John 3:16…What does it mean…

John 3:16″For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son …”

 John 3:16…What does it mean…

In the city of Chicago, one cold, dark night, a blizzard was
setting in. A little boy was selling newspapers on the corner. People were in and out of the cold.  The little boy was so cold that he wasn’t trying to sell many papers.

A policeman walked up to him and said, “You wouldn’t
happen to know where a poor boy could find a warm place to sleep
tonight would you? I’ve heard you sleep in a box up around the corner
there and down the alley and its awful cold in there, especially at night.
You need a warm place to stay.” “You go down the street to that big white house and you knock on the door. When they come out the door you just say John 3:16 and they will let
you in.”

So he did, he walked up the steps to the door and knocked on
the door and a lady answered. He looked up and said, “John 3:16.”
The lady said “Come on in, Son.” She took him in and she sat him down
in a split bottom rocker in front of a great big old fireplace and
she went off.  He sat there for a while, and thought to himself
“John 3:16….  I don’t   understand it, but it sure makes a cold boy
warm.”   Later she came back and asked him

“Are you hungry?”  He said, “Well, just a little. I haven’t
eaten in a couple of days and I guess I could stand a little bit of
food.”  The lady took him in the kitchen and sat him down to a table
full of wonderful food. He ate and ate until he couldn’t eat any more.
Then he thought to himself “John 3:16… Boy, I sure don’t understand
it, but it sure makes a hungry boy full.”

She took him upstairs to a bathroom to a huge bathtub filled
with warm water and he sat there and soaked for a while. As he soaked,
he thought to himself, “John 3:16… I sure don’t understand it, but
it sure makes a dirty boy clean.

You know, I’ve not had a bath, a real bath, in my whole life.
The only bath I ever had was when I stood in front of that big old
fire hydrant as they flushed it out.” The lady came in and got him,
and took him to a room and tucked him into a big old feather bed and
pulled the covers up around his neck and kissed him goodnight and
turned out the lights.

As he laid in the darkness and looked out the window at the
snow coming down on that cold night he thought to himself, “John 3:16…
I don’t understand it, but it sure makes a tired boy rested.”

The next morning she came back up and took him down again to that
same big table full of food. After he ate she took him back to that
same big old split bottom rocker in front of the fireplace and she took
a big old Bible and sat down in front of him and she looked up at and
she asked, “Do you understand John 3:16?”

He said, “No, Ma’am, I don’t. The first time I ever heard it was
last night when the policeman told me to use it.”   She opened the Bible
to John 3:16 and she began to explain to him about Jesus. Right there
in front of that big old fireplace he accepted Jesus as his Savior.

He sat there and thought, “John 3:16. I don’t understand it, but it
but it sure makes a lost boy feel safe.”  You know, I have to confess I
don’t understand it either, how God would be willing to send His Son to
die for me, and how Jesus would agree to do such a thing.

I don’t understand it either, but it sure does make life worth living.

Author Unknown

John 3:16-18 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son,
that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the
world through him might be saved.  He that believeth on him is not condemned:
but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed
in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”

Advertisements

Just look at me…

Just look at me!

In a world preaching self, self, self what does our Lord have to say?  God does want us to feel good about ourselves but it is not because we are something great. It is because we have accepted His Son as our Savior and His purpose for our lives and accepted that we can only do it by His strength. Now that is big time different than what our world teaches.

You are something special when you have Jesus. By yourself you are not!!!

By yourself you are…

Isa 64:6 “But we are all as an unclean thing and all of our righteousness are as filthy rags, and we all do fade as a leaf, and our iniquities like the wind have taken us away.”

Let Jesus lift you up instead of trying to lift yourself up|||

Rom 12:3 “For by the grace given me I say to every one of you; Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought.”

Remember it’s His timing and by His methods that we can become strong!!! And of course you must know and have accepted Jesus as your Savior. Not depending on your deeds, church or any other activity for your salvation. Then Jesus can begin a work in you. So why is that so contrary to what we feel?

Isaiah 55:8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. “

Start by…

Acts 16:30b, 31 “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.”

 Romans 10:13 “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

And then…

I Pet 5:6 “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your cares upon Him, for He cares for you.”

Where to find Absolute Truth for Today…

Where to find Absolute Truth!

We all want answers to the troubles of life. So, where do you go when you need an answer? How about the Bible? Some say the Bible was and is just the writings of men as are millions of books found in the local library. Is that the case?

Is the Gospel of John a book of John’s words and John’s wisdom? Is the book of Romans a book of Paul’s words and Paul’s wisdom? The same question applies to the other books of scripture. Just who’s thoughts, words and wisdom, are they? The question is are the scriptures actually the word, thoughts and truths of God or of men? If they are the truths of God and not men we then have the ONLY source of truth we will ever need for directing our paths through life!! And if the authors are human then the thoughts conveyed there are merely that, only the thoughts of men.

Also, one of my bibles has the words that Jesus spoke outlined in red. There is a danger in thinking that only those words are God’s words. I remember a 6th grader saying to me during an AWANA night (kids program at church) that those red letters mean that God is speaking to us. With that thought process they unknowingly were thinking that all the other words were not from God. The truth is that God inspired and protects the words in black print also. I don’t know about you, but the scriptures take on a much more important place in my life when just Who is speaking to me is recognized as God!!!!! Listen to what God declares about His word and then you decide.

II Tim 3:16,117 “All scripture is given by the inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, instruction in righteousness so that the man of God may be made perfect thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”

Then the question arises about how God did it. Now listen to how our Lord recorded His word.

II Peter 3:18 “Knowing this first that no prophesy of scripture is of any private interpretation, for the prophesy came not in old times by the will of men, but holy men of God spoke, as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”

The lives that God used to reveal His word to us do have significance. Those individuals and their lives had an awesome privilege in that God used their lives to point out His direction and truth for our lives. In the Bible God used the lives of 40 different people to reveal His truths. The important thing is that they are God’s truths and wisdom and not those of the scribes. The truths of scripture are God’s truths which only He allowed to be recorded as such and protects down through the ages. God also promises to protect His truths down through the ages so that no man can change them and so that every generation has them. The jot and tittle noted in Mat 5:18 are small punctuation marks in the languages God used to record His word and even those will not be lost down through the ages so that we have all the truth to make eternal decisions by.

Mat 5:18 For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.

Isa 55:10,11 “For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and do not return there, but water the earth and make it bring forth and bud that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”

One great example of how God revealed His truths is recorded in the last book of the Bible. Listen to how God revealed it to us.

Rev 1:911a “I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. 10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet, 11 saying, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,” and, “What you see, write in a book…”

Whose writings and counsel do you turn to?

Psalm 1:1-4 “Blessed is the man that walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, but his delight is in the law of the Lord and in the law does he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water that brings forth it’s fruit in its season, and whatever he does shall prosper.”

Food for the Soul…

Are you spiritually hungry or spiritually starving this morning? There is only One place to go to be filled, spiritually.
Food for the Soul…

Isaiah 40:11 “He shall feed His flock like a shepherd, He shall gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom, and shall gently lead…”

If you are a child of the King (born again) as an indicator that you are one of His you will…

I Pet 2:2 “As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word that you may grow thereby…”

So, do you desire to know God’s word?

Along with the desire comes the command to study God’s word. Which only makes sense being as it is our one source of truth that we can trust.

II Tim 2:15 “Study to show yourselves approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

What areas of my life is God’s word beneficial for?
 
II Tim 3:16,17  “All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for
teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so
that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.”

ALL…

If you do not have the desire you may not be one of His children. Not everyone who says to God that they are one of His truly are one of His. Check out the gospel of John…

Matt 7:21-23 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

 

Romans 8:9 “But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.”

John 3:3 “For truly I say unto you, except a man is born again he cannot
enter the Kingdom of God.”

And then go to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords to be fed!!!!!!!!!!!
John 3:16-18 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. 18 He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God”

Mat 11:28 “Come unto Me all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I
will give you rest…”

God Cares for You…

Luke 12:6-8 “Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins? And not one of
them is forgotten before God. But the very hairs on your head are numbered.
Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.”

God Cares for You

The passengers on the bus watched sympathetically as the attractive young woman
with the white cane made her way carefully up the steps. She paid the driver and, using her hands to feel the location of the seats, walked down the aisle and found the seat he’d told her was empty. Then she settled in, placed her briefcase on her lap and rested her cane against her leg. It had been a year since Susan, thirty-four, became blind.

Due to a medical misdiagnosis she had been rendered sightless, and she was
suddenly thrown into a world of darkness, anger, frustration and self-pity. Once a fiercely independent woman, Susan now felt condemned by this terrible twist of fate to become a powerless, helpless burden on everyone around her. “How could this have happened to me?” she would plead, her heart knotted with anger.

But no matter how much she cried or ranted or prayed, she knew the painful truth…her sight was never going to return. A cloud of depression hung over Susan’s once optimistic spirit. Just getting through each day was an exercise in frustration and exhaustion. And all she had to cling to was her husband Mark.

Mark was an Air Force officer and he loved Susan with all of his heart. When she first lost her sight, he watched her sink into despair and was determined to help his wife gain the strength and confidence she needed to become independent again. Mark’s military background had trained him well to deal with sensitive situations, and yet he knew this was the most difficult battle he would ever face. Finally, Susan felt ready to return to her job, but how would she get there?

She used to take the bus, but was now too frightened to get around the city by herself. Mark volunteered to drive her to work each day, even though they worked at opposite ends of the city.

At first, this comforted Susan and fulfilled Mark’s need to protect his sightless wife who was so insecure about performing the slightest task. Soon, however, Mark realized that this arrangement wasn’t working – it was hectic, and costly. Susan is going to have to start taking the bus again, he admitted to himself.

But just the thought of mentioning it to her made him cringe. She was still so fragile, so angry. How would she react? Just as Mark predicted, Susan was horrified at the idea of
taking the bus again. “I’m blind!” she responded bitterly.

“How am I supposed to know where I’m going? I feel like you’re abandoning me.”

Mark’s heart broke to hear these words, but he knew what had to be done. He promised Susan that each morning and evening he would ride the bus with her, for as long as it took, until she got the hang of it. And that is exactly what happened. For two solid weeks, Mark, military uniform and all accompanied Susan to and from work each day. He taught her how to rely on her other senses, specifically her hearing, to determine where she was and how to adapt to her new environment. He helped her befriend the bus drivers who could watch out for her, and save her a seat. He made her laugh, even on those not-so-good days when she would trip exiting the bus, or drop her briefcase.

Each morning they made the journey together, and Mark would take a cab back to his office. Although this routine was even more costly and exhausting than the previous one, Mark knew it was only a matter of time before Susan would be able to ride the bus on her own. He believed in her, in the Susan he used to know before she’d lost her sight, who wasn’t afraid of any challenge and who would never, ever quit.

Finally, Susan decided that she was ready to try the trip on her own. Monday morning arrived, and before she left, she threw her arms around Mark, her temporary bus riding companion, her husband, and her best friend. Her eyes filled with tears of gratitude for his loyalty, his patience, his love. She said good-bye, and for the first time, they went their separate ways.

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday…each day on her own went perfectly, and
Susan had never felt better. She was doing it! She was going to work all by herself!

On Friday morning, Susan took the bus to work as usual. As she was paying for her
fare to exit the bus, the driver said, “Boy, I sure envy you.” Susan wasn’t sure if the driver
was speaking to her or not. After all, who on earth would ever envy a blind woman who had struggled just to find the courage to live for the past year? Curious, she asked the driver, “Why do you say that you envy me?”

The driver responded, “It must feel so good to be taken care of and protected like you are.”

Susan had no idea what the driver was talking about, and asked again, “What do you mean?”

The driver answered, “You know, every morning for the past week, a fine looking
gentleman in a military uniform has been standing across the corner watching you when you get off the bus. He makes sure you cross the street safely and he watches you until you enter your office building. Then he blows you a kiss”.

Tears of happiness poured down Susan’s cheeks. Although she couldn’t physically see him, she had always felt Mark’s presence. She was lucky, so lucky, for he had given her a gift more powerful than sight, a gift she didn’t need to see to believe – the gift of love that can bring light where there had been darkness.

God watches over us in much the same way. We may not know He is present. We may not be able to see His face, but He is there nonetheless! Be blessed in this thought:
“God Loves You – even when you are not looking.”

Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.

Matthew 10:28-31 “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear you not therefore; ye are of more value than many sparrows.”

Haste makes Waste…

“Haste makes waste” is not a verse of scripture but it does include some biblical wisdom.

II Thes 3:10, 11 “For even when we were with you, we commanded you this; If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat. For we hear that there are some  who walk among you in a disorderly manner, not working at all, but are busybodies.”

When it comes to where you will spend eternity or in what ministry will I serve my Savior you must make sure that speed or complacency are not involved in the decision. When you’re moving too fast you tend to make a lot of mistakes. At least that is my experience. My many experiences I unfortunately must add. And you can end up going very fast – but in the wrong direction!

Proverbs 14:12 “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the ends thereof are the ways of death.”

When it comes to eternal life there is a way to find the Way! You must go to the one source of absolute truth that we have. That is the one book that God authored and it contains truth for the ages.

2 Tim 3:16-17 “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

 John 3:3 “Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

John 14:6 “And Jesus said unto them, I am the way, the truth and the life,  no one can come unto the Father but by Me.”

To those who listen to God and are‘born again’ God has provided you with special spiritual talents having nothing to do with natural talents and are to be used for His purpose for your life.

To learn more about them you will need to become a student of God’s word.

Rom 12:6a “Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them:”

 2 Tim 2:15 “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

So slow down today and…….

Hebrews 12:1-2 ” Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Do you see yourself as a Servant…

Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore brethren by the mercies of God that
you present yourselves……………….

Do you see yourself as a Servant!

You know, it’s a good thing to stop the world for a little while and
go back to where it all started.  In fact, Jesus may be inviting you
even now to go back with Him to where it all began.

In Matthew 28:10 from the Word of God, Jesus has just blasted out
of His grave on Easter morning, and He has a message for His disciples:
“Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see Me.” And
they did. It was there that Jesus told them, “All authority in heaven
and on earth has been given to Me. Therefore, go and make disciples of
all nations…” (Matthew 28:18-19).

Why this trip by the disciples back to Galilee to be with Jesus?
They were in Jerusalem at the time. That’s a long 90-mile walk from
Galilee. No cars, buses or trains back then. And Jesus would send them
back to Jerusalem to start their mission. So what’s the reason for going
back to Galilee? I believe it was because that’s where it all began.
That’s where they met Christ. That’s where they abandoned everything to
follow Christ. And that’s where they needed to go after all the battles,
the failures, the mountains, and the valleys they had experienced since
they met Jesus and before He launched them on a mission beyond belief.

Jesus may be asking you to go back to your Galilee, to remember
the wonder of what He did to rescue you, the things about Him
that captured your heart then; the time you surrendered fully to His
purposes for your life. All of that tends to get obscured by all the
knowledge you’ve acquired, all the responsibilities you’ve taken on, all
the disappointments and disillusionment, all the complexities of your
life. Jesus is saying, “Come back with Me to where we started, so you
can remember again just who I am, who you are, and just what I’ve
created you to do.”

When you started, it was pretty simple: one man or one woman
following one Savior wherever He was going. And we had that burning
desire to learn more of the One who saved us and the desire to share
that knowledge was almost overwhelming. Now with all the other voices in
your life, it must still be that one man or woman following that one
Savior. He wants to go back to that point where you sensed things that
He was calling you to do. It’s still His calling on your life, no matter
what has happened since then. And there was probably a time and a place
where you totally surrendered to Him – no strings attached – maybe at a
camp, a conference, in church, alone in your room.

If you cannot remember that time the calling in your heart is for you
to do so. Jesus wants all of us. In the beginning of your spiritual walk you didn’t
care where that commitment took you, how much money you had, what sacrifices
would be required. You were all His for whatever He wanted you to be and
do. Maybe that unconditional surrender has become a conditional
surrender, encumbered by your position, your possessions, your
convenience, your comfort, a lot of stuff. And Jesus is calling you back
to that original surrender where it all began.

It’s time to go back to your Galilee – to rekindle your first love
and remember that it’s still all about Jesus. Jesus wants to bring you
back to where it all started so He can take your life where it’s never
gone before!

———————————————————————
Portions from Ron Hutchcrafts (#5087) 11 July 2006
 
Rev. 2:4-5 “But I have this against thee, that thou didst leave thy first love.  Remember therefore whence thou art fallen, and repent and do the first works; or else I come to thee, and will move thy candlestick out of its place, except thou repent.”