Be 3:16

Be 3:16

John 3:16 is, without doubt, one of the best-known verses in the Bible. It captures the essence of the Gospel in a way perhaps no other single verse does: “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not parish but will have eternal life.”

In the 1980s and ‘90s, signs showing the verse appeared in NFL end zones every autumn Sunday during extra point and field goal attempts. It is perhaps the most memorized verse in the entire Bible (I typed it above from memory). God gave me a wakeup call this week concerning John 3:16. He reminded me that He is far less concerned with us memorizing the verse or showing it to others than He is with us living it out in our lives.

 The Bob Goff devotional I read had an entry this week called “Let’s live like the most famous parts of the Bible.” He was referring specifically to John 3:16. It led me to some serious introspection. I have preached about this verse. I can recite it. I share it with others. But how well am I living it? As Goff put it, “people who follow Jesus might be the only living version of John 3:16 another person may ever see.” If the gold standard is God giving His only Son for me, how am I doing? What does it look like in my life. What should it look like in my life? Here is what I came up with for me, but if you are a Christ-follower, I encourage you to do the same self-examination:

  • Do I take every opportunity God gives me to sacrificially aid others? Define sacrificially as giving more than feels comfortable to give of your time, talent, and/or treasure.
  • Did I miss a recent opportunity to do this? Can I revisit it?
  • Does my heart ache for those who don’t know the truth about John 3:16? Do I allow the Holy Spirit to fill me with the boldness to share it?

The Apostle John shares this gospel in a nutshell after sharing the story of the late-night meeting between Jesus and a Pharisee named Nicodemus. It is there that Jesus explains that we must be born again in Him, a concept Nicodemus struggled to understand. Many of us still do. Nicodemus seemed to understand something about Jesus that his fellow Pharisees rejected: that Jesus was “from” God. But Nicodemus didn’t seem to understand that Jesus is God.  So, it would have been impossible for him to understand that Jesus came to make us all new creations in Him.

To live out John 3:16 is to look more and more like that new creation, the Christ in us, day by day. This means each day displaying more of what the Apostle Paul called the fruit of the Spirit: “Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. These comprise the character of Christ.

Memorizing John 3:16 is important. Sharing it with others is important. But when the fruit of the Spirit bursts from us and showers others, we are being 3:16. It’s what we’re called to be (not do) and when we are, The joy and peace of growing in Jesus will envelop both us and those whose lives we touch..

Pastor Jerry Bader

1 Comment
  • Misti Rose Rosa
    Posted at 18:09h, 17 October Reply

    The T.R.U.T.H.
    Thanks for the reminder, Pastor.
    Peace, Love, and Blessings.

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