"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish; but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. This is the judgement, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God."
John 3:16-21

This morning we celebrate the greatest act of love in history performed by the God who created us and His only begotten Son. The verses above were spoken by Jesus to Nicodemus recorded in the book of John. Nicodemus was a Pharisee and a ruler of the Jews. He was a member of the Sanhedrin who were elders and teachers of the nation. He acknowledges Jesus as a great teacher and has come from God due to the miracles He had been performing. But with all his religious teaching and prominence that comes from man he did not recognize his own Messiah as many of the Jews today. He knew the prophecies that Jesus was fulfilling before his eyes, but He had no idea how much God loved him. Jesus is telling Him. For a better understanding of being born again by the Spirit you must read the beginning of chapter three, and adhere to Jesus’ description given to Nicodemus prior to the verses we are looking at today. This is vital to all, because Jesus told us in these verses unless we are born again we cannot enter the kingdom of God.

I want us to focus on the heart of God for sending His Son. He loved us. He so loved us that He offered up His only Son. Why? In order for us not to perish in hell for our sins, but to be given eternal life in the kingdom of God with Him and His Son eternally. God is a holy, righteous God. He is all that is pure, and undefiled. He is perfect. He is God. He is love. He is Truth. The only way for us to be reconciled back to God, after the sin committed in the garden of Eden, had to be accomplished by God Himself. Therefore He asked His Son to offer Himself as the spotless, unblemished Lamb of God for the sins of every single person to be born of woman before His return. That includes all of us. He loved us while we were sinners. He knew every sin that would be committed. He is God and is not limited to timelines. He loved us enough to make a way for the blood of His own Son to cleanse any and all sin that is confessed and genuinely repented of. What a moment in history to celebrate! We are all loved by the God who created us! No one is excluded!

Jesus was sent the first time to come and walk among us and to reveal the nature and the love of the Father through Himself. God did not send Him to judge us, but to save us. We were offered an alternative to the judgement that will take place when Christ returns the second time. Jesus tells us if we believe in Him and His name we will not perish, but have eternal life. Then He tells us this is the judgement, that the Light has come into the world, and men have loved the darkness rather than the Light. In other words, men love their sin more than salvation. We want to please our flesh, not realizing the price we will pay for the temporal pleasures of this world, and the destruction we will cause to ourselves and to each other. Selfishness is an antonym for love. They are opposites. Sacrifice is synonymous with love, meaning the same.

God’s ways are so much higher than man’s nature. We are depraved left to the natural desires of our flesh. When a society lives for themselves above all else it crumbles. We were created by God to be loved by Him, and then to love one another with the love He gives to each one of us who allow Him to. It begins by allowing God to define to us what real love is. You will find a great description in 1 Corinthians 13. Take the time to look it up and read it aloud to your families! It will change the dynamics in your home.

Then Jesus tells us why we hated the Light of the World. Darkness hates Light, because the Light exposes our dark deeds. But as believers in the Son of God we love the Light and the Truth which He personifies! It is how we get set free from the entanglements of darkness and receive freedom from our flesh controlling us rather than being led by the Spirit of God. A believer who lives in the Light is free to enjoy mutual fellowship between themselves and God the Father, and Jesus the Son, who purifies us from all our sin. Therefore as we live by the Truth and walk in the Light by the power of the Spirit, we will continuously point others to Jesus, the Savior of the world. As Jesus summarizes in our last verse:

"But he who practices the truth comes to the light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God."

Once we are truly born again, and truly make Jesus the Lord of our lives, and we begin to put into practice truth, we come to the Light, so that our deeds are manifest. They reveal they have been wrought in God who is love. We have received true love from Him and we come into a personal relationship where we no longer have a stale religion with a lot of rules, but we act out of love for our God. Our motive for our deeds are motivated by a love desiring to bring Him the glory He is so deserving of.

We cannot keep this love to ourselves! We are motivated to share what we have received with others because we know we have the Truth. We know the Way, the Truth, and the Life. We walk and talk with Him daily.

Today is a day of great celebration for those of us who believe. We live eagerly awaiting His second return. We know our future! It is not His will that any should perish. Please do not allow yourselves and your family to never know true love that only comes from Him. I close with this comforting verse in 1 Peter 3:8-10:

"But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance."

In His love.

Teresa Roberts

Masterpiece Fitness



A hair appointment in Winston Salem this week shot me over to Reynolda Village for a lovely lunch and stroll through the gardens. Even though it was a cloudy, rainy kind of day it did not hinder the glory of spring declaring through the blossoming choirs of new life, "He has risen indeed!"