Hunkered Down Devotion

John 3:16-18a (Voice)
16 For God expressed His love for the world in this way: He gave His only Son so that whoever believes in Him will not face everlasting destruction, but will have everlasting life. 17 Here’s the point. God didn’t send His Son into the world to judge it; instead, He is here to rescue a world headed toward certain destruction.
18 No one who believes in Him has to fear condemnation

One of my enduring memories from my early childhood is watching various sporting events and seeing signs – they used to be at almost every televised game – white cardboard, with black letters that said, ‘John 3:16’.  After I had seen the signs several times, I finally went to the Bible and looked it up – I was pretty young, so I likely had help, both with the finding of the verse and the reading of it.

When I heard this famous verse, my first reaction was probably not what you would expect from your pastor, because I thought: this doesn’t have anything to do with sports?  So, I asked, why people kept holding signs with that verse on them.  The answer, which didn’t seem satisfying at the time, was something about people thinking it must be important.

That answer that seemed so inadequate upon first hearing has only become more and more appropriate.  Really, it is the only answer.  After all, if you only had one moment, if you could only share one thing with someone in order to help them understand God’s love for them, what could be better than John 3:16: God loves you so much that he sent Jesus, so that everyone that believe in him should live….

These few verses are, literally, the good news we have been called to share with the world around us.  The words these verses use to convey the truth of God’s love, and Jesus’ purpose to bring love, grace, and rescue.

But, as good as these words are – as much as they are the best way, in prose, to convey these wonderful truths, they aren’t usually what will catch people’s attention.  I forgot to mention one thing about all those signs, part of why the camera always found those John 3:16 signs is that the were often held by a man with a rainbow wig.  The man, his wig, and so the sign, were hard to miss.

I don’t think we should be walking around wearing outlandish wigs (unless that is your thing), but I do think if we want people to hear the good news in the words we have to share, how we act, what we do, and who we are is what matters, because that is what those around us will notice first.  The challenge for us, then, is to live and act in such a way that those around us are ready to hear – and believe – the good news we have to share.
Sharing God’s Love,

Prayer:  Thank you, Lord, for your son Jesus.  Help us to live in such a way that others are ready to hear and believe that good news.  Amen.


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