“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
John 3:16 is one of the most familiar verses in all of Scripture and cuts directly to the good news of the gospel message. What an amazing and beautiful reality. What a blessed assurance of life everlasting (Hebrews 10:22) for those who trust Christ Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior. How great our joy (John 15:11)!
As we worship through song together each week, we journey through various postures of praise and thanksgiving, lamentation, intercession. prayer, and exuberant exaltation. With this song, we celebrate the good news of God’s redemption of sinners saved by grace – and we call all to come to the altar and share in the richness of His goodness and blessing. It is both an exaltation and an invitation.
Churches are not temples built to glorify the saints within them, but rather houses of worship (Psalm 150:6), hospitals for the sinful and broken (Mark 2:17), and respite for the weary and downtrodden (Matthew 11:28). And here’s the reality: we are all broken and sinful (Romans 3:23). We all grow weary. And we all experience suffering at some point in our journey through this life (John 16:33). And with that reality comes a desperate need for a Savior – one whose Kingdom will not pass away (Daniel 7:14, Matthew 28:18, 1 Corinthians 15:24-25).
It is my desire for each of us to share in a deep personal reflection of our role as representatives of Christ and His Church – specifically His local church body – to draw in and make welcome a community in need. Are we engaged with those around us while we’re in these four walls? Are we personally going out of our way to welcome the new faces? Are we truly willing to share the Lord’s table and feast with our neighbors in observable and tangible ways?
My prayer this week as we introduce God So Loved:
May we, the Church, come boldly and humbly before Your throne this week as we rejoice in Your daily mercy and grace. May we feel the conviction of the Holy Spirit to root out the sins we continue to harbor in our lives; may we rely on You, Lord, for the strength and steadfastness to repent. May You be the center of our lives in a way that is evident to those around us who are weary and broken, hungry and thirsty, struggling with addiction and sin, and otherwise far from You. May we draw them near with Your glorious light and make them welcome at Your table (and ours). Thank You for loving and redeeming us while we were still sinners – and thank You for giving us a hope and a future that will endure forever. May the joy that comes from this blessed assurance overflow and permeate every aspect of our lives as we live for You.
God So Loved
I was a wretch, I remember who I was. I was lost, I was blind I was running out of time Sin separated, the breach was far too wide But from the far side of the chasm You held me in Your sight So You made a way across the great divide Left behind Heaven's throne To build it here inside And there at the cross, You paid the debt I owed Broke my chains, freed my soul For the first time I had hope CHORUS Thank you, Jesus, for the blood applied Thank you, Jesus, it has washed me white Thank you, Jesus, You have saved my life Brought me from the darkness into glorious light You took my place Laid inside my tomb of sin You were buried for three days And then You walked right out again And now death has no sting And life has no end For I have been transformed By the blood of the Lamb BRIDGE There is nothing stronger Than the wonder-working power of the blood, the blood That calls us sons and daughters We are ransomed by our Father Through the blood, the blood