3:16 : John

It’s that time of the year when everyone around the world remembers/ celebrates the death & resurrection of our saviour either by easter egg hunts, going to services or just relaxing during the break. Oh yeah I only just found out that eating hot cross buns was an easter tradition and Jamaicans celebrate Good Friday with fried fish. Haha.. guess you are always learning new things.  But what does this season mean to you specifically?

About 4 years ago I read a book about all the 3:16s in the new testament, it was a great read so I thought it was only right to share what I learnt. In this post I will speak specifically about the verse that encapsulates the gospel : John 3:16 then in subsequent posts I hope to share the other 3:16s with you.

Let me start with a question, Who was the initial recipient of this sentence? It was, Nicodemus, a troubled Pharisee who had come to Jesus in the middle of the night probably because he was afraid or ashamed to be with seen with Jesus. Jesus tells Nicodemus that he must be born again, however he did not understand how this could happen. Then Jesus gave him a fundamental element of the goodness of God and the ultimate gateway to Heaven; 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. 

Here are the basics of John 3:16 (J.H):

God The Author
So loved The Measure
The World The Object
Whoever believes should not perish The Purpose
Have eternal life The Ultimate Result

This analysis also shows why John 3:16 is classed as the greatest  (Anon):

God The greatest lover/giver
So loved The greatest motive
The World The greatest number
That he gave The greatest act
His only begotten son The greatest gift
That whoever The greatest invitation
Believes The greatest DECISION
In him The greatest attraction
Should not perish The greatest promise
But The greatest difference
Have The greatest certainty
Eternal life The greatest possession

and my favourite The Triune (Trinity) God in John 3:16 (Anon).

God Ruler Micah 5:2
So benefactor Psalm 68:19
Loved Lover 1 John 4:8-10
The Creator Genesis 1:1
World Maker Psalm 95:6
That Purpose Ephesians 3:11
He Governor Matthew 2:6
Gave Giver 1 Timothy 6:17
His Father Isaiah 9:6
Only Saviour Luke 2:11
Begotten Mediator 1 Timothy 2:5
Son Redeemer Job 19:25
That Intercessor Isaiah 53:12
Whoever Provider Genesis 22:8
Believes Counsellor Isaiah 9:6
In Revealer Daniel 2:22
Him Messenger Malachi 3:1
Should Commander Isaiah 55:4
Not Comforter John 14:26
Perish Deliverer Romans 11:26
But Restorer Ruth 4:15
Have Bestower Isaiah 63:7
Eternal Keeper Psalm 121:5
Life Preserver Psalm 28:8

Beautiful, right? So once again what does this easter season mean to you? Do you recognise that you’ve been given the greatest promise (shall not perish) to have the greatest possession (eternal life), by the greatest giver (God) who gave the greatest gift (life of his son)? What does this mean for you and me, saved or not, believer or not? – we are told to BELIEVE in Him.

To believe means much more than agreeing with the facts; it means personal commitment. You can believe that Barack Obama is a real person, but knowing that might not affect you personally. Similarly you can believe that Jesus lived over 2,000 years ago and died on the cross, and this may not affect your lifestlye. Believing that Jesus existed is not enough because even the devil believes {Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. James 2:19}. We know that the devil will not be saved, but what makes our belief different from his? To truly believe In Him as specified in John 3:16, we don’t stop at believing Jesus Christ existed but we commit our lives to Him and trust that He is our LORD & SAVIOUR. The devil doesn’t believe that God can save him and that is a decision you and I can make that differs us from him. The greatest decision a person can make is to trust that only Christ can truly save him/her.

I will leave you with this verse from Hebrews 11:6 : And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. Believing that God exists is only the beginning, He will not settle for your mere acknowledgement of his existence. He wants to have a personal, dynamic, life-transforming relationship with you. The reward of those who earnestly seek Him is the greatest possession we could ever be certain of having : Eternal life.

Stay Blessed,

Dara x

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No Greater Love

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So it’s Valentine’s day…Love is in the air. 💘 You may be celebrating the day with that special significant other ( aka your bae) or maybe like me you are spending the evening indoors with siblings, whatever it is you are doing I just wanted to share with you a love that is true, real and genuine. This sort of love can be extended into ALL our relationships, not only the lovey dovey ones. 💑 In our 21st century society we are constantly bombarded with adverts, movies and songs that display shallow love. However the Holy Book itself has something to say about love.I’m sure we are all aware of this very famous passage in 1st Corinthians 13, which describes what love is;

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

Our society often confuses love and lust. Unlike lust, God’s kind of love is directed outwards towards others, not inward towards ourselves. It is utterly unselfish. This type of love is not natural. It is only possible if God helps us set aside our own desires and instincts, so we can give love while expecting nothing in return. Thus the closer we become to Christ, the more love we will be able to show others.

Now what is the greatest love? “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” John 15:13. Christ’s love towards us all was demonstrated not only in his words but also in his sacrificial death. We are to love one another as Jesus loved us, and he loved us enough to give his life for us. Woww!! even though he knew that we might not love him back. No, I’m not saying we are going to have to die for someone, but there are other ways to practice sacrificial love: listening, helping, encouraging, giving. On this day think of someone in particular who needs this kind of love today. Give ALL the love you can towards him/her.

Blaise Pascal said: There is a God shaped vacuum in the heart of every man (& woman) which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God, the Creator, made known through Jesus. Today in our society it is very common to see couples together, treating themselves and displaying their love for one another. For someone that is single like myself, it is possible to question how can I fill that “empty” vacuum in my heart. “I want that love, affection that others receive”, but the truth is that nobody on earth is capable of making you complete. No matter how many love letters, surprising gifts, warm hugs or sweet kisses one receives they are not able to fill that vacuum in your heart. Don’t get me wrong you can gain happiness in such a relationship but you may find yourself still longing for a greater love. This greater love that will fill the vacuum in your heart is that of Christ who died JUST FOR YOU! What you long for is the love that is never ending and unconditional.

Now ladies listen up💃 … whether you are single, dating, married, young or old there is a man who is passionately in love with you. That man is Jesus Christ! He loves you soooo much more in a second than your future husband or boyfriend can in your entire lifetime. His love is everlasting, no matter how many times you fall out, disagree or forget/neglect him ; He will always be around waiting for you to come rushing into his wide arms. Guys… it’s okay to love your ladies. But you should always remember that “You shall have no other gods before God” Deuteronomy 5:7. Don’t put the love you have for others, higher than the love you have for God. If you love God with all your heart, when the time is right you’ll find your perfect match. Till then focus on your loving father in heaven.

Whether you are alone on this Valentine’s day or you are being showered with love by your significant other, always remember that God shows his love towards you everyday through his Grace. Even though he cannot buy you flowers and chocolate, he bought YOU eternity with Him when he sent His Son to you. Check out No greater love by Smokie Norful (below)

Stay Blessed,

Dara x