John 3:16 (King James Version)
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
A story is told of a ship called the North Star, which left port October 22. The ship had to cross the North Atlantic charting through cold, iceberg-infested waters. A sailor was placed on deck to watch for icebergs. As fate would have it, the watchman fell asleep. When he suddenly awoke, to his horror, he saw a massive iceberg sitting ominously ahead of the ship. The watchman frantically rang the alarm and crewmen tried to correct the ship's direction, but it was too late. There was a jolt, then a sickening slow-motion crunch as the iceberg ground into the ship.
The captain quickly assembled the frightened passengers and crew on deck and announced the extent of the damage. He gave a hopeful glance to the huddled passengers on one side of the deck, and then turned to the other side to face a neatly assembled line of sailors standing at attention. He told them there was still a way to save the ship. A volunteer was needed to jump into the frigid waters and swim into the gash caused by the iceberg. Once inside, the swimmer could close the door to the compartment where the water was entering, saving the ship and all lives on board.
As the captain paused to look silently down the line of sailors, he realized that he would have to go down the line and ask the men individually. The first seaman, with a mournful glance, reminded the captain that he had a wife and kids at home. The next sailor stood quietly, unable to say anything. Suddenly all eyes turned toward a voice that pierced the tense silence. It was the youngest sailor, a teenager, who came forward. He said, "I will do it, captain. Just give the command and I'll enter the water."
The captain turned pale. He wrapped the young sailor in a tight embrace, and then whispered the command, and the sailor quickly took off his shoes and jumped into the water.
As the crowd on deck listened intently, the subtle roar of the water entering the ship stopped. In the silence of that moment, the passengers realized that the young sailor had drowned.
The next morning, as the sun began to raise on the cold, gray horizon, the captain, being a Christian, called everyone together for a service of thanksgiving to the Lord. After singing a few songs, the captain said, "That young man who made such a great sacrifice for us last night ....was my only son."
This story helps us to better understand the meaning of John 3:16, God allowed His only Son to volunteer His life so that you and I might live forever with Him. Now that's devotion! God is so devoted to us that He has paid the ultimate price. All He asks is that we devote our lives to Him in return. And whatever we give to Him, He always gives back to us blessed and glorified.
Dear Lord we thank You for the reminder today that You came to Earth to save each of us, we pray that today we would share that great love with those in our life today. In Jesus’ name, Amen.