I hope you are having a good week! Before I begin, I'd like to say that the topic I have chosen to write about is one that I feel can be difficult to swallow, but it necessary for growing in Christ.
John 3:16 is one of the best promises that God gives us in the Bible. From the ESV it reads, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life." This verse is one of the foundations of our Christian beliefs. One important thing to remember about this verse is that it is focused on God. We mustn't deceive ourselves into thinking that we are the main subject of this verse, because in reality, it's about God. Just think back to your English class when you learned sentence structure. In this instance, God is the subject of the sentence. We often read verses such as this and think, "Wow, God loves me!" There is nothing wrong with this; in fact, it's good to realize this. However, there is a potential problem. The only time this can become a problem is when we start to say, "God loves ME." While this is certainly true, it places too much emphasis on ourselves and not enough emphasis on God. If we think in this way, then we end up giving ourselves too much credit. Furthermore, we start to see the gospel through the perspective that it is all about US and OUR salvation. Now, there are a lot of things that go wrong, but that's not what I'm here to write about. Instead we must remind ourselves rather to say, "GOD loves me," for He is the one worthy of our praise, not ourselves. I once heard a pastor address this issue saying, "It's not about us; it's about God!" That hit me right between the eyes. At that moment I realized what was really important about the statement, "God loves me." After all, we did just mention the name of the sovereign ruler of the universe, correct? Why wouldn't He be the most significant part of that sentence? Or of anything, for that matter? As it turns out, our only value comes from the fact that God loves us. Some of you may disagree with me, or some of you may have heard this before and believe it, and some of you may be having the cold hard realization that I had when I first heard this. I believe that this is important for us to remember where our worth comes from. We are merely sinners, but we are loved by the creator of the universe. I encourage all of you, during this next week to constantly remind yourself of God's amazing love for us and also to give Him credit for everything, because while we are not worthy of praise, God is.
Thank you, Lord, for Your amazing love!
I pray the best for you all as we continue through this week.
Seeing God Change Lives,
Jacob Skiles (20) is a Junior at The University of Alabama-Birmingham & the Music Director at TPS Chapel