Pause

Love has its reasons, they say.

Love has its purposes too. It's not out there "just because," only to make us feel good, or even, as it does sometimes, to drive us crazy.

Love intends a result; love has an end in mind. When we say "God is love," we need to remember that.

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Listen

"Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him."

John 3:17

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Think

For many years, there was someone at NFL games holding up a sign that said “John 3:16.” Usually it was a guy wearing a rainbow wig or some other outrageous outfit in order to draw attention to himself and, of course, to his message. A professor of mine once said he felt this weird need to stand next to this guy holding up a sign that said “and 3:17!” just to show how much these two thoughts go together.

God loved the world enough to send Jesus. But this Jesus was not sent here to tell us how bad we are, to condemn us, to point the accusing finger at us. Jesus came to show us how much God loves us — loves us all. Jesus came here to help us, to make things right in this world God created.

Jesus came to save us.

Peter Hanson

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Pray

Jesus, show me again how much God loves us all. Tell me again and again that you have come not as a judge and jury, but as a brother and a friend. Help me to be that kind of friend to others, too. Amen.

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Go

Jesus loves you;
This you know,
For the Bible tells you so.
Little ones - like you -
To God belong.
You are weak;
But God's love is strong.

Peter Hanson

Peter Hanson has been a youth minister in Minnesota, a street chaplain in Berkeley and San Francisco, a parish pastor in Vermont, and most recently a missionary in Dakar, Senegal. He now serves as interim associate pastor at Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church in Apple Valley, Minnesota. Peter lives in St. Paul with his wife, Sarah, and their two sons, Elijah and Simon.

The Love of God

Ken Medema

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