And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. 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. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
— John 3:14-17 NKJV
Most people who have even a cursory relationship with the Bible have heard John 3:16. Few people with even a prolific understanding of the Bible can recall John 3:17, however. Yet, to my mind, this verse is even more powerful than the one that precedes it. It reminds us that God is not our enemy – so stop looking over your shoulder waiting for that bolt out of the blue to strike you when you are involved in something you know you should not. Instead, remember that God “became flesh and dwelt among us, … full of grace and truth” John 1:14). Recognize that God has offered to you the strength and wisdom of His Holy Spirit to enable you to live as God intended.
Father, Your Son told Nicodemus that, “whoever believes” will be saved. Help us to live faithfully, as those who have received pardon and grace. Amen.
Rev. David C. Collins, Re-tired