Lenten Devotion for Tuesday, April 15

by Ted Jungkuntz

Read John 3:1-16

Hey, kids, if you were in charge, would you choose to celebrate your birthday on the day it now is celebrated or would you choose a different date–like when it’s warmer? Or a date further away from that of your brother or sister so yours would be more special?

If you prefer a different date, could you change your birthday to that date? Why not? Who made the decision about your birth date? Mom and Dad, you should get into this discussion too ….

Wow! Now everyone seems to be getting a bit confused, but that’s just the moment when we should take a closer look at our reading for today. An important teacher, who lived at the same time as Jesus, also found himself confused when Jesus started challenging him with some thoughts as to who is in charge of deciding birthdates.

This conversation between two teachers, Jesus and Nicodemus, is a bit tricky to follow (typical of teachers, right?) but when you boil it all down, Jesus is saying no human being is in charge of choosing his own birth date.

And this is true of both your physical birth and your birthdate as a Christian. This decision belongs to God. However, and this is important, God does invite us to agree that He made a good choice.

Here’s a secret, kids–the older you get, the more you discover that agreeing with God is the best decision you can ever make. The whole point of Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus is to convince him that God loves him more than he can imagine.

Can you pick out the verse that summarizes this thought? (John 3:16) Let’s say it together. It’s worth memorizing because it has the power to rescue us when we feel like we are drowning in our trouble.

We pray: Dear Jesus, help me remember these words, especially when I’m sad, or confused, or ashamed, or hurting. God loves me. God chose me. Your life proves it. It was His decision, and I heartily agree. Amen.

Family discussion:

Does anyone want to share how much they needed to pray this prayer today? – Are you sad…?

Everyday object:

Put a baby’s pacifier on the table for all to see and ask: “What is this called? Who can say how John 3:16 can serve as a ‘pacifier’ for any one of us?