16 God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him won’t perish but will have eternal life.
Nicodemus must have been astonished to hear Jesus say that God loves the world, not just the faithful, and that everyone who believes in God’s only son, will have eternal life. As a teacher of the Mosaic Law, and a high ranking Pharisee, he must have felt he was already among the chosen few. Now Jesus is telling him he’s not even on the list.
Nicodemus will not achieve eternal life for following the law, but he will if he believes in Jesus.
When I think of God’s extravagant love for us, and God pouring out endless grace for our sakes, I’m more than astonished, I feel so very humbled and grateful. God gave the ultimate gift, God’s precious son. Only God’s love would extend this precious gift of grace to us. Only God’s love would offer this gift of salvation to everyone. Only God’s love for us would allow God’s precious only son to die in our place. We’re overwhelmed by gratitude as we follow Jesus and we grow in grace by the Holy Spirit. The love of God transforms our hearts and minds so that we can grow to be like Jesus sharing God’s love with others.
John Wesley called this journey of faith, “holiness of heart and life.” As we grow in God’s sanctifying grace, we are perfected in love, for God and our neighbor. By the grace of the Holy Spirit we are growing in God’s love. We live our lives in gratitude and we give generously of ourselves and our resources.
by Jeneene Reduker
For Pondering & Prayer
As we grow in Christ, we become more generous. Our generosity to others is a reflection that we are born anew, and that we want to share our resources with others in need. Generosity is an outward sign of the Christian life. The good news of Jesus opens our hearts and our hands, and we give to others with joy, knowing we are growing in God’s love.
How has God’s extravagant love and grace opened your heart and hands to be more generous? Look for opportunities today to be generous to those in need.
Prayer: Holy and Loving God, we give you thanks because you gave your son Jesus for love of the world. Help us to grow in your grace and love. Create in us your generous Spirit that opens our hearts and hands to give to others. Amen.