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.”

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Who do I Serve…

Who do I Serve?

Each of us whether knowingly or not places a god or God in front of us daily. While our world teaches that all religions lead to God that is not what the Bible teaches. Someday each of us will give account of our choices. Did we choose self, a false religion or did we choose Jesus? This morning the question is, who will I follow? Our time is short because Jesus is coming back a second time……………….! Are you ready?

John 14:1-3 “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”

There is only ONE God and ONE Savior||

Isa 45:21, 22 ” There is no God other than Me; A just God and a
Savior; There is none beside Me. Look unto Me, and be saved, all ends of
the earth: For I am God and there is none else.”

Acts 4:12 “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other
name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be
saved.”

Heb 12:2 “Looking unto Jesus the author and the finisher of our faith
who for the joy that was set before, endured the cross, despising the
shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

The following is one of my favorite verses and it applies to you and I today just as it did to the nation of Israel when God the Holy Spirit had it spoken and recorded for our benefit.

Have a great day either finding Jesus or serving Jesus!!!!!!!!!

Joshua 24:15 “And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”

Does your Life have Purpose…

Matthew 4:19 “And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”

To what purpose are you called?
To what purpose are you working towards?

Does your Life have Purpose…

Once there were three trees on a hill in the woods.
They were discussing their hopes and dreams when the first tree said,
“Someday I hope to be a treasure chest. I could be filled with gold,
silver and precious gems. I could be decorated with intricate carving
and everyone would see the beauty.”

Then the second tree said, “Someday I will be a mighty ship. I
will take kings and queens across the waters and sail to the corners of
the world. Everyone will feel safe in me because of the strength of my
hull.”

Finally the third tree said, “I want to grow to be the tallest
and straightest tree in the forest. People will see me on top of the
hill and look up to my branches, and think of the heavens and God and
how close to them I am reaching. I will be the greatest tree of all time
and people will always remember me.”

After a few years of praying that their dreams would come true,
a group of woodsmen came upon the trees. When one came to the first tree
he said, “This looks like a strong tree, I think I should be able to
sell the wood to a carpenter” … and he began cutting it down. The tree
was happy, because he knew that the carpenter would make him into a
treasure chest.

At the second tree a woodsman said, “This looks like a strong
tree, I should be able to sell it to the shipyard “The second tree was
happy because he knew he was on his way to becoming a mighty ship. When
the woodsmen came upon the third tree, the tree was frightened because
he knew that if they cut him down his dreams would not come true. One of
the woodsmen said, “I don’t need anything special from my tree so I’ll
take this one”, and he cut it down.”

When the first tree arrived at the carpenters, he was made into
a feed box for animals. He was then placed in a barn and filled with
hay. This was not at all what he had prayed for. The second tree was cut
and made into a small fishing boat. His dreams of being a mighty ship
and carrying kings had come to an end. The third tree was cut into large
pieces and left alone in the dark. The years went by, and the trees
forgot about their dreams.

Then one day, a man and women came to the barn. She gave birth
and they placed the baby in the hay in the feed box that was made from
the first tree. The man wished that he could have made a crib for the
baby, but this manger would have to do. The tree could feel the
importance of this event and knew that it had held the greatest treasure
of all time.

Years later, a group of men got in the fishing boat made from
the second tree. One of them was tired and went to sleep. While they
were out on the water, a great storm arose and the tree didn’t think it
was strong enough to keep the men safe. The men woke the sleeping man,
and he stood and said “Peace” and the storm stopped. At this time, the
tree knew that it had carried the King of Kings in its boat. Finally,
someone came and got the third tree. It was carried through the streets
as the people mocked the man who was carrying it.

When they came to a stop, the man was nailed to the tree and
raised in the air to die at the top of a hill.
When Sunday came, the tree came to realize that it was strong enough to
stand at the top of the hill and be as close to God as was possible,
because Jesus had been crucified on it.

The moral of this story is that when things don’t seem to be
going your way, always know that God has a plan for you. If you place
your trust in Him, He will give you great gifts. Each of the trees got
what they wanted, just not in the way they had imagined. We don’t always
know what God’s plans are for us. We just know that His ways are not our
ways, but His ways are always best.

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

Matthew 4:18-22 “And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee,
saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his
brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And he
saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of
men. And they straightway left their nets, and followed him.
And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren,
James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with
Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them.
And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him.”

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.”

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.”

Songs for Every Occupation and Occasion…

Psalm 100:1, 2 “Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands! Serve the Lord with gladness; Come before His presence with singing.”

Songs for Every Occupation and Occasion…

The Dentist’s Hymn:…………………..Crown Him with Many Crowns
The Weatherman’s Hymn:………………..There Shall Be Showers of Blessings
The Contractor’s Hymn:………………..The Church’s One Foundation
The Tailor’s Hymn:……………………Holy, Holy, Holy
The Golfer’s Hymn:……………………There’s a Green Hill Far Away
The Politician’s Hymn:………………..Standing on the Promises
The Optometrist’s Hymn:……………….Open My Eyes That I Might See
The IRS Agent’s Hymn:…………………I Surrender All
The Electrician’s Hymn:……………….Send The Light
The Shopper’s Hymn:…………………..Sweet By and By
The Realtor’s Hymn:…………………..I’ve Got a Mansion, Just Over the Hilltop
The Doctor’s Hymn:……………………The Great Physician

For those who speed on the highway – a few hymns:

45 mph………………..God Will Take Care of You
55 mph………………..Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah
65 mph………………..Nearer My God To Thee
75 mph………………..Nearer Still Nearer
85 mph………………..This World Is Not My Home
95 mph………………..Lord, I’m Coming Home
Over 100 mph…………..Precious Memories
………………………………………………………
Give me a sense of humor, Lord,
Give me the grace to see a joke,
To get some humor out of life
And pass it on to other folk .

Psalm 101 “I will sing of mercy and justice; To You, O Lord, I will sing praises.”