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. ~ Jesus Christ, as told in John 3:16 (ESV)
So many words have been devoted to this passage of Scripture — you have likely seen it depicted in many places, including at sporting events, for decades. You may even know what those words mean, and if you are a Christian, then you have probably heard these words preached to you in Church at some time during your life. This one verse is perhaps the one that almost everyone knows, whether they are a Christian or not. But what I like about this verse is that it reminds us each time that God loves us so much that He would give his only Son to die for us. That kind of love isn’t seen much in this world anymore, it seems, but it does exist. It exists in our military, who die defending our country and our freedoms. It exists in our police and fire departments, who die doing their job of protecting those that need their help. That kind of love is seen in countless other ways as well. But that one verse is accompanied by several others that really paint the picture of what being a Christian is all about. Read further:
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 works were evil. 20For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. 21But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.” ~ John 3:17-21 (ESV)
The problem with this world is that we love the darkness rather than the light; we love the things that the darkness hides, and none are innocent of this; not the non-Christian, and not the Christian either. The good news of the Gospel, though, is that God has sent His Son, Jesus, to pay the penalty of sin for us. Being a Christian doesn’t mean that you don’t sin anymore — if anything, being a Christian means that you are more aware of the times you sin than a non-Christian is, and you may realize how much more you sin than you ever imagined. But being a Christian means that you have put your faith, your hope, and your trust in Jesus, and that He will forgive you of the mistakes you make as a result.
So, when you feel like there is no good news anywhere, just remember the words of John 3:16-21, and remember that God loves you. Now, please pray with us on our prayer requests and praises.
Prayer Requests and Praises
- Prayers for Russ Andrews as he prepares to welcome those that are coming to Edenton Street United Methodist Church tonight for The Men’s Study Bible Study invitation dinner. Here’s to a large turnout of men, all feeling the nudge of the Holy Spirit on their soul and with a thirst for God’s Truth! (This prayer request was for this past Tuesday; please continue to pray for the study that officially begins on September 13. You can register here if you wish to sign up.
- Maria has a prayer request for Finances and Health.
- Annette has a prayer request: For finances and for me to not get anymore headaches thanks
- Prayers for my friend Liz and her daughter Charlotte and all of their family for their upcoming medical treatment.
- Prayers for Leslie and her husband Matthew who is at training.
- Continued prayers for Stephanie and her husband Shane who is deployed.
- Shirley has a prayer request: Mike, my son in law’s mom passed away unexpectedly Sunday. It has been quite a blow to the family, emotionally and financially. Please pray for the family.
- Holly writes: I have a praise: there is NOTHING wrong with my daughters throat…the barium swallow test was negative and she is doing MUCH better!! Thank you so much for your prayers!!
- Amanda has a prayer request: Daniel has a scan the week of the 9/23. Please pray for results moving the right direction!
- Maureen has a prayer request as well: Struggling within myself… my emotions and feelings, processing where I am in life … thanks Mike Ellis!
- Prayers please for our daughter Sophie — tomorrow (August 11) starts the first day of her Sophomore year in high school! Here’s to all of our children having excellent school years, and praise to people like my sister Robin for teaching the next generation of students!
- Praise to my wonderful wife Cindy, today (August 11th) is our 16th wedding anniversary. In that time, we’ve seen Sophie born prematurely, but grow up to be a wonderful, caring, Godly young woman. I love you honey!
- I have a private prayer request as well; prayers for the children of broken families; prayers that the parents would not take out their anger and frustration out on the children; prayers that everyone involved in a divorce would put their children first. Prayers that God would reach down to them all and touch them with His loving touch, and that they would appreciate what they have more.
- Lastly, prayers for all of those unspoken, unwritten prayer requests; prayers that those that are afraid would turn to God to lose their fear. Prayers that we would all remember that God love us. Prayers that we would all remember the words found in John 3:16 and beyond, and that we would rely on God more than we do.
Now, please pray with us a simple, yet powerful prayer — the prayer that Jesus taught us to pray:
Our Father, who art in Heaven,
Hallowed be Thy Name.
Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will be done
On Earth as it is in Heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those that trespass against us.
Lead us not into temptation
But deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the Kingdom, and Power, and Glory
Forever and ever. Amen.