This week Associate Pastor Nyahaley Labor is sharing the devotion from Epiphany Lutheran Church:
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” (John 3:16-17)
We are truly God’s little and loved ones. God created a world that he loved so much and gave his only Son, so that all that believe in him may not perish but may have eternal life. However, as God’s little ones, we have created so much chaos and animosity for one another. Like sibling rivalry, we have become selfish, intimidated, jealous, agitated and lack love. We constantly fight each other: there are religious wars; denominations knocking down one and other; whites against Blacks; tribal wars; interracial discords; economic and social divide; and everyone wants to believe that the world belongs to them and only them and therefore they belong to God.
Yes, indeed we belong to God – a God that created the world, and therefore we are all God’s little ones. And the beauty of God’s world is that we all do not look alike. We are Black and we are white; we are poor and we are rich; we are privileged and we are unprivileged; some with disabilities and other with incredible abilities. However, no matter who we are and where we find ourselves, God created a world that has a place for each and everyone. God created a world with love so that we can share in his love with others. A world in which we can reach out, love, and embrace each other knowing that we belong to a loving God that gave us His Son.
In John 3:16-17, the greatest motivation for giving is love. God’s love for the world motivated him to give Jesus, his only Son to bring salvation and healing to the world. This great gift results in eternal life for all who believe and accept Jesus. Therefore despite our differences, take some time out to reach out to someone in need. Pray for others. Help others. Make your Lent journey a journey of prayer. Let God’s love motivate you to make a change. True love will motivate us to make sacrifices that might even cost us our lives. Such sacrificial love makes God’s heart glad – this kind of love that God gave when he gave us his Son. We are the world that God loves, and we belong to God!
Sacrificial God, thank you for giving us your only Son so that we may not perish. Teach us to embrace and serve others through you knowing that we all belong to you. Help us to understand your sacrifice for us as we live in your grace and mercy. In Jesus’s name we pray. Amen!