For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16 ESV
Lee Winship was the annoying kid next door. You know the one, we all do. He was the kid you couldn’t escape, the one you hung out with not because you wanted to, but because you couldn’t quite figure out how to get rid of him. He was like a fly you couldn’t swat, and you were nice to him because you’re basically a good person and you didn’t want to hurt his feelings. Lee was that guy.
I knew Lee for years. He was a year younger than me and lived across the street while I was in middle school and high school. Well, most of high school. He died in a boating accident when I was a junior. I’ll never forget the last time I saw him; he directed a friendly joke toward me and I mocked him for it.
I also remember crying at his funeral, questioning the value of my own heart. Guilty because in all the years I’d known Lee I’d never invited him to church with me, never shared Christ with him, never talked to him about God at all. And I knew his family well enough to know they weren’t religious in any meaningful way. Christmas and Easter types, at best. So I sat there staring at his coffin, watching his parents’ backs wracked with sobs, wondering where his soul might be, sure in the knowledge that I could’ve made a difference. Or at least tried. But I didn’t.
WHO ARE THEY? They are the world. They are Lee Winship. But when we think of the world, we tend to reduce it to a nameless faceless mass of humanity, and that’s NOT what God is talking about. When God thinks about the world, He doesn’t see a mob of 7 billion people. He sees you. He sees me. He sees Lee. His love is infinite, and it is intimate. And it is our job as followers of Christ to make that reality known.
READ: John 3:16-17, Matthew 9:36-38, 2 Corinthians 5:20
THINK: When you think of “The World” what or who comes to mind? Is there a Lee Winship in your life? Who in your life took the time to talk to you about God? Get a piece of paper and rewrite John 3:16 with someone else’s name in place of “the world.” Do the same thing with your own name. For God so loved…
PRAY: Thank God for the people He has place in your life who cared enough to tell you about Jesus. Ask God to help you see an opportunity this week to tell someone about Jesus, and ask for the boldness to seize that moment.
ACT: Take the time to write down the story of how God has worked in your life, and this important, share it with someone who needs to hear it.. Awkward moment? Perhaps. But worth it, don’t you think?