Week 1 Day 2: God So Loved the World

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.”
John 3:16

God So Loved the World
So which world is it that God loves? Is it the world, the creation in its original glory, or is it the world that is fallen, broken, imperfect, sinful? Well, of course it’s both.

-Br. Mark Brown



Transcript: Our theme for today is “God’s love for the world.”  John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.” That’s, of course, one of the well-known and most beloved verses of the entire Bible. You can even see it at ballgames. John uses the word “world” a lot. In the fourth gospel, the word “world” appears about 80 times and that’s four times as many times as the word “world” in all three other gospels combined. So it’s a word that means a lot to him and it keeps recurring in the gospel.

But it seems to mean different things. On the one hand, “world” means the world as God created it.  This first chapter, the first chapter of the Gospel of John, talks about the world coming into existence through Christ, the living Word of God, and so it refers back to Genesis and God’s creating the world through the word, by speaking the word and when he’s done, he pronounces it very good so there’s that sense of the “world” being what God has created and being good.

But there’s also a sense in the gospel that “world” means perhaps what we might call the fallen world. Jesus says to Pilate, “My kingdom is not of this world.” He refers to it in other places, to “the ruler of this world,” meaning probably the devil or the adversary of our nature. He speaks of the peace that he can give that the “world” cannot give and that the “world” doesn’t know him or doesn’t understand him or his followers.

So which world is it that God loves? Is it the world, the creation in its original glory, or is it the world that is fallen, broken, imperfect, sinful? Well, of course it’s both. God loves the world that he created but he loves the world even in its fallen and broken state. It says that he came into the world not to judge but to save this world.

So if I were praying with this passage, I think I would personalize it and reflect on how God loves all of me, not only whatever I might be in my heavenly perfection eventually, but all of me, even now – the good, the bad and the ugly, all things together – and give thanks that God’s love for me is so completely unconditional. If for me, then for everybody else as well, even those we might be tempted to judge.

We invite you to share your answer in the comments below or using #MeetingJesus

Week 1 Day 1: God is Love

“…we have known and believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them.
I John 4:16

God is Love
The conditions of your life – to whom you were born, how you were raised, how you were helped, how you were hurt, how you’ve been encouraged or discouraged, how you’ve lost your way along the way – it’s in those conditions that God has met you and God will meet you. God’s love for you is without condition.

– Br. Curtis Almquist



Transcript: The focus for our first week is “God is Love” – that God’s love for you is unconditional, which is to say that the conditions in which you have known life – to whom you were born, how you were raised, how you were helped, how you were hurt, how you’ve been encouraged or discouraged, how you’ve lost your way along the way – those are the conditions in which you have known your life. And it’s in those conditions that God has met you and God will meet you.

Not just in the best of times. Hopefully you’ve had some wonderful times where God’s light and life and love has been mediated to you through people and through the circumstances of life. But also in the worst of times, which may well be how God has most broken through to you.  When you are without hope or power of your own, your experience of brokenness becomes God’s breakthrough.

We’ll talk this week about how God’s love for you is without condition.

Our focus for today is God is Love. And we draw our inspiration from I John 4:16: “God is love. Those who abide in God, abide in love and God’s love abides in them.”

Now, that verb, abide, is repeated 63 times in the Gospel According to John and the three epistles — 63 times! Now, why the repetition? There are some things in life that do not need to be repeated. We don’t need reminders. For example, we don’t need to be reminded to breathe several times a minute in order to do that. We don’t need to be reminded to sleep some every day. Maybe to sleep more, but we will sleep at some point during the day.

So, why is this recurring reminder to abide? I think it’s because many of us are prone to run away. We cannot imagine that God could or would love us, given the circumstances of our life. We’re not disciplined enough, focused enough, generous enough, forgiving enough, compassionate enough.  We’ve got our list of rejections because we find those rejecting qualities inadmissible and unacceptable. We presume that God is blocked out.  And yet, I think it’s exactly the opposite: that God will reach through to us in the best of times and God will also reach through to us in the worst of times. And the invitation is not to run away but to stay where we are, which is where God is going to come to meet us, where God’s light and life and love for us will be mediated.

A question for you: Think back on your life. How has God’s love for you been mediated? Through whom has that happened? How has that happened, that you have come to know something about God’s love? And then conversely, where do you find in yourself any resistance? Is there something about you, who you are, how you are, as you are, the way you are, that you think precludes God’s love for you? I beg to differ. I beg to differ.

We invite you to share your answer in the comments below or using #MeetingJesus