By PASTOR TOMMY POPHIN
Perhaps the most loved verse in the entire Bible is John 3:16, which says, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (King James Version).
Even in explaining the verse, the only word to use is “love.” The reason why the verse is such a favorite is that it’s about real love. And it has everything to do with the One who loves us most, Jesus Christ. Neither a thing, nor person, nor other living being in this world loves you to the same extent that Jesus does. Think about that for a moment: “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.”
So, what do we do with this love that Jesus has for us? There are basically three choices: 1) accept it, 2) reject it, or 3) pass it on to others who need to know of His love. My choice is the same as every Christian’s should be: accept it and then pass it on to others.
Paul, in his letter to the Philippians, expressed the love of Christ to such an extent, he sounded like Christ Himself. He wrote, “It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart and, whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:7-8).
According to a Gallup Poll published in December 2012, 77 percent of U.S. citizens consider themselves to be Christians (www.gallup.com/poll/159548/identify-christian.aspx). With this in mind, we assume that many in our country have received the gift of love that Jesus has offered. But have they taken the next step? Have they passed on that gift of love the same way Jesus gave it to us, freely and without precondition? Precondition is defined in Webster’s New World Dictionary as “A condition required beforehand if something else is to occur.” That “something else” is salvation.