“God so loved the world.” Jn 3:16
David said, “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered” (Ps 32:1). No matter how hard we work, we can never pay off our sin debt. And thank God we don’t have to, because “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Years ago a congregation decided to honor one of its retired pastors. He was ninety-two, and some people wondered why the church even asked the elderly man to speak. After a warm welcome and introduction, he rose from his chair and walked with great dignity and effort to the pulpit. Leaning on the podium to steady himself, without notes of any kind he began to speak: “When your pastor invited me here, he asked me to talk about the greatest lesson I’ve learned in fifty-plus years of preaching. I’ve thought about it for a few days, and boiled it down to the one thing that has made the most difference in my life and sustained me through all my trials. The one thing I can rely on when tears, heartbreak, pain, fear, and sorrow paralyze me…the one thing that always comforts me: Jesus loves me! This I know, for the Bible tells me so. Little ones to Him belong. They are weak but He is strong. Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me. The Bible tells me so.” You could hear a pin drop as the old man shuffled back to his seat. It’s something the congregation never forgot. And it’s something you should never forget either—Jesus loves you unconditionally. That’s so today, tomorrow, and forever!