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March 17

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.
John 3:16

Here is the favorite text of many Bible readers, and a verse that many have committed to memory. It may well be the greatest verse in all of Scripture. Martin Luther (1483-1546) called it “the heart of the Bible, the Gospel in miniature.” In just these few words the whole Bible is contained. It is simple enough for a child to comprehend but overwhelms the greatest of minds.

For seven nights in a row the American evangelist, Dwight L. Moody (1837- 1889) sat enthralled as he heard the young English preacher, Henry Moorhouse, expound on John 3:16. Moody said that until he heard that series of sermons he had thought that God hated sinners. But now he knew that God loves sinners, and Moody’s preaching changed, and God’s love for all became the driving force of his ministry.

Santa Claus might like only the nice little boys and girls, but not so God! God loves each one of us and he loves each one of us just as we are. God’s love reaches to the ends of the earth, to all those who are in rebellion against him, the people who hate him, and the people who don’t even give him a thought.  And God’s love for us is not just some sentimental, hazy feeling, but a love demonstrated in the giving of his only Son. The measure of God’ love for you and me is his Son. There is nothing we could ever do to earn his love, but we do need to receive it. Let God love you today.

On this day that we celebrate the birth of the Irish missionary, St. Patrick (circa AD 387–461), who told the world of God’s love. Let us join St. Patrick in his prayer:

May the Strength of God guide us.
May the Power of God preserve us.
May the Wisdom of God instruct us.
May the Hand of God protect us.
May the Way of God direct us.
May the Shield of God defend us.
May the Angels of God guard us.
Against the snares of the evil one.
May Christ be with us!
May Christ be before us!
May Christ be in us,
Christ be over all!
May Thy Grace, Lord,
Always be ours,
This day, O Lord, and forevermore. Amen.

MEDITATION

Soaking in Scripture…
Today’s Andy Moments…

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