Billboard Theology – John 3:16

We recognize that the nature of God is love. He is guided by His affections and thoroughly resolved to pursue relationship with us. The relationship He desires is one of love, not of mutual need. The Scriptures indicate that God seeks us because He loves us, not because He needs us. John 3:16 does not say, “For God so needed the world, that He sent His only begotten Son.” Neither does it say, ” For the world so needed God, that He sent His only Son.” Instead it says, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, what whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.”

God’s motivation for interaction with mankind has always been love, not need. This statement may appear heretical; it can sound as if our need is unimportant and therefore gets passed over. Not at all. The very opposite is at work.  Love is stronger than need (indeed it is stronger than death). Love encompasses our need and not only meets it but also dismantles it. It is the most powerful force for freedom that exists, “for the greatest of these is love.”  ~Victoria Brooks

John 3:16.  It’s plastered on billboards and placards and church sign boards and bumper stickers.  I know the words so well that I forget to think about them. It’s an unconscious arrogance: I get that one, let’s move on to something meaty. But I have to wonder if I really do ‘get that one’?

Have you seen the movie What About Bob? Bill Murray stars as Bob, the neurotic, obsessive-compulsive patient of an egotistical psychiatrist (Richard Dryfus). One of the memorable moments in that movie was Bob’s insistent: Gimme. Gimme. Gimme. I Need. I Need. I Need.

Sounds a little like the way I approach God sometimes. Sounds a little like the way I approach others sometimes. Love encompasses our need and not only meets it but also dismantles it. Makes me think I may be overdue for some dismantling.

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About Debbie

A former counselor and public speaker, I'm grateful for many, many things - God's grace most of all!

7 responses to “Billboard Theology – John 3:16”

  1. Debbie says :

    And thank you once again for the ping! :D

  2. Heidi says :

    I agree that love dismantles need, God’s love does.

    • Debbie says :

      Heidi, me too. I pray to love His way!
      ~ Debbie
      PS – if you ever hear me start in with the gimme, gimme or I need I need thing, you have my permission to ‘slap me up side the head’! ;)

  3. literary lew says :

    I’m glad you see the “gimme, gimme, gimme” kind of prayer as problematic, Been there, done that. Have even posted on it recently.

    You are doing good work. Keep putting it out there.

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