For God loved the world so much.... (John 3:16 NLT)
There is a great weight made to rest upon that little word "for" – "For God so loved the world." We say that John 3:16 is the heart of the gospel: but it is much more than that, it is the heart of the universe. There is back of all things in this created universe a heart; not just a mind or a will, a design, a reason, a power, a fiat, but a heart. We are familiar with the attempts to prove there is a design in creation, that there is a mind behind the universe, and that a will brought it into being. That is all quite good and right; but we are not so often asked to consider that behind all there is a heart – and more heart than anything else. The reason, the will, the design, come from the heart. Everything takes its rise in the heart of God.
We have said much about the thoughts of God, the counsels of God. The nearer we get to the very center of things, the more we shall become affected by this fact, that right at the center is a heart. It is a heart that we shall come to eventually; not an explanation to satisfy our reason, nor a demonstration of power, but just a heart – but a mighty heart: and when we use that word rightly, we simply mean love. We speak of people being heartless. That means that they are without all that love means. Love is not the governing of things in their thoughts, actions, and motives; they are strangers to love. Heart then, for us, means love, and when we say that back of all things and at the center of all things there is a heart, we mean there is love.
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