I have a plaque hanging on the wall in my dining room. The beloved verse up there keeps catching my attention as I eat my meals. Here is the verse that we all love:
John 3:16 – For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life. (NKJV)
I can't recall when I first heard or read John 3:16. I must have been very young. The family often had worship around the breakfast table, and I remember kneeling at my chair as the family took turns praying. The beloved verse often came up, and we all felt greatly loved.
The wording, "only begotten Son", never bothered me back then, but what does it mean? The phrase was used to describe the relationship that Jesus has with God the Father and to highlight Jesus as uniquely sharing the same divine nature of God. The New International Version translates the phrase as "his one and only Son."
How beloved Jesus was as He came into the world to help us! We all need help because we are all sinners, intent on going our own sinful ways. But when we acknowledge Jesus as Lord, He saves us from the sins that try to control us, and with Him, we are free to rejoice at our salvation.
Although we know that God has only one Son, Jesus, Paul in Ephesians speaks of believers as having a relationship with God as His sons and daughters by adoption:
Ephesians 1:4b-5 – In love, he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will. (NIV)
As believers, we are adopted sons and daughters of God. That makes Christ our Brother. These are human terms that help us to understand the relationship between the Father, the Son, and us.
As life goes on, let us thank the Lord for drawing us into His family as sons and daughters. As we live in Jesus' Spirit, we belong to Him. We feel at ease, content and happy as we go through each day. As the beloved verse says, how comforting it is to know that we are so loved by God. As we age, it is wonderful to be held in God's loving embrace, knowing that in Him, we will not perish. Thank the Lord! We are safe and eternally at home in God's family.
Prayer: Father God, we love You and thank You for welcoming us into Your family as Jesus brings us home to You. Thank You for Jesus. May many people today come to appreciate what it means to have a loving Father God, as Jesus introduces them to You. We love You, Lord, and rejoice as we are welcomed home by You. Amen.
Listen to this devotional
Listen while you read: "The Church's One Foundation" (Lyrics)