Friday, October 23, 2015

God's Extravagance: Our Riches Part 1

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

John 3:16. Second to Psalm 23, this might be the most well-known scripture. We even see it held up on signs at sporting events. 

No single passage in all of Scripture reveals God's extravagant love and endless grace as do these 26 words. The gospel in one verse: God's work for us and the riches we receive when we accept His gift. 

I struggled with this scripture all last week. No matter what I did, it became a short book rather than a blog. Then I realized I was trying to cram all of the majesty of this verse into one post and it just wouldn't fit. So this is part one: God's extravagance.

As I studied it, I realized that this verse revolves around one word: whoever

God's extravagance ends and our riches begin with this one word: whoever

  • God so loved
  • God gave
  • Whoever 

God so loved: hoùtō agapàō To such a degree, to such a great extent, God chose to love. 

God's love is so extreme that it's beyond our grasp. Look at the verb tense: God loved. Before He created the world, He loved. Before you or I were born, He loved. His love was present before there was a whoever.

God chose to love us. When we didn't love Him or follow Him, He loved us. Do you get how amazing that is? How would our lives be different if we walked in that truth: God loved us before...anything. Before we screwed up so terribly, before we stumbled on the same sin over and over. 

What confidence that should bring us. Yes, I can serve Him! I might not get it right but He loves me - before, during, and after. Yes, I can talk about Him to others. My words might falter but He loves me. 

What power can fill our hearts and minds. His love is undefeatable, unconquerable, unstoppable. He has always loved us and He will always love us. 

Rest in His unimaginable, extravagant love.

God gave: dídōmi Freely, willingly, with great love, God gave.

Not only did God love before before anything existed, His love was so great that He gave a precious gift. He gave His Son before creation, before there was a whoever

How can that be? A gift given before there was anyone to receive it? 

God's extreme love is balanced by His justice. There is a penalty for sin that must be paid, but His heart broke to think of His beloved children paying the price. He gave His perfect, sinless Son Jesus to pay the penalty, in our place. Before creation, He knew His precious children would stumble; He knew the price would come due. And He paid it!

We can walk in the security of His gift. When we fall, we have no need to fear God. The gift has been given, the price has been paid. Too often, I live in fear of myself. I focus on my weaknesses rather than God's strengths. The gift was given to me. I joyfully accepted it. God will never come to reclaim it. I - we - walk in the grace of His sacrificial gift.

Walk the grace of His extravagant gift.

God's work is done. He loved beyond what we can imagine. He offered His most precious Son, a gift beyond compare. 

Now comes the big question: Who has He loved? To whom has He given the gift of His Son? 

Remember the word? 

whoever: pás  Everyone, all of us. His extravagance wasn't offered to a chosen few. 

We see the word everyone and perhaps we think it doesn't include us. Maybe there's something in our past, maybe it's our lifestyles now - for some reason, we think we can't be part of whoever. Guess again, God's extravagance is offered to everyone!  

Really? There has to be a catch. Nope. Look at the verse again. It doesn't say, "whoever earns it, " or "whoever straightens up." It's whoever, plain and simple. His love has no conditions and His gift has no price tag. 

You and I are whoever


  1. God's Love is definitely beyond the comprehension of our limited knowledge and understanding. Very informative read Sherry. Blessings to you.

    1. God has allowed me to see the depth of John 3:16. It is such a rich, powerful verse. Thank you for stopping by, Shira.

  2. Loved this Sherry. Your words speak loudly and your faith is a beautiful thing to witness. We have an amazing Creator and His love goes beyond any love we can ever experience. Thank you sister for proclaiming you desire for God. GBY

  3. I've always quoted this verse or read it without looking beneath the words. It is such a powerful proclamation of God's love and His plan for us to be victorious in this life and eager for eternity with Him. Thanks for commenting, Walter!

  4. I love how you delivered the importance that God loved you and I and the "whoevers" first and that He gave because he did first love.

    1. He loved us first - before we even existed or had a chance to be bad or good. That should erase all guilt in our relationship with Him. Thanks for dropping in, Gene.

  5. A kids song comes to mind as I read this. "Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so..." What a great explanation of this verse. :)

    1. Such a simple truth, and yet so rich! Thanks for commenting!

  6. Loved this Sherry. You did an amazing job and I look forward to reading the other parts.

    1. I'm so glad it blessed you, Deb. Part 2 will be out later today. Thanks for stopping by!

  7. Carole - I accidentally deleted your comment:
    "Boundless love! Beautiful post, Sherry! "
    His love is beyond what we can grasp! Thanks so much for commenting, dear friend!