March 10, 2017 – Friday
Read: John 3:16 – 18
Focus: v. 16
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.
This is likely the very first Bible verse any of us ever learned. For some, it may be the only Bible verse they really remember. I remember my Gramma Hazel impressing on me as a 7-year-old boy, the importance of learning Bible verses. Most of those that I learned at her urging are the ones I remember today. There are a few that I learned while taking Bible courses at college but most were because of Gramma. I remember her gathering us boys together at least once a week and having us recite the verses we had learned. We loved our Gramma so were happy to do this little thing for her. If it hadn’t been for her and our Step-Grampa, Trum, we truly would have been orphans and kept by the state in an orphanage. We always tried to let her know how much she was loved.
This verse lets us know how much God loves us and what He was willing to do for us that we might have eternal life. The songwriter put it this way:
For God so loved the world
He gave his only son
To die on Calvary’s tree,
From sin to set me free;
Some day He’s coming back,
What glory that will be!
Wonderful His love to me.
(Words by Frances Townsend. Music by Alfred B. Smith)
There are basically two themes here – God’s love and His great gift of eternal life. Thus we have the title of this devotional “Death No More.” Another scripture says, “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: so Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for Him shall He appear the second without sin unto salvation” (Heb. 12:27 – 28, KJV). The NIV translates that this way: “Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, 28 so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him” (Heb. 9:27 – 28, NIV). The purpose of God’s love shown through Jesus’ death on the cross was to bring those who believe into a much closer relationship with Him in heaven for all eternity. Are you a believer and a receiver? What a wonderful gift from God!