could sail across the sea, never finding love that’s as strong as yours for me.” You won’t find it, because it doesn’t exist. All you have to do is accept what has already been given.
Please don’t feel alone this Valentine’s Day, you are loved and desired more than you could ever know. You are so important. Let him wrap you up in his all encompassing love. Tonight, enjoy these songs, and bask in the love he longs to lavish on you.