October 19, 2018
READ: John 3:16-21
This is how God loved the world: he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life (v.16).
After cancer took the life of a Ugandan child I’d been caring for during his final months, the boy’s family and village leaders gathered to decide how to thank me for what I’d done on behalf of one of their own. They concluded that the best way to express gratitude, while also consoling me as I grieved the loss of the child I dearly loved, would be to give me his younger brother.
When I share this true story, people sometimes respond angrily, troubled that the family would offer to give away their child. But instead of responding with judgement, let’s instead look into the heart behind their act: They wanted to express the deepest love, appreciation and consolation that they possibly could.
The choice to give up a child is seldom taken lightly, and no one knows this more than God who so “loved the world” that “he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
God didn’t give His Son simply for someone else to raise, nor did He send His Son to condemn the world. He gave His Son, Jesus Christ, “to save the world through him” (v.17). Jesus said, “There is no judgement against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son” (v.18).
In the situation where I was offered a child to raise as my own, I graciously declined so that the child could remain with his biological parents. Instead of becoming his mother, I began loving the child as his ‘auntie’.
God, however, chose to give His Son for us, so that—through His power instead of our own (Ephesians 2:8-9)—we could experience eternal life and the fullness of His love.
365-day plan: Acts 8:26-40
Read John 10:10-11 and consider what Jesus has brought to those who believe in Him.
What does God’s love mean to you? What did it cost Him to show His love for us?