“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” -John 3:16
“…but God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” -Romans 5:8
We all know the most famous verse in the Bible, but does its message ever strike you personally and not as just an impersonal part of billions? In a very true sense, “the world” is not just this enormous group of people; it is you! God so loved you! What exactly does it mean to apply God’s love to just yourself? Can you really think of God’s love in such an intimate way? This is what you need to do. You are not just a tiny part of a huge whole. You are an individual person who holds great significance in the heart of God.
You ask, “How can this possibly be?” The very nature of God makes it so! Not only does He have that infinite capacity within Himself, He has the personal love and divine intent to do so peculiarly to your heart. You often read the Bible as a solitary individual; God intends for you to also read and hear it as His personal love letter to you. Not just to every saint, but His love expressed to you.
Is this the perspective you have when reading it? In John 3, Jesus is speaking not just to Nicodemus but to you. In Luke 10, not just to Martha, the sister of Mary, but to you. In John 18 and 21, not just to Peter, who betrayed Jesus three times and was forgiven in a beautiful three-part way, but to you! This is the way to read the Bible. Apply it always as though it is being written with you in mind, either to convict you of your particular sin or to express God’s unfathomable but particular love to you.
This may seem simplistic in your mind but is, nevertheless, a perspective which must be rightly nurtured by you. Otherwise you always hear Him speaking to an impersonal whole and not as He intends. God has the capacity to see and love you as who you personally are; you are never lost in His mind amongst the interminable crowd of the masses.
This is not only the vast greatness of God, but it is the very personality of His heart. He is a personal God. If you do not see and believe this, you have missed the greatness of His love. As an expression of that great love, Jesus as God took on human flesh for eternity to be the mediator between an invisible God and His visible human family and to accomplish your salvation through the cross. This Jesus you will truly see in the personable nature of face-to-face relationship.
Timelessness accomplishes such in a manner we chronological, time-bound people cannot now envision. This is a currently unknown blessing of eternity, “far greater than you can think or imagine.” Nevertheless, living in a fallen world, you can still apply the personal love of God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) to your intimate self through the renewing of your mind (Romans 12). Else you are missing the greatest blessing of all – He loves you!
“Taste the goodness of the Lord: Welcomed home to His embrace, all His love as blood outpoured seals the pardon of His grace. Can I doubt His love for me, when I trace that love’s design? By the cross of Calvary, I am His and He is mine.”
(Third verse of George Robinson’s hymn, “Loved with Everlasting Love,” 1890)
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