I will be the first to admit that I can be a bit slow when it comes to picking up seemingly simple concepts.
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.
New International Version
There was a moment in the pew yesterday morning when God’s breath blew a forceful breeze into my heart and caused a tickle in my throat that stopped me from singing along with the congregation’s musical praise.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish , but have everlasting life.
King James Version
As my mind shifted from singing along to listening to those around me, my heart was flooded with the realization that He was answering my 30-minutes-earlier prayer to remove the “it’s all about me focus” that was plaguing my heart.
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.
New Revised Standard Version
As the voices around me rose upwards, my Spirit filled to capacity with His viewpoint of these moments of worship…a changed perspective that left me speechless and near tears.
His slightly off-key…
Hers fully trailing behind…
His country twanged version…
Her simply sweet tone…
Their symphony of distinction raised up to heaven to form one of perfection in both tone and rythym…
This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life.
The Message Version
He loves me…fully, completely and knowingly…just as He loves his
country, off-keyed heart…just he loves her
simple, sweet heart…just as He loves their
distinct imperfection laid out in humble offering.
The Jesus that is mine…is also his…is also hers…is also theirs.
The same God that pushes, prompts and romances my oft willful heart also longs for theirs.
He is mine…and He is theirs.
He created out of love
…He came here for love
…He died for love
….He rose again for love
….He reigns even now for love
…and He loves us all with the same focused passion, even as many of us overlook all that His love did.
When the moment was over, I found the tickle in my throat gone and I lifted my voice again…only this time I raised it with a tear on my cheek and an overwhelming awareness in my heart. I was now humbled and refocused…and ready to hear our pastor’s heart poured out over a message of love that adds weight to a verse that is often washed over:
I have loved you so much that I decided to leave a holy throne for a dusty robe.
I love you so much that I walked this earth and then gave myself over to the death that should have been yours.
I allowed a part of my own holiness to be shed for a chance to win your simple heart.
I allowed myself to be made fully human in the effort to catch your eye so we could be joined eternally.
I did all of this for you…and yet you still can find reason to doubt Who I Am…
Bina’s Heart Version
Does the love that I have for Him:
…affect my mind enough to change the way that I view and treat those around me as I embrace the fact that His devoted love beats for them?
…does it shine out enough to show others that I actually believe the Biblical hype that I carry in the leather book that sits beside me?
…does it lay out at His feet as a sweet offering that shows Him that I recognize His loving actions for a heart as fallen and as simple as mine?
…does it remember the passion that is my first love enough to even be called love in the first place?
John 3:16…the most relevant and thought-provoking verse in the Bible…and today I am thankful for a Pastor whose passion is God’s heart revealed…for those of us that are a little slow…
Humbly, looking up as always…