God So Loved!
"For God so LOVED the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16) This is a very familiar Scripture verse, especially for those of us who grew up in the church. I was raised in the Southern Baptist denomination myself and it was the first Bible verse I ever memorized.
Many people today, including some Christians unfortunately, believe that God is "out to get them" and punish them for every little thing they've done wrong. They don't see God as a compassionate Father who loves His children and desires to bless them. Some even believe He causes catastrophic and deadly storms, floods, and earthquakes. They call these " acts of God". God is accused of using terrible acts to punish and "teach" people a lesson. This couldn't be further from the truth and is in total contrast to God's nature! God IS Love (1 John 4:8)
Look at this verse again. "For God so LOVED...." I have a question. Would any parent, who say they love their children, use deadly force to teach them a lesson? Of course not! That would be absurd. Most parents only want the best for their kids and will go to extreme lengths to bless them and keep them safe. How much more our Heavenly Father! He loves us so much that He gave the very best He had, His only Son Jesus, to pay the price for our sin and give us eternal life when we receive Him as Lord. God loved us even when we didn't deserve His love. That, my friend, is the God kind of love.
I encourage you to take time to read through the Bible, especially the New Testament, and focus on those Scriptures which speak of love. I pray that the Holy Spirit will begin to open your hearts and minds to the immeasurable depth of God's love for you.