March 8

For God so loved the world that He gave… John 3:16

The tense of this sentence seems wrong when we realise that Jesus spoke these words to Nicodemus 3 years before the cross.  Why then did Jesus use the past tense?  He was referring to the explanation of all that He would do and will ever do.  Before time began, God gave His Son and offered Him up as the act of grace that is the underlying bedrock of His act of creating the human race.  Grace did not begin at the cross.  Grace flows from eternity, when God gave His Son and the Son gave Himself up to the Father’s will, to be the sacrificial provision for our wholeness as human beings.  God saw each one of us from the dawn of time, and loved us, and was full of grace towards us.  God so loved that He created the world; God so loved that He called Israel; God so loved that He speaks to us.  God so loves, and that is measured by the act that lies at the foundation of the universe.  Let the breathtaking love of God be the foundation of all that you are.  You are invited to become one with God, by offering yourself up to the Father through the Son.  Once this is sealed in your life, all your acts and deeds can flow from that grace and love.  Let your offering up of yourself be as total as the offering of Jesus before the foundation of the world, and grace will be the fountain-head from which all your future battles will be fought.  You will be able to give because you have been given to.  Grace and love can be the tone of your lives because God has so loved you.