The verse that follows

Most of us had had John 3:16 memorized in the first month of becoming a Christian; that's a verse even non-believers are probably familiar with. Sometimes we pull it out on it's own and forget to keep reading. I love verse 17 "For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him." As we think of the missional goals of our church body, I want to always remember that we are not being sent out to judge or condemn. We are sent out with a saving message of love and grace for the world.

Which are you quickest to do? I have to admit that my ability to judge grows greater as my cup empties. I can only love others when I'm full of the love and grace of Jesus Christ. We must fill up each day in order to live in the light and pour out into the darkness.

Have you already judged today? Make it your goal to share God's grace and love with someone today.


favorite paraphrase

One of my favorite passages that Eugene Peterson paraphrased in the Message is from John chapter 1. Here it is:
The Word became flesh and blood and moved into the neighborhood.
God moved into the neighborhood. I love that.
And that changed everything.
He still lives in the neighborhood.
When Jesus left, He promised us that He would send a helper, a counselor.
The Holy Spirit is still here...still in the neighborhood.
Wherever you are. Whatever you are doing. God is in the neighborhood.
I wonder how things would change if we were more aware of His presence. Not to scare us or guilt us. But to empower us and lead us.
God is in the neighborhood. And He desperately loves you and me.