The value of a lifebuoy

I’ve been sharing some thoughts about John 3:16: “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.”

Max Lucado says: “If you know nothing about the Bible, start here. If you know everything in the Bible, return here.”*

It is obviously important to Christians. It has also seeped into the collective consciousness of our society. You see it held up at football games and engraved on tombstones. Music star Keith Urban highlights three big Johns in his life: “John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16.” Hopefully they aren’t listed in priority sequence!

But let’s get serious.

Think of a lifebuoy—one of those round devices a lifeguard throws to someone when they’re drowning. The value of that lifebuoy depends on whether or not you think you need it.

If you’re in the middle of a field having a picnic with no water in sight, you’re probably not going to think a lifebuoy has much value to you. But if you’re flailing around in the water about to drown, its value shoots through the roof!

Spiritually speaking, how many people think they’re safe in a field when they’re really flailing around in the water?

As we learn in John 3:16, God’s lifebuoy is Jesus.

“God is love” (1 John 4:8). He comes to the aid of anyone who sincerely calls out for help—including you, your friends, your family members, your neighbours, and even your enemies.

Believe it. Live it. And be prepared to share it.


–Bible quotes are from the NIV.

–* Max Lucado, 3:16—The Numbers of Hope (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2007), 7.

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