John 3:16 and 1 John 3:16

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Within the past few years, John 3:16, the Verse of the Day for February 13, 2017, has been among the most often quoted verses in the Bible. The celebrated verse has been displayed on bumper stickers, tee shirts, and other apparel, posters, coffee mugs, and even athlete’s eye paint. In 2014 Christianity Today reported Bible Gateway visitors spent more than 76 million hours on BibleGateway.com in the previous year. Of the 456 million visits and 1.5 billion page views, number one among the top 10 searches for Bible verses was John 3:16:

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

The Sound of Music, one of the most popular Broadway musicals of all times, gives us these memorable lyrics from Oscar Hammerstein II:

A bell is not a bell till you ring it. A song is not a song till you sing it. Love in your heart isn’t put there to stay. Love isn’t love till you give it away.”

The last line reminds us that with love, there must be a demonstration or manifestation to express the reality of that powerful emotion. We speak of the love of God in manifestation which is so clearly demonstrated in one of the most widely recognized verses in the Bible, John 3:16.

The book of I John also elaborates on the love of God in the corresponding verse:

1 John 3:16

And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God and God in him.

I recently came across this anonymous quote: “Love is a verb. Love is doing, saying, showing. Never think just saying you love someone is enough.” There must be corresponding action to show that we love. Another statement reiterates the same point: “Love is a verb. Without action it is merely a word.”

Verse 18 of 1 John 3 further reminds us,

18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.

The love of God is “perfected” or made complete or brought to maturity in us when we walk in the steps of Jesus Christ, the ultimate example of perfect love.  We must do more than think about love or talk about love; we must demonstrate love by what we do, just as God did in offering His son as a demonstration that He so loved the world.

Fred Hammond offers this musical expression of one of the most recognized verses in the Bible:  John 3:16 (Live):

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