In Chicago during the Great Depression there was a little boy who sold newspapers on the street corner to help provide for his family. His tattered jacket that was about three sizes too small provided little relief from the bitter Winter Chicago wind.. On one particularly cold day the young man was nearly frostbitten when a policeman approached him.
"Son, do you know that big white house on the corner a couple of blocks up?
"Yes sir. I pass it every day on my way to this corner."
"Well, I want you to walk over there, step up onto the porch and knock on the door. When the lady that lives there answers just say "John 3:16"
The young man did as he was told. He walked up to the door and knocked. A kind face appeared at the door and the boy looked up and said "John 3:16". The gentle lady opened the door wide and invited the cold, shivering, dirty little boy to come into the living room where there was a roaring fire blazing in the fireplace. As he sat there getting warm and cozy he said to himself, "John 3:16. I don't understand it; but it sure does make a cold little boy warm!"
Soon that lady came out and led the boy into the dining room where there was a feast of all the foods that he loved. She sat him down and he began to eat. He ate until he couldn't stuff another bite in his mouth; and then he said to himself, "John 3:16. I don't understand it, but it sure does make a hungry little boy full!"
After he had eaten the kind woman took him up to a huge bathroom with a large bathtub filled with water and bubbles. "You take a nice bath and then put on these pajamas", she told him. As the young man sat in the first bath he had in quite a long time and scrubbed through the layers of dirt, he said to himself, "John 3:16. I don't understand it, but it sure does make a dirty little boy clean."
After his bath the lady brought him to a bedroom that had the biggest bed he had ever seen. He laid down and immediately fell fast asleep. In the morning he awoke to the smells of his favorite breakfast, bacon and eggs. As he was getting dressed in the clothed the woman had laid out for him, the boy said to himself, "John 3:16. I don't understand it, but it sure does make a tired little boy rested!"
He went downstairs and the table was once again filled with food that he loved. After breakfast, the kind, gentle lady led the boy back into the living room and in front of the fire. She asked him, "Son, do you understand what 'John 3:16' means?"
"No ma'am. The first time I heard it was when that nice policeman told me to say it when you answered the door."
She took her Bible and began to explain to him about the love of God and Jesus' dying on the cross. The little boy accepted God's gift of everlasting life that day. Then he said to himself, "John 3:16. I still don't understand it, but it makes a lost little boy saved!"
I don't understand John 3:16 either. I don't understand why "God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." But I believe it and I'm thankful for it. Anyone-young or old, handsome or homely, intelligent or ignorant, rich or poor-who puts their faith and trust in the shed blood of the Lord, Jesus Christ, plus nothing, minus nothing, as the payment for the penalty of their sin, is a recipient of God's free gift of salvation. If you don't have that assurance get it settled right now. It's not in what church you attend or what your social background is or even how religious you are. Because it's not about RELIGION, it's about a RELATIONSHIP with a risen Saviour. God bless you!
-Contributed by HBITS Vice President, Dr. Billy Kryger