"'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. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.'" — John 3:16-17 (NIV)
Jesus spoke these words to a doubting Pharisee named Nicodemus during a nighttime visit Nicodemus made to Jesus. Despite the clandestine nature of the visit, the words Jesus spoke during it have shone brightly throughout Christian history. These two verses from the Gospel of John are, in fact, the fastest and easiest way to describe God's salvation plan for the world: "God loves ... God sends Jesus ... God saves." But the best part of these words is the object of God's triple action — us, the whole world. God is not an angry judge in heaven. God is a loving God who sent Jesus to save us. When we believe this simple truth, it is a salve to troubled minds and spirits, shining a light into even the darkest night.
Prayer: Loving God, You loved this world to give up Your only Son, Jesus, for our sake. May we ever rest in the assurance of these gracious words. Amen.
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