I grew up in a Christian home and have been going to the same church ever since I was in preschool. I feel that I have always known about Jesus and that I have always had faith in Him, even if that faith was literally “childlike” faith in my earliest years.
However, I went through an odd time in junior high when, for some reason, I became inexplicably afraid that something could take my salvation away from me. I don’t know how to explain this time in my life in any other way besides this; I was completely scared that someday, down the road in my life, I’d do something to mess up enough that God would give up on me. I can still remember my parents speaking truth over my life during that season of unexplained fear, reminding me that I could be sure that my salvation was secure and showing me Scriptures to help me remember that. After a time, that fear faded, but today’s reading in John 3 reassures my heart still, and I hope it speaks to your heart today, too. John 3:16-21 says,
16 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. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 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.
When we read John 3, I think we often focus so much on the ever so popular verse of John 3:16. As incredible as that verse is, please don’t miss verse 18 today. Whether one has been a Christian for one year or for 50 years, it is always so good (and often, so needed) to be reminded that nothing could ever take away tGod’s love for us or the salvation He has freely given to us. That’s why I love verse 18… it puts those old fears and little thoughts to rest, and it reminds me in such plain language that whoever believes in Jesus is not condemned. It’s such a simple statement, but it is filled with the truth that our lives are to be centered around as Christians: We believe in Jesus, so we are not condemned. Incredible.
The simplicity of this precious truth also reminds me also how simple telling someone else about Jesus can be. I often overcomplicate doing this in my mind, and I psych myself out of sharing about Jesus when I feel a nudge to. Today’s reminder of how simple the Gospel truly is takes some of that burden off, for sure.
Today, rest in the fact that no matter who you are or where you are, no matter what you have done recently and no matter what you did decades ago, if you are in Christ, you are not condemned. And let that truth stir your heart to share this unbelievable fact with others in your life in the same way Jesus shared it here in John 3: Simply.