A while back, I wrote a series of posts centered around John 3:16 that culminated with “God So Loved the World Redux”. For those who haven’t read that series, it briefly took apart this oft quoted passage to determine what Jesus meant. Personally, I had originally thought that it was rather trite and overused. What I discovered was that it is a sentence of pure genius that is so power-packed that it has haunted me ever since I did that short study. Let’s face it. I confess. I have been terrified to delve deeper into it.
It concisely describes God, Jesus and the Gospel in one brilliant breath. It’s the Word in a nutshell and I cannot describe how this glimpse into the mind of God has impacted how I view God, Jesus, my personal faith, the world, and the Church (with a capital “C”). It’s made me question everything. And in this questioning, the Holy Spirit has shown me how this message operates and has already operated through my ministries.
“But can it be that simple, Lord?”
I was in prayerful contemplation one night after the rest of my household had gone to sleep and it occurred to me that the pieces of John 3:16 could be utilized as the basis of a set of revival meetings.
“But can it be that simple, Lord?”
“You tell me.”
“Isn’t that what you did?”
“You told them who God is, who Jesus is and what it means to believe in Him and they all got it and came forward.”
“But those were kids…”
“They listened and they believed. You even told them NOT to come forward.”
“They didn’t listen.”
“Not to you.”
Bam! Right then it hit me right between the eyes. It’s not about me trying to say the right words to make people listen. It’s about me delivering the right message and letting God do the talking. I remember opening up the alter for those children and one kid looked at me and took a step forward. In that instant I knew they were all going to come forward. “Do Not Come Up Here unless you know the Holy Spirit is telling you to!” I said. Then they all came up. Like He said, they didn’t listen to me, they listened to God and that’s how it should be.
they didn’t listen to me, they listened to God and that’s how it should be
Even though that should have taken all the pressure off me, I was not overjoyed by what I was gleaning from this conversation with God. There was that quickening of my spirit but that drove my terror to a new level.
“You Want Me To Do What?!?”
I should have asked that but I didn’t. I was afraid to ask because i was afraid of what the answer might be. I thought I knew what the answer already was. Have you ever had a dream come true? A wish fulfilled? A prayer answered in a profound manner? I’ll tell you what. This was what this was feeling like and if I acknowledged it, my entire life would be changed. I shook my head and told myself that this was the product of staying up too late and wanting a more meaningful life. It was my flesh talking.
But the idea continues to dog me. “All you need to is to work up a series of messages based on the work you’ve already done on John 3:16….Voila! Instant revival”
I would just speak the Truth.
Now….If I were to lead conference or a revival….I would base the whole thing on John 3:16. I would describe God; His attributes, His triune nature, that He is love and loves the world as much as only He can. I would segue the second message from God’s love into His outpouring of that love in Jesus and describe Jesus and who He is and what He did. The next message would continue with Jesus and zero in on the Gospel and the meaning and power of an eternal life. Something like that anyway. I would just speak the Truth. I can’t help thinking that the primary reason the church is so ineffective these days is that it is no longer grounded in the Truth of the Gospel. Maybe it is just taken for granted and so is not being taught like it should. I don’t know. But that’s what I would do.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
Thanks for listening
- Jesus is Equal With God (christophercrandolph.wordpress.com)
- Jesus and The Wedding at Cana: The First Sign (christophercrandolph.wordpress.com)
- God So Loved the World Redux (christophercrandolph.wordpress.com)
- John 3:16, It Begins With God (christophercrandolph.wordpress.com)
- Why I Am Not Opposed to Gay Marriage (christophercrandolph.wordpress.com)
- Another Look at Communion (christophercrandolph.wordpress.com)