William Dixon had buried his wife, his only son, and now spent most of his days at home sitting by his window watching the world go by. One day he looked over and saw his neighbor's home on fire. Others were scrambling for water and shouting for help. Dixon saw the old woman who occupied the house and ran out to help her. She gasped, “my grandson… upstairs... trapped.” The crowd of bystanders groaned, knowing the stairway was impassable. But William Dixon ran to the front of the house and found an iron drain pipe running up the exterior wall. Taking hold of it, he pulled himself up to the window, found the boy, scooped him up, and scrambled back to the ground. A few days later, the grandmother succumbed to her injuries, leaving the boy orphaned, no home, and no guardian. The small community held a meeting to determine his fate. Two volunteers came forward. The first, a very good citizen, answered all of the standard questions giving every assurance that he would provide a good home. The second was William Dixon, the rescuer. He said few words, but his hands spoke for him. They were bandaged. The hot iron pipe he chose to climb had burned them severely. At the end of the meeting, it was William Dixon who took the boy home. His love, everyone agreed, was written on his hands.
The old hymn says, “Before the throne of God above, I have a strong and perfect plea. A great high Priest whose name is Love, Who ever lives and pleads for me. My name is graven on His hands. My name is written on His heart."
In 25 words, Jesus reveals, makes manifest, his purpose in leaving heaven and coming to earth. "For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him will not perish but have eternal life." Football player Tim Tebow placed the reference to these 25 words on the tape strip beneath his eyes before a national championship game in college and the broadcasters identified it as his favorite verse. That day Google received more than 90 million hits from people looking up John 3:16. Why? Because people want to know… People want answers… Deep inside the heart of every human being we want to know God's love in a very personal way.
In John 3:16, Jesus sums up the over 31,000 verses of the bible with this message. God so loves, that He gave everything, that whoever believes would not perish but have everlasting life. Notice the one word in the middle that eternity hinges on. "Believes." The difference between eternity with God and eternity apart from Him hinges on whether we believe and accept His invitation.
What about you? Do you believe? Have you accepted his invitation? Jesus, the one with engraven hands, stretches out His hands to you now inviting you to choose Him. Come this weekend and learn more about His love for you.
5:30pm Saturday and 10:30 a.m. Sunday.
Christmas Eve at 8pm.
You will be glad you came.