16 For God loved the world in this way: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:16

Written by Janet Waters from the Brentwood Campus

Fort Hancock is on the farthest tip of Sandy Hook, which reaches out into the Atlantic on the New Jersey coast. During World War II it was a military training center. A civilian in the area was eager to bring the good news of Christ to the thousands of young men stationed there. The military authorities would not permit him to enter in person.

Not to be denied, he asked a firm that specialized in novelties to make several thousand mirrors about three inches in diameter. On the back of each mirror he had printed the words of John 3:16. Beneath these words he had this direction, “If you want to see who it is that God loves, look on the other side.” As each soldier looked at himself, he saw the person whom God loved.

Having God as your maker and being created in His likeness gives innate value. Think about your value as a person made in the glory and image of God. Because of his knowledge of God, David thought this about himself: “I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that fully well” (Psalm 139:14).

Once you accept your value, you will see that others have this same value. Being made in God’s likeness and image with your personality, intelligence and ability to know and relate to God, you can reflect God—in a limited way. Righteousness, holiness, truth and knowledge of God are included in what it means to be created in the image of God.

Billy Graham said in 1957 at one of his crusades that the 25 words spoken in John 3:16 is the gospel in a nutshell. For God: the God of love is God of creation, and that includes you. So loved the world: God’s grace. He gave His only begotten Son: God’s gift. Whosoever believes in Him: God’s gospel. Will not perish but have everlasting life: God’s glory.

Loosely based on writings by: Gregory Brown 2014; Steven J. Cole 1995; Rev. Billy Graham sermon 1957

Questions to Ask Yourself

  1. If you know Jesus, John 3:16, then your life has purpose and meaning beyond the grave.
  2. Reflecting God’s image to one another glorifies God.
  3. Go look in a mirror. See who it is that God loves.

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