So Loved

John 3:16

I think after many years that God has given me a solution to the problem of the word “love.”  I believe there should be a difference in saying “I love that movie that just came out,” and “I love my wife.”  If you even talk about some band or music group, someone may say, “Ooh, I love them!”  After throwing the word around on so many earthly things, it just has no value when one says, “I love God.”  

The Greek language is much closer to having it right.  There are basically four categories of love.  There is philia, eros, storge, and agape which means brotherly love, intimate love, parental love, and unconditional love respectively.  I am obviously painting these words with quite a broad stroke of the brush.  But at the very least, using these words categorizes the kind of love that you have for whatever or whoever you say that you love.

I preached this past Sunday for the first time in a long time.  I was kind of nervous . . . well, there was no kind of to it.  I tried all week to get some notes written down that I could cling to and get a feel for how the message was going to flow. Finally, Saturday rolled around, and I had no idea what I was going to preach.  When God finally spoke, He simply said, “John 3:16, no notes.”  Just like He has done so many times, He proceeded to download everything into my heart and mind.  When I say this, all I can liken it to is drinking from a firehose.  He gives me what seems like hours and hours of information in just a few minutes.  I wanted to immediately write down as much as I could, but He said, “No, it is all there, I want you to trust Me.”  I took a long, slow walk and categorized John 3:16.  For God . . . so loved . . . the world . . . that He gave . . . His only begotten Son . . . that whosoever . . . believes in Him . . . shall not perish . . . but have everlasting life.  Every single one of those were such powerful talking points.  The one I was the most blown away with was “so loved.”  

I think “so love” is the solution to the problem with the American version of the word love.  God so loved that it moved Him into action.  He came down here to this sin cursed world, lived a perfect life, and died on the cross so that it would be possible for us to be saved.  I recently read the entire book of John in a day.  I don’t think I’ve ever done that before.  It gave me such an amazing picture in my mind of just how much He loved and still loves me.  He so loved me that He was willing to do something for me.  

John 14:15 says “If you love me, obey my commands.”  I like this verse because just like God’s love for me moved Him into action, it turns it back around on me and asks if my love for Him moves me into action.  I can say, “I love God” all day long, but at the end of that day, did I “so love” God that I was willing to do what He says?  For some reason, people are scared to death that God is actually going to have them do something.  I have listened to two sermons this week that basically taught that obedience was completely optional in following God.  Let’s assume for a moment this is true and the commands that Jesus gives us are merely suggestions.  If you repeatedly refuse to obey, how will you have any confidence at all that you really do love Him?  How else can I know that my life is really His?

To be clear, I’m not talking about earning your salvation.  I am talking about walking in obedience after you are saved.  God so loved me that He did something for me.  Do I so love Him that I’m willing to do something in return?

I’m sure you’ve said, “I love God.”  But . . . do you so love Him?

Lord, I want to so love You.  I hear people in their relationships say those three words and it means so little because those words are backed with so little action.  Only You can give me the love that I need to truly love You back.  This kind of love only comes from You who selflessly gave His life that I might live.  Continue to work on me and all who read this, Lord.  Help us to get it right.  If we can so love You and so love others, we will see our world change right before our eyes.  Help us, Lord.  Amen


About wednesdaymorningdevotional

I am just a nobody from Salem, South Carolina. I have been a math teacher now for 23 years. I have been publishing devotionals every Wednesday morning for about 10 years now. Thanks for stopping by.
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