Devotional Readings: John 3: 16-21; Morning Psalm-27; Evening Psalm 126
Text: This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so the no one need be destroyed. (John 3: 16,17a The Message)
When I was about 8 or 9 years old, the church that I attended with my folks decided that it would be a good idea for the children to memorize a few Bible verses. I’ve always had difficulty with memorization but one of the first verses that I learned, thanks to my mother’s persistance, was John 3: 16, King James Version, of course! It wasn’t until I became a pastor that I discovered that John 3: 16 only tells part of the Story. It told the What but not the Why. It wasn’t until I read verse 17 that I discovered the Why; “For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.” Revised Standard Version) God sent the very embodiment of God’s eternal Love into the world to save it, not to judge it! God’s purpose is and always have been to save, redeem or rescue the world–choose whichever word you wish.
When the early Christians questioned why Jesus did not return before now, the writer of Second Peter replied, “The Lord is patient toward you, not wanting anyone to perish but all to change their hearts and lives.” (II Peter 3:9, Common English Bible)
In this season of Lent we have a lot to be thankful for, most notably God’s eternal Love that never gives up on us and God’s Patience that is willing to wait a lifetime and beyond for us to change our hearts and lives.
Lord, let me reflect Your Love and Your Patience today and every day in the season and Lent and all the days of my life. Amen.