John 3:16

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

Devotional Thoughts

By Gary Wilkerson

God extended the fullness of his love to us through the gift of his Son: “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” (John 3:16). And because of his great love for us, we are enabled to reach out to others in loving ways.

We all want someone in our life who shares our values and standards, a friend who will be loyal and love us in spite of our weaknesses. We read of such a friendship in 1 Samuel 18:1, 3-4: “The soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul … Then Jonathan made a covenant with David, because he loved him as his own soul. And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was on him and gave it to David, and his armor, and even his sword and his bow and his belt.”

These verses represent the love that Jesus has for us — an unmerited, supernatural love, a love that sees beyond our weaknesses and is always supportive and encouraging. It is called the agape love of God and is above human understanding. The type of loving friendship that Jonathan and David shared — I call it gospel relationship — can come only through the power of Jesus Christ.

As you freely receive this gift of love from Jesus, ask him to enable you to be a godly friend who encourages spiritual growth in someone else — truly “a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”