Words in Red: John 3:16-17

John 3:16-18a (J.B Phillips): For God loved the world so much that He gave His only Son so that everyone who believes in Him shall not be lost, but should have eternal life.  You must understand that God has not sent His Son into the world to pass sentence upon it, but to save it – through Him.   Any man who believes in Him is not judged at all.”

Lord God, this word is so miraculous!  It feels too good to be true – that in simply believing that Jesus is the Son of God who paid for my sins, I will not be judged at all.

What about my sins and failures? My times of unbelief and the negative words I speak?  Can it be true that I won’t be judged for them?  It is true! My heart rejoices that my guilt – all of my guilt – has been removed at the cross!

I can totally relate to Nicodemus as he struggles with this truth as you spoke to Him the night he came to see you.  So what turned Nicodemus around?  How did he go from being unable to wrap his brain around this message of extravagant grace to becoming a disciple who risked everything to go with Joseph of Arimathea to get your body from the cross?  I believe that as Nicodemus walked away from his meeting with you with his brain saying, “Won’t compute”, he couldn’t deny the love he felt when he was sitting with you.  He couldn’t deny the love he saw demonstrated in the miracles You performed. Your Love was demonstrated in those miracles as You sought out the broken, the wounded and the emotionally shattered and brought healing, restoration and change.  He couldn’t deny the power of God you displayed.  And neither can I.  Your words are true and as such, whether I feel as though I deserve grace and mercy so all-encompassing, I can throw all of the weight of my life upon them.

But why is it so hard to take You at Your Word? The concept of a Savior removing all of my guilt and shame, clothing me with His righteousness, and calling me into His family flies in the face of what I know I deserve.  Our world’s system operates on the “eye for an eye” principle. Our human nature wants others to pay for their crimes and believes that we should pay for our own as well.  Yet what we get in Christ is peace, joy, wholeness, healing and a King who fights for us when we least deserve it.

I love the phrase in the Phillips translation, “You must understand”.  Yes, Lord, this declaration that You came not to pass judgment but to save us because You love us – even in our mess – is one we MUST UNDERSTAND. Please put the revelation of Your love deep inside each one of us where nothing in this world can shake it loose!

What about you:

  • Do you UNDERSTAND the vast, incomprehensible love of God for you – a love that would send His Son to the cross to pay your debt when you were a mess, a rebel and a God-hater?
  • Are you aware of the incredible freedom from the torment of guilt, shame, regret and fear that is available to you by believing that Jesus is the Son of God, that He loves you, and that you can never make a mess so big that he will reject you or give up on you?

If you don’t know Jesus as your Savior, I would be honored to pray with you.

Dear God in heaven, I come to you in the name of Jesus. I acknowledge to You that I am a sinner, and I am sorry for my sins and the life that I have lived; I need your forgiveness.

I believe that your only begotten Son Jesus Christ shed His precious blood on the cross at Calvary and died for my sins, and I am now willing to turn from my sin.

You said in Your Holy Word, Romans 10:9 that if we confess (say out loud that) the Lord is our God and believe in our hearts that God raised Jesus from the dead, we shall be saved.

Right now I say out loud that Jesus is the Lord of my soul. With my heart, I believe that God raised Jesus from the dead. This very moment I accept Jesus Christ as my own personal Savior and according to His Word, right now I am saved.

Thank you Jesus for your unlimited grace which has saved me from my sins. I thank you Jesus that your grace never leads to license, but rather it always leads to repentance. Therefore Lord Jesus transform my life so that I may bring glory and honor to you alone and not to myself.

Thank you Jesus for dying for me and giving me eternal life. AMEN.

If you prayed this prayer for the first time, please message me on Facebook to let me know so that I can continue to pray for you. I also want to put some great resources in your hands so that you can learn more about the amazing love that is beginning to transform your life.  Only love can change a person’s heart and you’ve just started that incredible journey!

 

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