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Grace Lutheran Church Devotional: John 3:14–21 (ESV)

By Administrator

March 17, 2024

14[Jesus said:] “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. 16“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. 19And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil. 20For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 21But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his deeds have been carried out in God.”

For most people, the word “Love” is something that gets thrown around easily: “I love my truck!” “She is the love of my life!” Often statements of love end with an exclamation point, which is how it should be—love ought to be an exclamation point in our life! But there is one kind of love that stands out above all others, and that love is all summed up in the most recognized Bible verse in all of Christianity, John 3:16. With just twenty-four words the world’s most incredible love story is told. Within that sentence is a message from heaven, from the cross, that screams for everyone to hear today. Yes, it might be a familiar love story for us, but we must never tire of it, take it for granted, or doubt it for even a moment.

We do not deserve God’s love; the simple fact is that most of the time we are not all that lovable. You and I are that rebellious child who does not return our Father’s love, choosing to love how and what we want to love. Yet, even in our sin, Scripture reminds us, though we do not deserve it, God continues to love us unconditionally, because “God is love” (1 John 4:8). God’s love for the world is genuine and pure. He put His love into action by giving “His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

Those familiar words of John 3:16 tell of the love we long for and need. The name of God’s love for us is Jesus, the crucified, risen, and ascended Lord who is the author and perfector of our faith, our salvation, and our lives of love for Him and our neighbors. Those twenty-four words of that one verse portray the salvation we do not deserve, but we still receive it by God’s grace. That verse of pure, sweat Gospel declares a glory we know is not ours, but the glory that belongs to the One who was lifted-up for our sake, the One who rose from the grave that we might live with Him in the kingdom prepared for us before the foundation of the world forever and ever.

Now may He who has begun this good work in you, bring it to completion on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ: Amen.

Grace Lutheran Church LCMS
825 North 1st West
Cheyenne Wells, CO, 80810-0728
Sunday Service begins at 9:00AM
Reverend Steve Zandstra

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