Yesterday, I shared the Gospel to a group of six in their earliest teen years. They were in school uniform seated around the physics table in the lab. I sat on top of the table. I think I would never forget the expression on those faces and wide eyes. Could it be that some of them were hearing this message for the first time? Or perhaps the term is, were ‘understanding’ it for the first time? It’s probable.
Believe me, I was not my usual self that night, meaning my prepared self, with notes and all. I opened my mouth without even knowing what my speech was going to be like. I just had one key verse and it’s not even sinking in, the way I hoped it would. My mind was blank before I took the step of faith to take that breath that’s supposed to be followed by an opening line. Then the words came as soon as I took that breath. The words came right on time, “If you were to die tonight, where would you go?”
Then somewhere along the way, we reached “For God so loved the world…” And then the very message I was preaching hit me. I was preaching the Gospel even to myself.
Thirty plus hours since I said those words, they are still ringing in my ears. For God so loved the world! I had already lied down on my bed only to find my heart being quickened by a question, “what are the implications of ‘for God so loved the world’?” What are the ramifications? Why are these words so good yet heavy in my heart? For God so loved the world…
For God so loved the world…
For certain, they are worth staying up a bit more. For certain, they are words worth pondering on through the night and the wee hours of the morning. For certain, they are words we so often speak without really comprehending. It’s width, it’s breadth, it’s depth and it’s height. For God so loved the world! So loved?
That HE GAVE His only Begotten Son,
that whosoever believes on Him
shall not perish but have eternal life.
What were the ramifications? What were the implications? What was the cost? It is definitely worth pondering on!
After I, together with my ministry partner, shared the Gospel, we prayed with them and they started weeping. I didn’t weep though. I was overjoyed. But now, as I ponder on these few words that I had quoted from the Bible, I feel like it’s my turn to weep. For God so LOVED the world, with me in it. He soo loved me, that He suffered and died so that I may live and not die, not burn in hell, not be separated from Him, not endure the suffering that’s meant for me, no longer subject to the curse… I’m living freely. I have a future. I have eternity with Him to look forward too, instead of eternity in burning sulfur. I am saved, healed, delivered, anointed, empowered, blessed beyond measure. I am can be everything that God meant me to be. I am free. I don’t deserve this but I have been chosen to be a recipient of His grace (given what I do not deserve) and mercy (not given the punishment that I deserve). How many times must this message be preached to me before it would finally SINK IN? I don’t think it’s depth and paradox will ever be fathomed. For God so loved…
I bid us to go on and on… Never stop pondering these words. Never stop preaching this message. Never ever stop until that world has heard. That GOD LOVES THEM.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—Ephesians 2:3