John: Day 3

For God so Loved

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Today's Text: John 3:1-36, Ezekiel 36:25-27, 1 Timothy 2:5-6

Text: John 3:1-36, Ezekiel 36:25-27, 1 Timothy 2:5-6

John 3:16 wins the prize for the most well-worn verse in the Bible. Scribbled on bathroom stalls, held high on signs at basketball games, or added to the gear of NFL quarterbacks, John 3:16 is seemingly everywhere. When things become familiar, they sometimes lose their ability to “wow” us. But we still need John 3:16.

In John 3, we find Jesus in a clandestine conversation with Nicodemus, a Pharisee and influential Jew (v. 1). Nicodemus was trying to wrap his well-educated, powerful brain around the fact that the Savior of His people didn’t look like, act like, or teach like Nicodemus thought he should. What Nicodemus was really wrestling with was the gospel.

I’ve always had a soft spot for Nicodemus, probably because I’ve stepped into the ring and gone a few rounds with the gospel myself. There is a tiny corner of my mind and heart that gets it: I am a sinner, deserving of eternal separation from a holy God. Through His death on the cross, Jesus paid the penalty for my sin and made a way for me to be reconciled to the Father (Romans 6:23). But I struggle to convince my whole self that the gospel can be this simple.

Surely, I need a lot of good works to save me.
I mess up so often, God must have changed His mind about me.
Maybe if I run myself ragged, involving myself in every possible ministry, I will please God.

These are the things I tell myself nearly as often as John 3:16 shows up on the side of a semi-truck. It’s what we see when we read between the lines when Nicodemus said to Jesus, “But how can anyone be born when he is old?. . . Can he enter his mother’s womb a second time and be born?” (John 3:4).

A few short verses later, we see Nicodemus finally collide with gospel truth:

“For God so loved the world in this way: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”
- John 3:16

This is so good! Let’s keep reading:

“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”
- John 3:17

When I try to create a list of requirements for my salvation, I do so out of fear and forgetfulness—like Nicodemus. I’m fearful of being punished and forgetful of God’s character. But God loves us so much! That’s why He sent Jesus here—not to condemn us but to save us. His perfect plan for salvation is laid out for us in John 3:16-17.

May these words from our Savior never grow stale in hearts and minds, and may we never grow tired of hearing them.

SRT-John16-Instagram3s

Erin Davis is an author, blogger, and speaker who loves to see women of all ages run to the deep well of God’s Word. When she’s not writing, you can find Erin chasing chickens and children on her small farm in the Midwest.

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  • Christina G

    I feel like Nicademus everyday. How can I be worthy of the Lord when I make so many mistakes

  • Nicole J.

    I love this. Too many Christians turn people away because of condemnation. We are called to love others!

  • This is so true and encouraging! God is good!

  • Lillian Gochee

    This is really true. We still need John 3:16. No matter how many times we have heard it. We are all like Nicademus where we wrestle with how simple and easy the gospel is. We just need to believe and trust in things we can’t see.

  • John 3:5-8 are the key salvation scriptures. One must be born again of the water and of the Spirit to enter the Kingdom of God. The is witnessed again in Acts 2:38.

  • When I try to create a list of requirements for my salvation, I do so out of fear and forgetfulness—like Nicodemus. I’m fearful of being punished and forgetful of God’s character. But God loves us so much! That’s why He sent Jesus here—not to condemn us but to save us. His perfect plan for salvation is laid out for us in John 3:16-17.

  • he gave his one and ONLY son for us. Moms, imagine giving your SON and letting him die on the cross, telling him to do this for US, for our wrongdoings. He gave is son to us because we did wrong. Wow. That is the ultimate sacrifice. That just shows us how much God truly loves us. Hallelujah!

  • Lord Jesus, help us to hold onto the truth of your word! Than you for the free gift of salvation❤️

  • Alexandria

    The list of requirements hit me so hard – I have never thought of it that way?

  • I love the reminder of Ezekiel 36:25-27: “I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.” After yesterday’s reminder (for me, at least) that even though we don’t walk with Him as the disciples did, we can still walk with Him daily if we can get passed the distractions the enemy lays out for us – our modern day idols of a comfy bed in the morning, busy-ness, TV (whatever keeps us from Him), these verses remind us that He will remove all of those idols. He will give us a clean heart, a soft heart, and a new spirit – His Spirit. So, for me it’s about being obedient to give Him my first fruits. Obedience lends itself to consistency with lends itself to a desire for more of Him… because the more I spend time with Him, the softer my heart becomes, so the more I long to spend time with Him.

    • Susan

      Thanks for sharing. I agree and you worded it so well. All I have to do is be faithful…each day to seek him and meet him in his word-where he is revealed to me -if I put in the time. I get distracted easily and need reminders such as yours to “Seek FIRST the kingdom of God.”

    • JLHS

      Spot on! Consistency leads to a greater longing of time with the Lord. >Time = > Relationship

    • Kate

      So awesome! Our church has been doing a series on “The Master Plan”–what it is to be a Christ-follower.. A couple weeks ago, they spoke about obedience to Him. The distractions of this world make it difficult to be obedient to Him, but if we remind ourselves that being obedient to Him just shows how much we love Him!

      John 14:15 “If you love me, keep my commandments!”

      Today, I was almost disobedient to Him and wanted to begin my day without Him.

      I must remind myself of this…

      Luke 9:23 Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.

      So thankful for His unfailing love! Have a blessed day!

  • “When I try to create a list of requirements for my salvation, I do so out of fear and forgetfulness—like Nicodemus. I’m fearful of being punished and forgetful of God’s character.”

    Wow…. hit the nail on the head. Convicting and encouraging.

  • Wow! Such a good word today. I’m a little behind you guys because I started the wrong plan on the 2nd, but it’s been such a blessing to sit and go through what we have so far of John. Today’s read is such a good reminder to not forget the importance of John 3:16. Recently I bought a Bible for a close friend who has been struggling in life and with faith. She didn’t have one, or the means to access one online, and was completely lost when it came to Scripture. So a close friend and I bought her a Bible, sat down and highlighted some of our favorite passages and books, and wrote notes in it for her. We then passed it around to some of our closest Professors and classmates, and had them highlight verses and write notes too. And would you figure, that out of the 25 or 30 of us that sat with that Bible in our hands, not a single one of us thought to come back to John 3:16 and highlight it for her? After I mailed her the Bible, I realized this and today’s reading is such a good reminder, that I needed to hear again, that John 3:16 is heard so often for a REASON. It holds such power, truth, and hope in that verse and in 17. It reminds us that this isn’t about us or what we do, but solely about God and his love, and what he sent his Son to do. Thank you Jesus for this reminder today!

    • Jenna

      Holly,
      I love that you did this for someone! There are times that I wish someone would have done this for me. I’m in college and sometimes I just feel so lost or stressed about where I’m supposed to be in this world.. What should I be doing? On day 1 of this study someone commented and said, “Find the lost, tell them about Jesus and invite them to come and see that the Lord is good.” I loved that and I wrote it in my book so I wouldn’t forget it. Sometimes we are lost and don’t know what to do for ourselves, but when others open our eyes to the words of the Lord it changes everything! Your story inspired me. Everything I write in my bible, I will write the same in another one. When the time comes I will give it to someone who needs it!

  • Heather Fringer

    I loved that John 19- This, then, is the judgement: The light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil. For everyone who practices wicked things hates the light and avoids it, so that his deeds may not be exposed. But anyone who lives by the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be shown to be accomplished by God.

    He must increase, but I must decrease. God I want you to have more in me then I have in myself. I want people to look at me and know that I am reflecting you!

  • Keri McCue

    Such a good word. I know I have moments of becoming “comfortable” in my faith and the weight of John 3:16 tends to get lost in my busy life. I think we all need those moments of refocusing and remember the gravity of what this means for each of us.

    http://www.littlelightonahill.com

  • So many amazing verses in this reading John 3: 5, 15-17, 30, were all really special because they talk about our salvation, and need for Jesus.

  • What is the opposite of overthink?

    • Tina Thomas

      peace….. maybe

    • Andrea

      Underwhelming thoughts?

    • Kat

      Perhaps willful ignorance? (with ignorance is defined as “A lack of knowledge or information” and willful is defined as “having or showing a stubborn and determined intention to do as one wants, regardless of the consequences or effects”)

  • John 3:16 so easy to memorize but it is true it has lost its importance to me because it is so familiar! Back to the basics … for God so loved the world!

  • Kellie G.

    I love the Gospel of John so much. Lately I have been so caught up in if I am doing Christianity “right.” Am I praying, singing, thinking, worshipping…”right?” If I buy this book, this study or this CD of devotionals, will I learn how to be “better.” If I serve in this ministry will God forgive me for these new sins I’ve collected? Of course not. In seasons where our feelings waiver and doubts creep in, what glorious reassurance is the simple Gospel truth of John 3:16. I believe in YOU, Jesus. It’s with faith and faith alone that I might drown in His mercy, abide in His love, and then whatever fruit I need to produce will flow freely from the true vine’s strength. Burrowing deeply into the arms of my Savior tonight, and praying for peace of mind.

    • eah08i

      AMEN!! I have been going through the same thing. It really is so simple and I tend to overcomplicate things at times. God loves us!

    • Heather Fringer

      I am right there with you about trying to do the whole “Chirstian” thing right. I was never raised as one, just knew that God existed and that was about it. Until i met my now husband and he invited me into his church and I fell in love with the church family and atmosphere I am getting to know it a lot more now. We have been going to this church for 3-4 years now and I love it and we just got baptized October 18, 2015. But I have a feeling this study book, my bible and you lovely sisters in Christ is all I am going to need to figure this whole thing out!

    • Nolvia

      Amen, We all go through this at one season of our lives or other. HE LOVES ME !!! Thank you God for that everlasting blessing.

  • Ah John 3. Almost 20 years ago a faithful Christian neighbor who had witnessed to our family with kindness for some time asked my husband if he knew the story of Nicodemus. He (and I) didn’t. The neighbor told my husband to go home and read it. He came home and we both independently read it and the scales came off our eyes! We knew we needed to be born again and were both saved within a short time of each other. Gods word is powerful. It doesn’t have to be added to or interpreted. It’s His word. My heart is full this morning with thanksgiving.

  • It’s true that the Bible is for everyone. I am so encouraged when I read about Nicodemus! Sometimes I feel discouraged, like I’ll never reach faith like a disciple, I need to remember it’s okay to be a Nicodemus. We’re all at different points in our faith journey, and no matter our questions for Jesus, they aren’t silly and they don’t hurt him. He’s just looking for a growing relationship with us, no matter where we are.

    • Emily

      It is very refreshing to know that Jesus wants a growing relationship with us, WHEREVER we are. This is a difficult concept for me, someone who has grown up a believer and was saved at a young age. My journey has had plenty of ups and downs, and when I am in dry, and rocky periods of my walk I tend to forget this desire He has for me. His grace never ends, and his love never stops. I am so thankful for a forgiving God, who wants me to return to Him no matter what state I am in.

      This is the first time I’ve done a “real time” SRT study. I am working on being intentional with my time in His word, prayer, and worshipping Him. Praying the same over all of you!

      • Kristy

        The dry rocky periods are real… thanks for your reminder that regardless of what state we may be in, Jesus’ heart always desires our entire being. And he is faithful.
        Always.

  • Naomi LaBoo

    Ezekiel 36:25-27 won it for me today! He promises me, that He will give me a new heart! That He and not me will take away my idols and cleanse me! He will cause me to walk in holiness! My struggle has been that I feel like it’s left up to me, as the reading says it’s so simple that it’s hard to believe it’s true! I weight Gods love against my sins and it’s hard to believe He doesn’t require anything but belief in Him! The sacrifice has been made! I will definitely be committing these verses to memory!

    • Cecilia

      Won it for me too! I know I’m being tested right now to be more tenderhearted. I am learning but the enemy is coming on strong. This verse positions me to fight the enemy and his lies. I’m also being tested about my idols & so it struck me that He will take away my idols, I only need to stay the path with focus on Him. What a weight lifting off my shoulders. I know what needs to change and have been struggling to do it myself.

  • Today I met with my wonderful Christian counselor, and she asked me what I wanted my life to look like if I could see a few years into the future. I responded “to have more joy”. Then, today I read John 3:29-30 “so this joy of mine is complete. He must increase, but I must decrease”. Thank you Jesus for showing me today that my joy is found in listening to Your voice. I pray that each one of my sisters here today would find their joy in You.

  • Oh, my, I love how a piece of scripture strikes me and then I read the commentary and get a whole new perspective.

    John 3.13 when Jesus tells ol’ Nic, “No one has ever gone to heaven and returned. But the Son of Man has come down from heaven.”

    This verse is so big and full of Jesus’ large love for this world that he would leave the glory of heaven and his godhood to come in after us. I tend to lose sight of his birth and life, focusing more on his death, when everything before and leading up is the catalyst, the very mindful beginning of Jesus’ irrevocable redemption. Can you imagine?

    Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus is everything good and tender and how Jesus draws all of us. It is Jesus pouring the fullness of God’s love into a few short decades of humanness.

    Good grief, I hate losing sight of the magnitude of that.

  • Jennifer Wood

    I haven’t written in this community for a while, but silently enjoyed the Advent season with you all. My brain was fatigued with the first trimester of pregnancy and it was a time to listen more than speak! I was nearing the end of that first trimester looking forward to more lucid moments, when very suddenly at 2 AM on December 30, I lost our little baby at 12 weeks. (If you want to know more of that story, you can read it here- https://agrowinggrace.wordpress.com/2017/01/03/how-a-miscarriage-is-different-for-a-christian-and-how-it-isnt-different/ ) Through this very difficult week, I have been so comforted by God’s Word. Not just the passages that speak to me and my story in this moment, but just it’s constant, unchanging nature, my eternal, unfailing God and His unshakable promises. I so need Him and all of His power and goodness right now when I am incredibly broken and weak. I praise God for His magnificent Word.

    • Kara

      I’m so sorry for your loss ((hugs))

    • Justine Fern

      praying praying praying for you Jennifer – He is so very close to the broken. thank you for sharing.

    • Christine Marie

      I believe God uses these moments for good-to draw us closer to Him. I am a labor and delivery nurse and have helped patients through this loss. My heart hurts for you. In this we still know God is good and faithful even if we can’t understand. Take a listen to “Thy Will Be Done” by Hillary Scott if you haven’t heard it. She had a miscarriage and she wrote the song after I believe. Praying for you Jennifer :)

    • Kara M.

      I am so sorry for your loss. Praying for you!!

  • Oh, wow. 3:17 is like everything in a nutshell. *boom* :)

  • Let us never grow tired of God’s word! He is so wonderful and such a loving God <3

  • Wow…wow wow. . Ezekiel had me in tears along with John 3:30. And then the last stanza of the Tim. In His time.. a testimony at the proper time. And then to hear Jesus say in vs 19-20 This is the verdict:.. Oh ladies.. This is such a masterful point to the 1st commandment. So many distractions happen in our daily lives and interactions with those around us. To know there is a God who not only created us and every thing around us.. fills us to the brim with that living water enabling us to see, hear and obey… just amazing… Some times I just ache for those around me… who don’t believe. And I remember the kindness shown to me that led to my own repentance. Kindness. . Mercy. So thankful for this community. Loving You all today and praying in gratitude for all our hearts to seek him first.

  • In the second paragraph of the guest writer’s piece, it says that Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus was clandestine? Can anyone tell me why it would be clandestine for Jesus to talk to Nicodemus?

    • Hannah

      It might be because Nicodimous defied his peers and had a meaningful conversation with Jesus. His friends would probably look down on him for trying to understand Jesus. Many of his religious friends had hard hearts and did not want to understand. Their minds were made up and they probably thought Nicodemous’s mind should be made up too.

    • JoAnn

      Hi Vicki – try reversing it – it was clandestine for Nicodemus to talk to Jesus. Jesus had no issue speaking with Nicodemus, however Nicodemus being an influential Jew, a Pharisee, may not have want to been seen speaking with Jesus.

  • Thank you so much for this wonderful reminder, it was perfect timing. Currently, I’m preparing for my Step 1 board exam so that I can begin my 3rd year of medical school; at times its been daunting, overwhelming, and stressful to say the least . This post reminded me of the simple but yet powerful fact that my being is so much bigger than an exam or career. Thank you xoxo

  • HE>i , what a reminder, thank you, oh my Father.

  • Recently when I’ve come across John 3:16 the words that stick out are “whoever believes”. So often we as christians argue over who is truly saved based on denomination, good works, looking the part, etc, but those things don’t matter. Whoever! Anyone, truly anyone who believes Christ was sent to save them from their sins is saved, even the worst criminal, even the people we hate. Gods love for ALL people is so great that he denies no one who believes. This verse coupled with the verse in Ephesians that we are saved through faith alone NOT by works so powerfully sum up the awesomeness of our mighty God.

    • Maria Jones

      So nicely said. “whoever believes”, it is not for us to decide anything, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought that <3

  • I have seen John 3:29-30 with a big highlighter just now. I always wondered how John was so generous in his ministry to turn all eyes ro Jesus. He was waiting, prepared all his life for this moment of the start of Jesus ministry. Wnen John heard Jesus voice, he was filled with JOY. For the moment my striving ,my do lists have stopped running me ragged. To wait in the still early morning for HIS voice to give comfort ,guidance and strength is everything I need. Right here.

  • I love the prayer at the end. May we never go tired of hearing such beautiful words! Amen

    http://www.in-due-time.com

  • I have a question ladies! Do we know why John the Baptist continued his ministry after meeting Jesus, instead of dropping everything to follow Him? (John 1:29-35; John 3:22-30). If his purpose was to “baptize with water so that he may be revealed” (1:31), why did he continue once Christ was revealed to Him? Why did a man whose purpose was to prepare the way, meet Christ and then simply continue with his life? My guess is that his work was not over in preparing the way even though Christ was among men. Perhaps there is an obvious answer, just wondering if anyone has any insight! Thanks ladies!

    • Kate

      Maybe he was preparing those who had not yet had the amazing fortune to meet Jesus. I’m sure as news spread of Jesus’ ministries many would have been flocking to the area and so maybe John was able to minister to them on the way. Not sure though… good question!

    • Nancy

      I think you hit the nail on the head Jennifer-he still had work to do, Jesus didn’t tell/ask him to stop. I also have a question. John & Jesus were cousins, right? So why did John say twice in the first chapter ‘I did not know him’ when referring to Jesus? Did he mean that he didn’t know Jesus was the Messiah until that time, even though he knew him as family?

    • Bonnie

      I think you answered your own question. He wasn’t finished with his work yet. There were people who still needed to hear. Jesus was now a man. Limited by time and space. He could only be one place. John was able to be somewhere else spreading the news and now, pointing people directly to Jesus. He had disciples, people that followed him. It was a transition that was happening. He was decreasing, Jesus was increasing.

    • Jennifer

      Love it, thanks ladies!

  • Today, I was hit by Ezekiel 36:27 – “I will place My Spirit within you and cause you to follow My statutes and carefully observe My ordinances.”

    I love this, because it’s a promise that He will change me so that I can follow Him. I struggle with wanting to. Something happened in my life recently that made me super on fire for getting to really know my Jesus again, which I’m glad for. But then I got back into the swing of my regular life..and it’s hard. In those moments, I don’t want to stop thinking of myself. I don’t want to step outside of myself to figure out what the most God honoring response to a situation is. But I need to. Fortunately, even when I mess up, He still loves me. And with each of those moments, I’m changing little by little. And not because I’ve been able to will the change, but because He is slowly changing me, as He has promised.

    • Sam

      For the same reason we do work for Jesus, to try and bring others to Him and His love. Because we are called. John has been called and His work was not complete. Sometimes we can do something someone else can not to advance the kingdom because of a gift God has given us. John was simply using his God given gift to lead people to Jesus, to help Jesus increase.

  • churchmouse

    My heart’s desire is to be a God pleaser and not a man pleaser. God far desires that I find my being in Him rather than in doing for Him. The doing will flow out of the being and there will be no condemnation. Others (even within the church) may suggest I do and do but I must first dwell in Him. The more I dwell in Him, the less striving for perfection, the less trying to make myself worthy. Futility! That all falls away as I encounter His mercy, grace and love.

  • Laura Andersen

    HI ladies! I’d love if you would be praying for me today: I just graduated from college in December, and the Lord provided me with an awesome teaching job at a middle school. Today will be my first day with students, which is so exciting and nerve racking at the same time. If you have a chance, I’d love that you would be praying for my confidence and ability to teach well. Thank you!
    I was thankful for the reminder this morning that each of the students I will meet today is a prized possession of our Father!

    • candacejo

      Prayed for you this morning! ♥

    • Praying for you, Laura! May you feel the strength and joy of Jesus all day today!

    • Renee

      Praying for you too, Laura!

    • ~ B ~

      Praying for you this morning, Laura! What an exciting day! Congrats!

    • You will be in my prayers this morning! My husband is also a teacher (high school).

    • Prayed for you, Laura!!! Teaching kids is such a gift! May you be filled with strength and patience today:)

    • churchmouse

      Praying for you and so grateful you have this opportunity to shine His light in your classroom

    • Lynne

      Laura, your SRT sisters have got you covered! I have already prayed for you. Teaching is definitely a calling. May God bless you as you fulfill His calling for you!

    • Michelle Buzek

      Laura, praying that you feel God’s presence today! God bless you for teaching, I come from a family of teachers and know how under appreciated teachers are!

    • Audra

      Praying for you as only another middle school teacher can! Praying the Lord would provide you with a class of inquisitive students & fun & loving co-teachers. May you be salt & Light as you enter your new mission field!

    • Sam

      Laura, from one teacher to another, so many prayers for you!! You really are doing some of God’s most awesome work. When it gets tough just remember that these children all belong to God, and just thank Him for the awesome opportunity to guide their path in some way. When it gets tough, just remember that He holds them (and you) in His hands, that you are doing ALL you can, the best way you know how, and that it IS ENOUGH because God has it handled. He’s got it. Never forget the power of praying over their desks, over your desk, over the whole classroom. It changes things!! I’m thankful for you, fellow teacher! You are doing great things for the kingdom of God. When the work feels small and not very rewarding (because, believe me, sometimes it just will) remember you are planting seeds, and seeds handled with care grow into strong plants!

    • Jenn

      Prayed for you this afternoon. I hope it all went awesome!

    • Brenda Gallagher

      Praying that you had a good day and that the days ahead are rewarding.

  • Feeling admittedly troubled and feeling exactly like Nicodemus this morning as I read the simple gospel truth, recognizing fully that THIS is the “stuff”, THIS is what matters in life, and feeling like it is almost incongruent to the disposition of my earthly mind and concerns in my moment-to-moment world. It’s as though sometimes I just don’t get it, like it does not compute, like intellectually I hear the words but ask, like he, the wrong question (“So….do I go again into my mother’s womb, or..?”). I am overcome by my insecurities this morning based on the statement of someone dear to me, and I am left desperately trying to reconcile the gospel truth with my shallow but important-seeming concerns in an attempt to console my worries heart and wounded spirit, and wondering how I can sort of transpose the truth that I am loved and free and accepted and secure and safe onto my “now” worries. I’m trying hard to make the gospel apply to everything, as I know it truly does, and failing to do so.
    I don’t know if any of this makes sense. Sort of seems like vague babble on my end. Wondering this morning if anyone else is frantically grappling with how to make the importance of the gospel tangibly central to their life in a world where the shallow still needs to be tended to. I wish it were as simple as laying down one’s selfishness and blinking a new mindset into existence. I fear my pride is what keeps this chasm, as I refuse to believe I can release my ego in this world for the truth of Christ. I don’t want to be a Christian that is only on fire when I’ve “handled” the things I need to on my end in order to feel “good” about myself – I want the gospel to shine through brokenness. What a struggle for my heart…I do understand Nicodemus in a new way today.

    • K

      I so “get it.” Praying for you this morning, J. I’m grateful that there is grace for our confusion and frantic grappling, too. Blessings on your day!

      • J

        I’m so thankful for your prayers, K. You blessed my heart. Praying that you too will feel an outpouring of grace today where you need it most, and that you have a beautiful day knowing you are so loved by our Good Father!

    • C

      ” . . . how to make the importance of the gospel tangibly central to their life in a world where the shallow still needs to be tended to. I wish it were as simple as laying down one’s selfishness and blinking a new mindset into existence . . .”

      J – your words resonate with me today! Thanks for sharing your heart. We’ll get there – through His grace.

      • J

        Thank you for your response, C! Your encouragement jolted me for this day – I thank God for your heart! Through His grace. Praying great blessing over your day and that you feel the nearness of Jesus in all aspects of your life!

    • KB

      Aaah, J., my pride has tripped me up so many times. The process of sanctification can be hard, but the Lord never gives up on us. The verse that came to my mind for you is: “If God is for us, who can be against us?” It’s found in the 8th chapter of Romans. I think we all know what it’s like to have someone close to us say something that wounds our spirit. Read Romans 8 and marinate in the truth laid out from the first verse to the last verse. Especially let your heart be comforted by the final 9 verses. So much good there for a hurting heart. Also remember John 10:10. It is the enemy who wants to steal, kill, and destroy but Jesus has come to give you abundant life! I’m praying for you, dear sister in Christ!

      • J

        KB – Thank you. Knowing I am not alone in my struggles and wounds has given me great peace today. I am amazed and thankful at the power of community between sisters in Christ. I can’t wait to tuck in to the Scriptures that you shared with me all throughout this day. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your sharing! I wish you great joy and peace in Christ today and pray special blessing and inspiration from our Lord for you as you draw near to Him today, sister!!

    • Leslie

      I love your transparency. I so identify with what you’re saying. This life, as a Christian, is a journey. It’s a road that takes us up and down and around. We learn, we take steps backwards, we relearn. I think the point is that when we stumble, we cling tight to Jesus. He knows we will stumble. Praying for you J, that you cling tight and hold to the truth that you are born again. When God looks at you, he sees his Son who already paid the price and redeemed you. He does not see the sin, he sees you dressed in robes of white and righteousness.

  • Sally Sparrow

    “But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.” John 3:21

    This resonated with me after the previous readings. The theme of the light seems to striking. God bought light into the world, light is not defeated by darkness and here we are shown that we can come into the light, through the truth. We can see. We are blessed. We are saved. Wow, God is so good.

  • I love Ezekial where God will take out our heart of stone and give us a heart of flesh. Also He will give us his Spirit so that we have the strength to do His will. This truly is good news.

  • Christina

    Thank you for today’s reading. It’s taken me 38 years to really get close to Jesus and I still struggle because I have a diseased mind. “The light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed.” Well, my evil works are exposed and it’s nice to know I will not be condemned but renewed by simply repenting and believing and acting in a manner that will lead me to the lighter way of life.

    • Sam

      Give your mind over to Him every morning and He will be faithful to renew your mind. Just ask Him over and over. “He who has started a great work in you will be faithful to complete it.” He will take away diseased thoughts. I am believing this for you. And I know He will. I’ve walked through depression, anxiety, a near suicide attempt, and other struggles that affect my thoughts. It’s my cross to bear, but don’t I know how He has changed me. Praying for you!!!

  • Kasey Summers

    “He must increase, but I must decrease” John 3:30
    This is my prayer today!! Praying our eyes would be focused on Jesus- on living to love others so they can see Christ through us!

  • Laura Kane

    I love how even our works are shown to be accomplished by God (not by us!) in verse 21.

  • “Surely, I need a lot of good works to save me. I mess up so often, God must have changed His mind about me.
    Maybe if I run myself ragged, involving myself in every possible ministry, I will please God. ”
    These same words written by Erin used to haunt me. But, just recently, I have finally come to terms with the absolute fact that His grace and His mercy are new, Every. Single. Morning. How freeing was that realization! I still mess up, but I know that He will not change His mind about loving me, and for that, I am eternally grateful. Live today knowing that He offers that very same grace and mercy to you!

    • Kelsie

      I LOVE how you put that, Karen. “His grace and His Mercy are new, Every. Single. Morning.” It’s so hard to feel like you are pleasing the Lord or moving forward in your faith when you are so concerned with the sins you committed the day before. This characteristic of God, extreme forgiveness, with no stipulations, is amazing to me. I pray that the Lord blesses me with a little bit of grace today so that I may grant forgiveness to students and coworkers.

  • I’m with Tracy. John 3:30 also hit me hard. He must become greater and I must become less!! I need to remember who the “boss” is, to put myself and earthly things below Jesus!

    • Kristine L

      Agreed, ladies! More Jesus, less me! I recently took a new job and have rubbed several people the wrong way with my strong opinions and loud presence. At first I took the “I’m not apologizing for who I am” stance, but as much as God loves me the way He created me, that still doesn’t mean I get to try and outshine Him. I want them to look at me and think of Jesus first.

      • J

        Woah, Kristine – I could have written this. I am in that exact situation at work right now. Loud and outspoken in the face of some injustices…and while that can sometimes feel “right”, it is truly to ask the more important question of who needs to be the focus here and how can I best make Christ shine? I’ll take your wisdom with me today!

  • Sarah_Joy

    God, take my heart of stone and give me a heart of flesh. I pray that the simple truth of your word would sink into my soul like water on parched ground. Remind me that the requirements are met. I am loved. Simple truths I need. Amen

    • Bekah

      Praise God, the requirements are met! I find myself searching for every way possible to redeem myself from my short-comings. My energy would be so much better served praising Him for my redemption! I needed this today. Thank you, Lord.

  • I know that this verse isn’t the highlight of the reading today…but John 3:30 all but stood up and smacked me this morning. “He must increase, but I must increase”. So short and simple but at the same time not simple at All. That is my prayer today, more if Him less of me.

  • JOHN 3:16 of course has so much richness and meaning, but it is JOHN 3:17 that takes my breath away.

Further Reading...