For God So Loved

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My husband Dave and I had a very hard conversation last night. We covered a myriad of topics ranging from politics, to missions, to cultural differences, to challenges facing the church.

This just stirred up what I feel God is piercing my heart with right now: His love for people. And last night it struck me, His love for ALL people. Not just the victims. Not just for the ones I want saved. Not just for the downtrodden. All people.

Don't misunderstand me. I started with the downtrodden. I read a gut-wrenching biography as a book preview a few weeks back about a first generation Chinese woman that left me shaken for days. I was deeply disturbed about the cultural things I'd read. I spent that evening crying out to God, shaking my fist at Him wondering where He was.

Where He is for the sex slaves of today. For the orphans. For the deformed. For the child soldiers. For the starving. For the abused.

I am not settled on this issue. God is gripping my heart on these and not letting up. When I am screaming, "How could You!?!" to God, He steadily answers back:

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16

Natalia has a CD with this verse put to music and it rolls over and over in my mind. For God so loved the world. The whole world.

For God so loved the rapists of the girl in India. For God so loved the men who splash acid on desperate women. For God so loved those so hungry for power that they would enlist children. For God so loved the abuser...that He gave His only Son. For them. For those that when I start thinking about them, in my heart I rage, they deserve the worst! They deserve worse than death. And yet God longs to bring them to new life. In Him.

How great the Father's love for us. How vast beyond all measure. That He would give His only Son, to make the wretch His treasure.

All of us. Because when God looks at us who have begged for forgiveness, He doesn't see the wrong we've done. He looks at us, covered under the redeeming blood of Christ, and sees people who have been made right with Him. Whatever we've done. My guilt and separation from God were no less than those that my pointing finger cries, "Guilty!" I'm so guilty. If I could truly see my need, I would be astounded by what God has saved me from.

So, as we are in this Easter season, taking time to remember the amazing grace that has drawn us close to our Creator God, I'd love to challenge you to come along with me and plead for many to come to know Him. For the poor, the hurting, the dirty, the unloved. But also the rich, the proud, the angry, the domineering. May it be that in the end, we are able to see how far God's mighty hand has stretched. That we would be able to celebrate that the lost, all the lost, have been found.

For God so loved the world.

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Until the whole world knows,
Jonelle

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6 Comments

  1. Nancy Ann

    One thing I struggle with is that it is much easier for me to love and have compassion for a drug addict or alcoholic or some other person who people judge has brought their destruction on themselves, than a legalistic Christian person. It really is extremely challenging for me and probaly a challenge for all of us to love the unlovable, whoever we feel that is.

    I have great respect for the late Johnny Cash who was a recovering addict and went around to prisons singing songs to them and being non judgmental towards them. He is a wonderful example.

    • Jonelle Lilly

      That was my same conviction. I need to get past my own form of saying who is in and who is out. My husband also loves Johnny Cash. :)

  2. This brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for sharing.

  3. This brought tears to my eyes as I thought how arrogantly we sometimes choose who we think is deserving of God's grace. BUT GOD sent His Son...