“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 3:18)
One dark cold night in the city of Chicago, a blizzard was setting in. A young boy was selling newspapers on the corner; watching as people went in and out of the cold. He was so cold that he wasn’t trying very hard to sell his papers. Hesitantly, he walked up to a policeman and said, “Mister, you wouldn’t happen to know where a poor boy could find a warm place to sleep tonight would you? You see, I sleep in a box up around the corner and down the alley and it's awful cold in there for tonight. Sure would be nice to have a warm place to stay.” The policeman sympathetically looked down at the young lad and said, “You go down the street to that big white house and you knock on the door. When they come to the door you just say, ‘John 3:16,’ and they will let you in.” So He did. He walked up the steps and knocked on the door, and a lady answered. He looked up at her and said, “John 3:16.” The lady said, “Come on in, son.” She took him in and she sat him down in a big rocking chair, in front of a great big old fireplace, and she left him. The boy sat there for a while and thought to himself: John 3:16…I don't understand it, but it sure makes a cold boy warm!
Later she came back and asked him, “Are you hungry?” He shyly said, “Well, just a little. I haven't eaten in a couple of days, and I guess I could stand a little bit of food.” The lady took him in the kitchen and sat him down to a table full of wonderful food. He ate and ate until he couldn't eat any more. Then he thought to himself: John 3:16…I don't understand it, but it sure makes a hungry boy full!
Soon the kind lady led him upstairs to a bath tub filled with warm water, and he sat there and soaked for a while. As he soaked, he thought to himself: John 3:16…I don't understand it, but it sure makes a dirty boy clean! Why, I haven’t had a bath, a real bath, in my whole life. The only bath I have ever had was when I stood in front of the big old fire hydrant as they flushed it out.
After his bath, the lady took him to a cozy little room, tucked him into a big feather bed, pulled warm covers up around his neck, kissed him goodnight and turned out the light. As he lay there all snug in the warm bed, he looked out the window at the cold and snowy night and thought to himself: John 3:16…I sure don't understand it, but it gave a tired boy a warm place to sleep.
The next morning the lady invited the young boy to sit down once again to a table that was filled with lots of good food. After he ate, she took him back to the rocking chair in front of the fireplace and picked up a Bible. As she sat down in a chair beside him, she looked into his young face and asked gently, “Do you understand about John 3:16?” He replied, “No, Ma'am, I don't. The first time I ever heard it was last night when the nice policeman told me to use it.” She opened the Bible to John 3:16 and began to read what it said and then explained to the young boy that John 3:16 was the greatest love story ever told. And she told him that God wanted him to know that He loved and cared about him very much.
Right there, in front of that big old fireplace, the young boy embraced God's love for him and surrendered his young life to Him. He said to the lady, “I'm not sure I understand all about God's love, but it sure makes a lonely orphan boy feel like he will always belong to someone.”
Jesus, my Lord will love me forever,
From Him no pow'r of evil can sever,
He gave His life to ransom my soul;
Now I belong to Him;
Once I was lost in sin's degradation,
Jesus came down to bring me salvation,
Lifted me up from sorrow and shame,
Now I belong to Him;
Joy floods my soul for Jesus has saved me,
Freed me from sin that long had enslaved me
His precious blood He gave to redeem,
Now I belong to Him.
Now I belong to Jesus,
Jesus belongs to me,
Not for the years of time alone,
But for eternity.
–Norman J. Clayton–
GOD LOVES YOU SO MUCH YOU CAN TRUST HIM WITH YOUR LIFE!