“ ‘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, NIV).
John 3:16 has rightly been called “the Gospel in a nutshell”. It is truly the meat of the good news message of what God has done for us in Christ.
We are told here that God loves the world, meaning all the people in the world. Too often we minimize the impact of these words. We can accept that God loves most people. But all people? This means that God loves the vilest of human beings, that God is passionately in love with murderers and sex traffickers, that God loves even those who will never love him back, that God loves someone like you and someone like me. Yes, God loves the world.
Try this exercise. Put your name in place of the word “world” in the verse. Also insert your name where it says “whoever believes in him”. In my case, the verse now reads “For God so loved Chuck that he gave his one and only Son, that Chuck shall not perish but have eternal life. This little exercise personalizes the meaning of this powerful verse.
Don’t ever think that God’s love doesn’t extend to you. God loves you so much that he was willing to give his very best to save you. Jesus faced the cruel agony of the cross so that you could have a crown of life. Believe what John 3:16 says, and share it with someone today!