John 3:16 - The Promise of Eternal Life.
John 3:16 (KJV) For God so loved the world,
that he gave his only begotten Son, that
whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have
Too Good To Be True?
Free Flight: Rio de Janeiro to Miami,
I wasnt the only person to hear about
the offer but one of the few to phone and
request details. The courier service offered an
airline ticket to anyone willing to carry a bag of
mail to the States.
No company makes such offers anymore. But
this was 1985 - years before intense airport
security. My dad was dying of ALS, and airline tickets
were expensive. Free tickets? The offer sounded
too good to be true.
So I walked away from it.
Many do the same with John 3:16. Millions
read the verse. Only a handful trust it. Wary of
a catch perhaps? Not needy enough maybe?
Cautioned by guarded friends?
I was. Other Rio residents saw the same
offer. Some read it and smelled a rat. Dont
risk it, one warned me. Better to buy your
But I couldnt afford one. Each call
home to Mom brought worse news. The doctor
says its time to call hospice.
So I revisited the flyer. Desperation
heightened my interest. Doesnt it always?
When desperation typhoons into your
world, Gods offer of a free flight home demands
a second look. John 3:16 morphs from a nice
verse into a life vest.
Some of you are wearing it. You can
recount the day you put it on. These words have kept
you company through multiple windswept winters.
I pray they warm you through the ones that
Others of you are still studying the
flyer. Still pondering the possibility, wrestling
with the promise. One day wondering what kind of
fool offer this is, the next wondering what kind
of fool would turn it down.
I urge you not to. Dont walk away from
this one. Who else can get you home? Take
Jesus offer. Get on board. You dont want to
miss the chance to see your Father.
Thanks to the courier folks, I was
present at my fathers death. Thanks to God,
hell be present at yours. He cares too much not
Believe in him and you
You will have life, eternal life,
forever. [Max Lucado Daily Devotional at
Believe in Him
The phrase believes in him
doesnt digest well in our day of self-sufficient
spiritual food. Believe in yourself is the
common menu selection of our day. Try harder. Work
longer. Dig deeper. Self-reliance is our goal.
And tolerance is our virtue. In him
smacks of exclusion. Dont all paths lead to
heaven? Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and humanism?
Salvation comes in many forms, right? Christ walks
upriver on this topic. Salvation is found, not in
self or in them, but in him.
Some historians clump Christ with Moses,
Muhammad, Confucius, and other spiritual leaders. But
Jesus refuses to share the page. He declares, I
am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one
comes to the Father, but by me (John 14:6 RSV).
He could have scored more points in political
correctness had he said, I know the way, or I
show the way. Yet he speaks not of what he
does but of who he is: I am the way.
Many recoil at such definitiveness. John
14:6 and Acts 4:12 sound primitive in this era of
broadbands and broad minds. The world is shrinking,
cultures are blending, borders are bending; this is
the day of inclusion. All roads lead to heaven,
right? But can they?
The sentence makes good talk-show fodder,
but is it accurate? Can all approaches to God be
correct? Every path does not lead to God.
Jesus blazed a stand-alone trail void of
self-salvation. He cleared a one-of-a-kind passageway
uncluttered by human effort. Christ came, not for the
strong, but for the weak; not for the righteous, but
for the sinner. We enter his way upon confession
of our need, not completion of our deeds. He
offers a unique-to-him invitation in which he works
and we trust, he dies and we live, he invites
and we believe.
We believe in him. The work God wants
you to do is this: Believe the One he sent
(John 6:29 NCV). This union is publicly dramatized
in baptism, for to be baptized, as Paul wrote,
is to be baptized into Christ. (Gal. 3:27)
Believe in yourself? No. Believe in him.
Believe in them? No. Believe in him.
And those who do, those who believe in
him shall not perish but have eternal life
(John 3:16). [Max Lucado Daily Devotional at
He's Been There
On a trip to China, I rode past Tiananmen
Square in a bus full of Westerners. We tried to
recollect the causes and consequences of the revolt.
Our knowledge of history was embarrassing. One
gave one date; another gave a different one. One
person remembered a certain death toll; someone
else disagreed. All this time our translator
Finally one of us asked her, Do you
remember anything about the Tiananmen Square
Her answer was solemn. Yes, I was a
part of it.
We quickly grew quiet as she gave
firsthand recollections of the bloodshed and
oppression. We listened, because shed been there.
We who follow Christ do so for the same
reason. Hes been there
Hes been to Bethlehem, wearing barn
rags and hearing sheep crunch. Suckling milk and
shivering against the cold. All of divinity content to
cocoon itself in an eight-pound body and to sleep
on a cows supper. Millions who face the
chill of empty pockets or the fears of sudden
change turn to Christ. Why?
Because hes been there.
Hes been to Nazareth, where he made
deadlines and paid bills; to Galilee, where he
recruited direct reports and separated fighters; to
Jerusalem, where he stared down critics and stood up
We have our Nazareths as well - demands
and due dates. Jesus wasnt the last to build
a team; accusers didnt disappear with
Jerusalems temple. Why seek Jesuss help with your
challenges? Because hes been there. To Nazareth, to
Galilee, to Jerusalem.
But most of all, hes been to the
grave. Not as a visitor, but as a corpse. Buried
amidst the cadavers. Numbered among the dead. Heart
silent and lungs vacant. Body wrapped and grave
sealed. The cemetery. Hes been buried there.
You havent yet. But you will be. And
since you will, dont you need someone who knows
the way out? [Max Lucado Daily Devotional at
LINK FOR FURTHER STUDY ON THIS TOPIC
EXCELLENT VIDEO SERIES ON 28 REVELATIONS OF
1st of 28: Divine Dining:
2nd of 28: Pictures of the Divine:
3rd of 28: A Dirty Bible:
4th of 28: Cared For:
5th of 28: Saved:
6th of 28: You Can Change:
7th of 28: Reprogramming Our Brains:
8th of 28 Our Holy Father:
9th of 28 Gifts of Service:
10th of 28 The Holy Spirit:
11th of 28 The Law of God:
12th of 28 The Sabbath:
13th of 28 The Church:
14th of 28 The Gift of Prophecy:
15th of 28 Stewardship:
16th of 28 Marriage and the Family:
17th of 28 The Remnant and Its Mission:
18th of 28 Christian Behavior:
Live ongoing series in progress.
If anyone has a paraphrase, commentary or
testimony on this passage of Scripture, either
personal or otherwise, I would be interested in
hearing from you. Thanks in advance and let's keep
uplifting Jesus that all might be drawn to Him. Fred