Bible Readings and Devotion for September 14, 2020
Here are the references for the readings. Please look these up in your print Bible, your smartphone app Bible, or your online Bible:
Devotion for September 14, 2020
By Pastor David Tinker
When I was about 6 years old, I had a special ice cream treat. I was with my friend J. K. and his mother at an old-time soda fountain and ice cream counter that was part of a hardware store. My friend’s mother bought ice cream cones for us. These were not just any cones. These were double cones. Instead of ice cream stacked one scoop upon the other, these scoops would be side by side. For my little self it was a delicious, double delight.
Today’s reading provides a much greater double delight. We often read John 3:16 as a verse unto itself. This is the famous passage which reads, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.” That statement of Jesus is a powerful punch of God’s goodness for humanity in just a few words.
John 3:16-17 is a double dose of God’s love and goodness. It is a delicious, double delight of sorts. There are two related and powerful messages from the Lord in these two short verses. Here are both together: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”
We have God’s glorious motivation: Love. We have God’s glorious plan and purpose: to bring Salvation offered to the world. Each verse on its own is something special in the broad message of scripture. Together these give us the broader picture of what God wants for us.
This tells each of us that we are loved by God. This tells us that the greater will of God is life and hope and salvation. It points to the work of the Holy Spirit as noted in Romans 8:1, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” God doesn’t want us to be condemned due to our sin. God’s spirit seeks us out and brings us back into fellowship and friendship with our Heavenly Father. This reconnection with God is the core of what God desires for our lives. When we have that, when we are in Christ Jesus, we have the eternal life promised by Jesus in verse 16. That is truly a double delight.
Almighty and eternal God, so draw our hearts to you, so guide our minds, so fill our imaginations, so control our wills, that we may be wholly yours, utterly dedicated unto you; and then use us, we pray, as you will, but always to your glory and the welfare of your people, through our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen