For God so loved the world…
I’ve undergone a transformation of sorts in the last 15 years in my understanding of “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son…” For too long I embraced a fear-based, self-protective faith. It was easy to know who you’re with by identifying who you weren’t with. Sadly, I discovered Jesus encountered the same thing, and I was acting like the group He had the most problems with (the legalistic, religious group).
It was a reawakening to God’s mercy in my own life and then seeing others through the same lens. For example, when Jesus said blessed are the poor in spirit, those who mourn, the meek, those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers, and the persecuted — He was saying in essence “all you people who feel on the outside, God says you’re blessed, happy and to be envied! You can be on the inside in His kingdom! You may not be rich, happy, powerful or satisfied, but God wants to hang out with you!”
This hit home for me a few years ago on a trip to the Middle East. I got to meet some of the most amazing people, and that included Christians, Jews and Muslims.
And BTW, check out this amazing site if you’re interested in how “For God so loved the world” translates into Middle East issues.
A few of our friends are editors and bloggers, including Carl Medearis and Sami Awad. Really cool and thought-provoking content.
And of course “For God so loved the world” also includes people back home. Maybe you, me, and a LOT MORE people who feel on the outside…
For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment. James 2:13 NKJV