- Mark Nickles
Understanding God's Love In Action
These are unusual times. Not unprecedented in history, but circumstances which current generations have never experienced. With undiscovered territory comes anxiety, worry and fear. In previous columns, I have referred to my belief that God is in control of all things. However, that belief may not be a comfort to someone who doesn’t know God’s feelings toward us. For that reason, I want us to look at God’s “heart” toward the human race.
Let’s examine one of the most well-known Bible verses, John 3:16. This verse reads, “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.” I want to focus on five words: God so loved the world.
The word for “loved” is the Greek word agapao, which basically means “love in action”, or “love proven”. This is important because God hasn’t just said “I love you”. He has demonstrated the intensity of that love, in that he “gave”, or “gave up” his Son, Jesus, to be the blood sacrifice for the sin of “the world”.
I want you to think about that for a moment, and if you are not a parent, think of the person/people you love the most. Would you be willing to give them up to die, in order to save others? Even more, would you be willing to do so for those who don’t even care about YOU? Many couldn’t care less about God or his actions on their behalf; indeed, some mock God and scoff at his word. However, Jesus died for them, as much as he died for the church. You see, God so loved the WORLD.
Additionally, he loved the world so much that he determined that ANYONE could trust and follow him, thereby avoiding spiritual death in Hell and gaining spiritual life and eternity in Heaven.
Does God care about us? Undoubtedly. And, if he cares about where we spend eternity, he certainly cares about what we endure here on earth. After all, as Jesus said in Matthew 10:31, in speaking of God’s care for the birds of the air, “So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”
About The Author
Mark Nickles is a husband, father of three, and a pastor in Northeastern Oklahoma. Copyright, Mark A. Nickles.