What does a person have to do for you to trust him? Time + believable behavior? God has put in the time and the believable behavior!
3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 1 Corinthians 15:3-4
“For God so loved the world…(John 3:16). Have you ever wondered how much He loved? First of all, although it’s written in past tense, it is present tense, as well. God is Omnipresent, which means that He is everywhere at the same time–speaking of time, it’s included. God is ever-present in history. He sees everyone who ever lived or will live at the same “time.” Mind-blowing, right?! As I see it, John put the verse in past tense because Jesus’ coming was past tense. But, God’s love for us is as strong as ever.
By the way, Him being able to “know the end from the beginning” allows Him to know when we will finally quit that bad habit, or finally forgive someone (or ourselves). He rejoices in our final victory. It’s why God cannot be disappointed in us. He calls us His little children for a reason: We are all growing (Ephesians 4:16).
The verse gives the impression that God and Jesus are separate entities. Not So! They are God the Father, God the Son, God the Spirit, Three-in-one. Don’t believe me? Philip didn’t. He asked Jesus to show them the Father. Here is Jesus’ response,
8 Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”
9 Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. John 14:8-10
God loved us enough to come after us–as Jesus. Now, the parable of the lost sheep makes sense,
3 Then Jesus told them this parable: 4 “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? 5 And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders 6 and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ 7 I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent. Luke 15:3-7
The next time that someone–a “friend,” an adversary, the devil, your past, your sin nature–tells you that you are not worth saving, check out John 3:16,
16 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.
Do you believe in Him? He believes in you. Do you trust Him? He trusts you. When we trust Christ, He gives us His life, which is Himself in the form of the Spirit. We receive eternal life the moment we trust Jesus. There’s no way to lose! Let’s trust Jesus from now on, shall we?
Abba, I trust You. The more I trust You, the more trustworthy You are, which makes me want to trust You even more! It’s a wondrous cycle, one in which I want to be “stuck” forever. Oh, I can? Thank You! Amen.
Tomorrow: Trusting requires “No Fear.”