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Monday, March 20 – John 3:11-16 

When I sought out everyone’s favorite Bible verses, it was no surprise that John 3:16 was one of the most popular. John 3:16 is one of the first Bible verses we memorize. And John 3:16 is a short succinct summary of the entire gospel story. Knowing and understanding this one verse can bring a person to salvation. If you are looking for a way to share the gospel, memorize John 3:16 and be ready to explain what it means. 

A dive into what the word “believe” means is important. Belief in God is not a simple acknowledgment of existence. Belief means “to have faith in.” Belief means “to trust in God for your salvation.” Belief mean “to believe that Jesus has the ability to give you eternal life.” That’s a lot of meaning in one word! 

It is most likely that the majority of people reading this know John 3:16. You likely have had it memorized for many years. Do me a favor today. Recite these words over and over today. Consider each part of the verse. Meditate on these words and hear from God. What is it that stands out to you today?  


Tuesday, March 21 – John 3:17-21 

One of our church members loaned me Scott Drew’s (men’s basketball coach at Baylor) new book to read. In that book, he retells an old preacher story about entering heaven. In the story, a man has died and is headed to heaven’s gates where St. Peter is waiting (we should probably have a discussion about what to really expect in heaven, but that’s not part of this story). St. Peter tells the man that he must earn 100 points to get into heaven. Piece of cake, the man thinks. The man says, “I was pastor of a church for 30 years.” “Great,” Peter says, “that’s 2 points.” “Two points!,” the man exclaims. “Well,” the man continues, “I was an overseas missionary for 10 years.” “That’s 5 points,” Peter says. At this point, the man is starting to get worried. He says, “goodness, the only way I’m going to get in is by the grace of God.” “Exactly,” Peter says, “that’s 100 points.” 

The way we will judged when we die is by one question and one question only. “Did you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior?” The one who accepts Christ, or what John 3:18 says as “believed,” is not judged for all the mistakes they have made. The one who does not have faith in Christ is already condemned no matter how many “points” they think they have earned. You cannot earn your salvation. God sent his Son into the world so that we can be saved. It is only by God’s grace and love that we can be saved. 


Wednesday, March 22 – Matthew 14:13-21 

God’s love means putting himself second. Look at verses 13-14. Jesus wanted to be by himself because of the news about John. But because of his love and compassion toward the crowds, he taught the people, healed the sick, and even fed them at night. Jesus put the needs of the people ahead of his own needs. The compassion that drives Jesus is a gut level love for people. It’s a punch-in-the-stomach type of feel when you know you just have to help someone. Have you ever experienced that type of feeling? Maybe it was the Holy Spirit convicting you to help someone.  

There is only one other place in the New Testament when this word for compassion/pity/ love is used. In the Parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10, it is the Samaritan who has pity on the man who is badly beaten. What a message about the love of God and the love that we are to share with others. God’s love is a love that shows compassion to those who are in desperate need. Those who are hungry, those who are sick, and those who are hurt. Thank goodness for this love that God shows. May we go and do likewise. 


Thursday, March 23 – Judges 3:7-11 

These four verses are the perfect summary of what is known as the Judge Cycle. The cycle gets a little murky as you go through Judges, but the cycle is Israel worships idols, God is angered and allows them to be oppressed by a foreign ruler, Israel remembers God and cries out to him, God hears their cry and raises up a deliverer, the deliverer brings peace to the land for awhile until Israel starts to worship idols again. Silly Israel…how do they always find themselves in these predicaments? How do they always forget what God has done in the past? Why do they always fall to idols? We’d never do that right? 

The more things change, the more they stay the same. As individuals, families, and churches, we follow God’s lead for a time, but then we get distracted. This shiny object over here or this new idol over there grabs our attention. And then we wonder why our lives have gotten off track. Then we recommit to God and our lives get better (not always our circumstances, but definitely our lives). But then we get distracted. And so on and so on.  

It’s so amazing that every time we come to our senses and cry out to God, he rescues us from ourselves. It’s so amazing that his love is never ending. No matter how many times Israel messed up, God was there to help when they cried out to him. No matter how many times we mess up, God is there to help when you cry out to him. That’s how much God loves you and me. 


Friday, March 24 – Hebrews 4:14-16 

Have you ever tried to talked to someone about your problems only to realize they didn’t have a clue? This happens quite often in parenting it seems. The foremost experts on parenting are people who do not have any kids. It’s amazing how adults who have no experience with kids seem to always have all the answers on how to parent. They know how to get a baby to sleep. They know how to get kids to act right in the store. They know how to get children to sit still. Of course, I’m being sarcastic. When you have a conversation about struggles you are having with your kids, everyone is full of advice. And when they give advice, you can quickly realize which people don’t have a clue. 

Our God loves us so much that he left his throne in heaven to live a human life on earth. As our verses say for today, “we do not have a great high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses…” We have a God who knows what it is like to be tempted. We have a God who can give us mercy and grace in our moment of need because he knows exactly what we are going through. We do not have a God who is aloof and doesn’t understand what it is like to be human. Let us approach our God with confidence knowing that he can help us in our times of need because he truly knows what we are going through. 


Saturday – Sunday, March 25-26 – Psalm 136

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