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  • Writer's pictureDavid and Marilynn Chadwick

The 21 Day Experiment - Day 3: Safe and Sound

by Marilynn Chadwick

For God did not send the Son into the world to judge and condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. (John 3:17 AMP)

"Are you saved?" I used to hear that question a lot growing up in the deep South. We were a family of churchgoers. But the message of the Gospel never made its way into my heart until years later. Saved from what? I'd wonder. Life was good. I didn't need to get saved—or so I thought. Maybe you can relate.

In our reading of John 3, we meet a religious leader named Nicodemus who came to visit Jesus. Jesus rocked the boat of this respectable Pharisee when he told him he needed to be saved. Jesus said no one could even see the kingdom of God unless he was "born again" (John 3:3).

I’m intrigued by all that’s wrapped up in the word “saved.” It comes from the Greek word sozo and has earthly and heavenly meanings. In the physical realm, sozo describes how we’re healed from physical disease or rescued from danger. In the spiritual realm, sozo means to save someone from spiritual death.

Jesus saves sinners and rescues us from spending eternity in hell. He brings us safely into a heavenly kingdom. We are saved from sin and death and born again to eternal life. Pretty weighty stuff!

The watchword I selected from today’s reading is John 3:17. I especially like the Amplified Version: “For God did not send the Son into the world in order to judge (to reject, to condemn, to pass sentence on) the world, but that the world might find salvation and be made safe and sound through Him” (John 3:17 AMPC).

Jesus’s assignment on earth was to save us so we can spend eternity with him. To make us “safe and sound.” All other world religions grasp the need for people to be saved. But they teach that we must live up to some standard or law—an impossible task for imperfect humans!

The good news is that we have a Savior—One who gave his life for our salvation! Salvation is a free gift of grace. If that seems too easy, just remember it cost God everything. I’m amazed at how the very same word that used to offend me as an unbeliever now fills my heart with peace. What verse from John 3 did the Holy Spirit impress upon your heart—your watchword for today? Who is on your prayer list? Maybe you know someone who needs Jesus.

When reflecting on this question, I was reminded to pray for my friend Hana (not her real name) whom I met on a missions trip to the Middle East. Hana is a devout Muslim. For years, she has tried desperately to work her way to God. It’s obvious in her emails and texts, though she might not admit it. I’ve heard countless stories of how Muslims throughout the world are coming to believe in Jesus after seeing him in a dream or vision! I am praying she will encounter the saving, unconditional love of Jesus.

Prayer: Lord, I ask for an open door today to share the gift of grace with Hana. May your Holy Spirit give me the right words at the right time. Or send someone to speak of Your love for her—maybe even through a dream or vision.

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