The First 15

Wednesday March 20, 2024

by Jan Davis

Today is Wednesday, March 20 and we are reading through the third chapter of the Gospel of John.

Opening Prayer

Blessed Lord God, thank you for the daily joy of reading scripture and spending time in prayer. Speak to me from the ancient words of John’s Gospel and help me understand the message you have for me. Teach me to listen to your still small voice guiding me throughout my day.

Scripture Reading

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. 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. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 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 3:16-21


Linh was born in Vietnam. As a teenager she escaped with her family on a boat. She was one of the Vietnamese boat people – one of nearly 800,000 refugees who fled following the end of the Vietnam War. Linh and her family found safety and began a new life in the United States where she graduated from college with an engineering degree and was hired by a high-tech firm in Texas. She was raised a Buddhist and faithfully observed the devotions of lighting candles and worshiping an idol of Buddha. In America she was curious about other religious leaders, especially Jesus. She began asking questions of her coworkers who were Christian. She was surprised that no one would tell her much about Jesus. No one claimed he was God’s Son. No one told her he offered salvation to believers. No one invited her to church. Secretly she longed to go. She began to pray to this “Jesus” anyway and eventually got up the nerve to walk into a church by herself and sit on the back row. Weeks later she stopped me after church and introduced herself. “Who is Jesus?” she asked. “Please tell me.”

Jesus is not just a man, a prophet, a teacher, or a historical figure. Jesus is divine. He is one with God the Father, fully divine, God’s Son. He took on humanity and is fully human – knowing humanity, understanding us, dwelling with us. He was betrayed, wrongly accused, tortured, suffered and died on a cross at Calvary. He shed his blood and that blood covers our sin. Through the blood shed by Jesus on the cross, we can confess our sins and they are forgiven, cleansed, removed. We are set free from sin and death. If we believe in Jesus as God’s Son, we have eternal life.

I quoted a scripture from memory. A Bible verse Linh never heard. “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.” She broke down in tears. She cried tears of joy and said over and over, “I believe,” “I believe.” “I know he is real. It is true.” She gave her life to Christ and was baptized.

Throughout my life, I have incorrectly assumed that everyone has heard the words of John 3:16. Didn’t everyone memorize that in children’s Sunday School? I wrongly assume everyone has heard the Gospel and has received the Good News of Jesus Christ. I wonder how many people I pass by everyday who are curious about Jesus, who want to know him, who want to be invited to church, who want to find Christ, who want what I have.

Ask: Who told me about Jesus? How might God want me to share the Good News with someone who doesn’t know Jesus?

Pause and Pray

Closing Prayer

God, you loved the world so much that you gave us Jesus. I believe he is your Son, the Savior who died for all. I pray for those who have not yet met Jesus and who do not believe. Help me pay attention to where your Holy Spirit is moving and show me how to boldly and gently share the truth of Christ with someone today. Amen.

The First 15

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