Always time for John 3:16

Lauren's verse

Lauren’s verse

Right in the middle of Sunday’s sermon, Lauren leaned over to me and loudly whispered, “How do you spell ‘world’?”

I glanced down ready to shush her, and saw what she was diligently working on.

Normally, Lauren likes to copy the sermon notes from the screen, because now that she’s in Kindergarten, words (especially ones she recognizes) are very interesting! But, she had abandoned her notes for a new, more important, endeavor.

On her little notebook paper, Lauren had written:

“For God so loved the”

And so, I whispered back to her: “W-O-R-L-D”.

I am sure the rest of the sermon was convicting and edifying, but God was giving me a lesson of my own and I watched Lauren sound out words and write out the most beautiful of verses, John 3:16.

On Lauren’s prompting, I spelled out a few more words, like “begotten” and “everlasting”. She was determined to etch out on paper what was already imprinted in her heart.

John 3:16 is always worth the time.

So this morning when Lauren came to me crying right in the middle of her devotions (the Bible App for Kids), I stopped what I was doing. We went to a private place and talked about what was going on. She was experiencing conviction. She had a dream last night that she had died and that scared her. She had been thinking about that and others she knew that were no longer here with us, and not knowing what would happen after death worried her tremendously. This scenario has occurred several times in the last few months. Each time I have shared with her how she can have peace and know she would be with Jesus, but she wasn’t ready to pray and begin her personal relationship with Jesus (and I did NOT want to push her).

This morning was different. Jesus has been part of her life from the beginning, loving her and gently drawing her to Himself. Lauren knew how she could have hope and be with Jesus forever. And so, before I could even begin to share the Gospel again with her, she burst out in prayer! She asked Jesus, with all sincerity and love, to come into her heart. As we continued to talk, she asked God to forgive her sins, she told Him that she believed in Jesus and His death on the cross, and in her own precious words committed her life to God.

When she opened her eyes, the only tears that remained were mine. Her eyes lit up as she smiled, because her fear had been replaced with God’s peace.

After a few joyous announcements to Daddy and her big brother, we had to make a few phone calls, too. That put us behind on the morning to get the kids to school.

And, none of us were concerned about that. Because there’s always time for John 3:16.

I’m not dead anymore

great grace

But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love that He had for us,made us alive with the Messiah even though we were dead in trespasses. You are saved by grace!
– Ephesians 2:4-5

I used to be dead.

Not fake dead, or halfway dead. Dead dead.

And now, I’m writing to you. So, obviously a miracle happened to take my very dead self, and bring me to life.

It’s called grace.

My dead, buried-in-sin soul, was resurrected by grace.

Life can only come from God, and my wrongdoing, my sin, had murdered my connection with Him. So, I lay dead in the pit my sin had drilled, separated from my Creator.

Yet, in the vast richness of His mercy, God saw me when I couldn’t see. He loved me though I was decaying in the darkness. He loved me in my shameful ugliness and bitter death.

He
loved
me.

God’s great love compelled Him to action. He couldn’t leave me there. He had to intervene.

So, He exchanged His life for mine. He freely gave to me what cost Him everything.

Grace means receiving something good that I do not deserve.

This is amazing grace.

And I’m not dead anymore.