St. Mark's Presbyterian Church

(216) 751-3190 Phone

(216) 751-3340 Fax

Stmarkschurch@sbcglobal.net

 

22111 Chagrin Boulevard

Beachwood, Ohio 44122

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Inspiration from Our Pastor

A Word of Encouragement from Pastor Carmen

John 3.16

Because God Loves Us So Much...

In this season of preparation and waiting, and commercial gift-giving, who doesn’t get excited when someone hands them a beautifully wrapped gift? The anticipation of what could be inside; the fact that someone thought enough of us to give us a gift at all, warms our heart with gratitude, for their kind-hearted token of love. Just like us, gifts come in all sizes, shapes, and colors and we sometimes judge the value of what’s inside, by how the
outside of the gift box looks. If the gift box is wrapped beautifully, it must be an expensive and beautiful gift inside. If the gift box is tattered with no decorations, it may not be a useful gift at all, but “it’s the thought that counts” anyway, right? But size, shape, color, packaging or even the weight of the gift box does not determine the quality or the value of what’s inside, nor does it represent the sincerity of the giver, because good things do come
in small, visually unappealing, seemingly thoughtless packages.


John 3:16, perhaps thee most familiar passage of Scripture, is one of the simplest, yet most powerful message the world has ever heard. John’s is the Luther Vandross, the Barry White of all the gospels for his is the love gospel; himself referred to as “the disciple whom Jesus loved.” God’s love, received by faith in Jesus the Christ, sums up the anonymous writer’s entire message. John over stress, if that’s even possible, the limitless power of God’s reach to embrace all of humanity; not only Christians, Jews, and Muslims, but the whole world.


Approximately 3,000 years ago, God gifted the world a gift that literally, when it is shared, keeps on giving! John 3:16 offers proof that the best gifts, the most expensive gifts usually don’t come in the most beautiful packages. The best gifts are those that come not in a box, but from the heart, and the best gift the world has ever been given, is the one that came from the heart of God who Loves Us So Much! God’s gift to the world is a gift that will never wear out or go out of style. It’s a gift that, no matter how hard we try, we cannot exchange or return it. God’s gift to us, to His world, is given based on faith and grace, not if one has landed on Santa’s list of children and adults who have been naughty or nice!


So in this season of preparation and waiting, of commercial gift-giving and gift-receiving, be reminded that Because God Love “the world” So Much, God gave His only Son, His most precious gift, which was conceived in Love, wrapped in Love, died in Love, was resurrected in Love, and will soon be returning in Love for you and me. Because God Loves Us So Much, He “sent His Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins.” 1 Because
God Loves Us So Much, He gave the world the good news gift of knowing that “everyone who believes in Him may not perish, but have eternal life” in His Son. This is the Good News of God for the world God So Loves! Amen!