Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Do You Need a Real Word?

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,
that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

Many of us know this verse. It might be one of the first we memorized.

It’s called the gospel in a nutshell.

I, for one, am encouraged to know I can talk to someone about Jesus with just these few words. I've heard about the Roman Road of witnessing (Romans 3:23, Romans 6:23, Romans 5:8, Romans 10:13, Romans 10:9-10) but my sense of direction is so bad, I get lost in a ditch somewhere along the way.

But that’s not why I love John 3:16.

I wasn't raised in church. When I was 16, I listened to Billy Graham one night and his simple description of the love of Jesus penetrated my heart and drew me to Him.

I didn't understand much, only that God loved me, that Jesus came as a man, and that He died to offer me forgiveness of my sin – and I had plenty of sin to forgive! I didn’t understand the fullness of the cross and resurrection but I knew enough to give my life to Him.

Not long after I became a Christian, a wise lady taught me the beauty of making Scripture personal. And this became a lifeline to God’s love, So John 3:16 speaks directly to me.

For God so loved Sherry that He gave His one and only Son, and because of Sherry’s belief in His Son, she will not perish but have eternal life.

Please remember that I personalized this verse.

The King of Kings gave…

It’s hard to wrap my mind around it.

When I give someone a gift, I do it because I love them – pure and simple. I don’t say, “If you do so-and-so, I’ll give this to you.”

God gave His Son to die for me, out of His love for me – pure and simple.

He doesn't make any demands on me. He doesn't say, “Sherry, if you clean yourself up, I have a gift to give you.”

He simply offers me the gift of salvation through the death of His Son.

The gift of salvation and the joy of spending eternity with Him.

The richness of God’s love became real to me because His Word became real to me.

John 3:16 is a beautiful expression of God’s love for me – a love so deep that He was willing to give me the gift of His Son’s life.

When you are gripped by fear or doubt God, bring His love to life by making His promises your own!

Are there any verses in God's Word that have spoken personally to you? If so, how did it encourage you?

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