Recently, Florida Highway Patrol trooper Toni Schuck put herself in harm’s way to protect people running a 10K across the Sunshine Skyway bridge in Tampa. Schuck said she was positioned a half-mile away from the start of the race when someone got on the radio, warning about a driver who blew through the race barricades ahead of the bridge.
The driver, who was drunk, was speeding right towards thousands of runners racing to raise money for military families. The driver had recklessly flown by several checkpoints, maneuvering around traffic cones, going around other officers refusing to stop. Schuck said she was the last officer who could stop this vehicle and avoid a disaster.
So, she met the oncoming vehicle head-on and maneuvered her Chevy Tahoe into a violent collision with driver Kristen Kay Watts, who is facing multiple charges. Schuck is home recovering from her injuries.
Thankfully, she didn’t give her life, but she certainly risked her life to save the lives of many who could have been victims in this near disaster. She is a hero, for sure.
God gave His all so that we might have life. Aren’t you thankful God gave His Son?
I recently preached on what some feel is the “greatest verse in the Bible,” John 3:16. It’s certainly a well-known verse if not the MOST well-known verse. Fans at sporting events hold up posters with John 3:16 highly visible. Football players write the scripture on their eye black. There’s no telling how many people are in heaven because someone shared John 3:16 with them.
Martin Luther described this verse as “the Gospel in miniature.” Pastor Ron Mattoon calls it “the magnifying glass of God’s love.”
John Phillips said, “This great sentence, which summarizes the whole gospel story, begins with God and ends with everlasting life. It begins with One who had no beginning. It ends with that which has no ending.” (preceptaustin.org)
Phillips continued, “The text itself revolves around ten words: God, love, world, gave, Son, whoever, believes, perish, have, life. These ten words make up the constellation of the redeemer in the firmament of divine revelation.”
Elmer Towns breaks this great verse down this way:
God – the greatest being
So – the greatest degree
Loved – the greatest affection
The world – the greatest object of love
That He gave – the greatest action
His only – the greatest treasure
Begotten – the greatest relationship
Son – the greatest gift
That whoever – the greatest company
Believes – the greatest trust
Should not perish – the greatest deliverance
But have – the greatest assurance
Eternal – the greatest promise
Life – the greatest blessing
I don’t remember when I first learned John 3:16, but I memorized it a long time ago. The verse reminds us of the depth of God’s love and the length God was willing to go to provide a way out of perishing and THE way into eternal life. His sacrificial, self-giving love was demonstrated when He gave His one and only, unique, one-of-a-kind Son Jesus.
The verse also informs us of the extensiveness of God’s love. He loved the whole world, not just a selected few. Not only nations, but individual people who make up those nations. God gave Jesus to die for the entire world, even those who reject Him.
God’s love and sacrifice require a response. We must believe. Believe means to place our total trust in Jesus to save us from our sinful condition. The word means more than head knowledge and intellectual acknowledgment. It means to receive the free gift of eternal life.
What is the greatest result of God’s love? Everlasting life! Gaining the certainty of living with Jesus in heaven forever.
Gaylord Kambarami, the General Secretary of the Bible Society in Zimbabwe, tried to give a New Testament to a very belligerent man.
The man took the Bible but said he was going to roll the pages and use them to make cigarettes.
Kambarami said, “I understand that, but at least promise to read each page of the New Testament before you smoke it.” The man agreed and they both went their separate ways.
Fifteen years later, the two men met at a Methodist Convention in Zimbabwe. The hard-hearted man had come to Christ and was actually an evangelist preaching at this convention. He told the audience, “I smoked Matthew and I smoked Mark and I smoked Luke. But when I got to John 3:16, I couldn’t smoke anymore. My life was changed at that very moment.”
Jesus can change your life, also, if you will come to Him today.