If you asked any Christian to recite the first Bible verse they ever learned, 9 times out of 10 it would be the same verse.
Some may even say it is the most important verse in the Christian Bible. The verse upon which our true salvation stands, that which defines everything we trust and believe in.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:16
Last week we held a contest to win a “Precious in His Sight” t-shirt. We asked people to nominate someone they felt deserved a shirt and to explain to us why. We read so many touching stories of friendship and faith. I was moved many times over.
When it was time to choose a winner, we drew a name at random. I went back to read over the winning entry, again. One of the words used by this sweet friend to describe her nominee was “inclusive”. This struck me. It’s not a term that I use often to describe people, but wouldn't it truly be a complement to be labeled as “inclusive” ?
I mean, let’s face it. We are either inclusive or we are exclusive.
Merriam Webster defines inclusive as this: open to everyone : not limited to certain people
That’s precisely the message behind our design “Precious in His Sight”. What I just recently realized though, is that it is also exactly what John 3:16 should be speaking to all of our hearts.
I was drawn back to read over this familiar verse. I read over it once, twice, three times. One word kept screaming at me. The word literally jumping off of the page.
God loved His children so much that He gave His son. So that WHOEVER believes in Him should have eternal life.
He didn’t give His Son so that the rich may live. He didn’t say that only the white or the conservative or the saints would inherit eternal life. He said whoever. There are no prerequisites. No matter your gender, your race, or your status quo. He cares not.
It’s written right there. Plain as day. Christianity is meant to be inclusive. Our God is all-inclusive. His arms are open to whoever. All He asks is for you believe in Him.
Although he isn’t saying that “anything goes”. He makes no promise that along the way you won't have to lay something down, give something up to follow Him. What He is saying is that it matters not where you came from, what you look like, how ugly your past is, or how much you have to offer. He invites all who will come and follow Him. Our Lord opens the door for everyone, so should we throw open the doors of love and acceptance to those around us.
"Red, yellow, black and white, they are precious in His Sight Jesus loves the little children of the world."
His children. You. Jesus loves you.