This Sunday the meditation is in the form of a devotional.
Fourth Sunday in Lent
John 3:14-21 (NRSV)
The lifting up of the Son of Man
And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.
"For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.
"Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Those who believe in him are not condemned; but those who do not believe are condemned already, because they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. For all who do evil hate the light and do not come to the light, so that their deeds may not be exposed. But those who do what is true come to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in God."
I am so excited to have the opportunity to be writing about John 3:16 which has often been called, “The Gospel in Nutshell.” When I say the word Gospel, I am referring to the GOOD NEWS message! What is this message? I believe it is simple—God loves, God gave, God saves!
In this season of Lent, we take upon our brow a cross of ashes as a reminder that we came from the dust, and to the dust we will return. As we fast, pray, and give alms to the poor we are reminded of our own frailty and of our very real need for our Lord and Savior—Jesus--who is the Christ!
Isn’t it amazing that although we sin and fall short of the glory of God, God continues to pursue us, romancing our hearts, and calling us home?! I am so glad that God did not send Jesus into the world to condemn us; but rather, God sent Jesus that we might be saved!
I don’t know about you, but it thrills me that the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, the Great I Am, has chosen to call me friend…
As we look around with eyes of faith, we will notice that this friendship permeates every area of our lives. It means that we don’t have to be ashamed, hiding our sin in the deepest recesses of our souls. Because God is El Shaddai, God is our all sufficiency. When we fall down, God picks us up! When we get lost, God leads us to safety. When we feel sad, God fills us with joy! When we are in darkness, Jesus, the Light of the World, illuminates our path!
Isn’t this wonderful GOOD NEWS, my friends! Often as humans we feel like we are stumbling around in the dark. We strain the eyes of our hearts to see what the future holds. We worry, fuss, and cuss when we feel like we don’t know what is going on around us!
But, today we are reminded that the darkness is not dark to God! There is nothing that God does not know and nowhere that we can go—or hide—that God cannot see! Since this is true, we need not be afraid to come to the Light, to expose our deeds, to receive God’s forgiveness, and then walk in bold confidence knowing that the bright light of God’s countenance leads us onward and upward to glory land!
I am constantly thrilled by God's Great Love and Amazing Grace toward us. The old folks in my church used to sing, "Cain't nobody do me like Jesus, Cain't nobody do me like the Lord!" They were right.
Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so...
Now, ain’ta that good news?!
Have you put all of your faith in Jesus? Do you believe that you will inherit eternal life? (If you can’t answer YES to both questions, please pray with me.)
Dear God, I know you love me and I love you too. I believe that Jesus died on the cross and that you raised him from the dead! Please forgive all of my sins and fill me with your Holy Spirit. I want my whole life to declare your praise and glory. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
If you just prayed that prayer for the first time, today, you are saved! I would be so honored if you would let me know about your decision by clicking “Yes” in the poll located at the top/right of today’s devotional! I am so happy for you! Happy Spiritual Re-Birth-Day!
Next steps: You may be asking, “Now what?” Let me suggest that you consider telling another Christian about what you did today so that they can celebrate with you! Ask them to help you find a Bible that is easy to read so that you can learn more about your new-found faith! Ask them to help you find a good Bible believing church where you can make new friends who will walk with you on your new journey! Congratulations!
We are celebrating with all of the people who have put all of their hope in Jesus over the last three days! Happy Re-Birth-Day!
You are invited to follow Pastor Yolanda on Twitter www.twitter.com/PastorYolanda
Good News has now added a Prayer Ministry. http://www.kindlejoy.com/groups/goodnews
SIX DAYS: The Good News Living Book Club will be reading Hinds Feet On High Places by Hannah Hurnard during March. Please mark your calendars for our very first book club meeting to be held on Saturday, March 28, 2009, at 9:00am in the Good News Living Chat Room. Even if you don’t read the book, please join us for a discussion of our faith!
You are invited to leave comments or questions regarding today’s devotional. These comments are public.
EACH ONE--REACH ONE! To share GOOD NEWS with a friend please click the "Share With Friends" button to the right! Thanks for reading and please come again.
Pastor Yolanda extends a very special welcome to our friends reading outside of the United States of America! We are honored that you are sharing with us today.
From Pastor Yolanda’s blog http://aintathatgoodnews.blogspot.com/