November 10, 2013

An Astounding Truth

John 3:16-18; Psalm 96

“God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son …”
—John 3:16


This is a statement that we on earth would hardly dare to make, if Jesus hadn’t said it first. For not only did our sin put a wall between us and God and between earth and heaven, but it spread its deadly poison into every part of earthly existence. The reality of sin’s horrific, deadly power is something we don’t have to debate: war, genocide, death of innocent children, broken relationships, pollution, waste, destruction of species, and on, and on.

But the truth, the astounding truth known in heaven and now revealed on earth, is that God loves this world—not the sin, not the violence, not the foolishness that destroys so much—but the forests and mountains, rivers and oceans, birds and flowers, animals and all people: men and women, boys and girls. God loves this world so much that he sent his Son—not to destroy it and us, but to destroy death and to bring new life—beautiful, abundant, never-ending life for all of creation to enjoy.

Spend a few moments today thinking about the fact that God includes you, your children, friends, and neighbors in his great love and that his greatest desire is that you be filled with his life.

“Sing to the LORD a new song … all the earth… Proclaim his salvation day after day.”

Thank you, gracious God, for loving your world and for in-cluding me in it. May I see everyone around me as included in your love. And may we together care for your creation and be filled with your life and love. Amen.

About the author — Harvey Stob

Rev. Harvey Stob and his wife, Audrey, served as missionaries in Argentina for eleven years. They then served churches in Cincinnati, Ohio; Ridgewood, New Jersey; and Ann Arbor, Michigan. Harvey retired from full-time pastoral work in 2009. He and Audrey have three children and seven grandchildren.

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