that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”
Most of us know this verse by heart. Many of us learned it in Sunday School. William Barclay said, “All great men have their favorite texts; but this text, this verse has been called “Everybody’s Text.”
We often get a shot of this verse from that guy who shows up at all the Sporting Events. You know the one, waving the big white sign in front of the TV cameras with “JOHN 3:16” in giant letters. I want to know what job he has. It must pay tons of money, cause I see him at football games, golf tournaments, tennis matches, NASCAR races, baseball games and now he’s starting to show up at the the X-Games. I don’t know how he finds the time. He waves that sign as if everybody knows what it is and what it means. It’s almost like some mysterious code. If you get the number you understand the Gospel.
The truth is this verse does have a coded message. One God has been transmitting since the beginning of time. Love. According to John 3:16, God loves each and everyone one of us and His divine love reaches out to all the world; not just the church people, not just the people who read the Bible, not just those who love God. The unlovable, the lonely, the poor and the rich, sinners and saints are all loved by God.
We have a hard time trying to understand this kind of love, because human love is rarely this great and wide. I remember when our daughter, Jennifer was just a little girl, about 5-years old. We were at Hartwell Lake. Jennifer and her grandfather where sitting on the edge of the dock and Paw Paw was patiently trying to untangle her fishing line. As she waited for him to work the knots out of her line, she glanced around at the water. Looking first to her right and then to her left, her eyes grew wide and she suddenly noticed something about the lake. “Paw Paw,” she said, “this is a really big lake.” Without missing a beat, my father-in-law replied, “Yeah, and that’s just the top of it.” In that moment, it hit Jennifer how large the lake was. So it is with God’s love. So wide and deep, the depths are beyond all human comprehension. For God so loved the world.
I think if we truly did “get” the Gospel message, a lot more of us would be out there flashing John 3:16 posters like divine Valentine’s cards, telling the world how much God loves them and loves us.
Prayer: Almighty God, You who are Love, offer it freely to us. May we each humbly receive and embrace your divine love and then give it away as generously as you have given it to us.
In His Word,
Reverend Dee Dee