Not surprisingly, John 3:16 is the most well-known scripture in the world. Why exactly would this be? It most likely has to do with the fact that the Gospel is wrapped up in this one verse of the Bible.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
One of the things this world has a hard time comprehending is that our eternal destiny is given to us as a choice. Why would an all-powerful, just, good God give the people He created a choice? If they live a good life would that not be enough to grant admission into heaven and life eternal? This train of thought keeps many from ever accepting the Son and what He has done for them. They do not see any importance to His death and resurrection. They could be judging God based on what they have seen religious institutions do in the past but never being involved in the Church. On our own strength we have no way to redeem ourselves from the sin that separates us from the relationship God desires to have with us.
How then do we reach people around us when we as believers do not understand, let me explain;
On one hand we talk about the fact that we cannot force someone to accept Jesus into their lives, yet in the next breath we are praying that God will ‘soften’ their hard hearts to the truth.
Well God does not force Himself into people lives. Revelations says that Jesus is knocking at the door. Some days we wish Jesus was there at the door ready to kick it in, but He patiently waits for each person to open the door. How do they know who is on the other side of the door? That is what we are called to do, we are to tell others about who Jesus is so that they freely desire to open the door to Him. We need to be His salt and light in this world, showcasing who Jesus is, telling others why we accepted Him. Using the simple Gospel in this verse to be your starting point.
Father, today I pray that we be your salt and light, reflecting who you are in this world. Help us to remove the fear that holds us back from sharing your love with this world. The moment of possible rejection is a small price to pay for exposing them to the truth that can free them from an eternity of suffering. Give us wisdom to speak life into their lives. Use us to fulfil the mission. Amen.
Here in the fifth book of the Bible, we see the armies of Israel on the border of the Jordan River ready to cross over and take the rest of the land God had promised them. Two tribes were given this side of the Jordan.
But to the Reubenites and the Gadites, I gave the territory extending from Gilead down to the Arnon Gorge (the middle of the gorge being the border) and out to the Jabbok River, which is the border of the Ammonites
Forty years of wandering and they had made it this far. The people were tired but excited to finally have arrived. As they conquered the land on one side of the Jordan the two tribes of Israel who were to settle this land were probably feeling like their journey was over, they had arrived. If we continue reading God commands that all able-bodied men from these two tribes must continue on and help clear the remainder of the land. I would expect there may have been some grumbling from those men as they want to establish homes for their wives and livestock who would have to wait. They also had to trust God that the Ammonites on their new border would not take advantage of the situation and invade taking all their women, children and livestock.
God had brought them to the land as promised and asked for just a little more before they could settle down. He was showing them that all the family is important. Just as Jesus taught about the body of believers here all the tribes were important. They had to work together for all the land to be conquered. How can this then relate to us as believers? We are a family. Even if I receive what God is blessing me with I can expect that He is asking me to help others. We are not living this journey alone and we need to rely on each other. There may be risks involved, like leaving our family’s seemingly unprotected but trusting that God will protect them from adversity. The rewards for obeying God outweigh the consequences of disobedience. James 4:17 reads ‘Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it’. If the two tribes had turned to Joshua and said ‘sorry dude, you got enough men we will not follow you across the border’ I don’t think God would have been pleased with their choice.
Are you listening to what God is asking you to do today? Has God given you much and now asking you to do more? What is it that you are hesitating to give God or od for Him? If what He is asking you to do is uncomfortable and feels like if you do it everything will fall apart, you need to trust that He has a plan, he will protect. He doesn’t desire that you suffer but wants you to bless you for your obedience.
Father, today there are some reading this who are hesitating to follow the direction you are leading them. Maybe they have been given a word of where to go, the job to take or who not to have a relationship with. They are scared of what they may lose by choosing your direction. I pray that they will see that by choosing to follow you they will gain so much more. Give them the strength and wisdom to choose you. Help us as believers to work the mission of reaching others in our daily walk and keep strong in our faith no matter what the adversity. Amen