Read: John 3:1-17
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
Saved by the Son
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Sometimes, “making a trade” can be a lot of fun. We sit down to eat lunch with our classmates and notice that one of the items in our lunchbox is something we don’t like. A friend may notice and say, “want to trade? I’ll give you something of mine for something of yours.” That’s fun! But other times, “making a trade” can be very hard for us. We go to the store and see something we want. But in order to have it, we have to pay for it. We are glad to get the item we love, but it’s never free.
The one thing in the whole world that God wants most for us is a relationship with him. He was willing to pay any price and trade his most precious possession so that he would have us with him in heaven forever.
When we celebrate Trinity Sunday, we think of the amazing God that we have—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. They are three persons yet one God. And each person of the Trinity is 100% committed to us. In John 3:16, we are able to realize just how much God was willing to give. We hear that God—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit—loved the world. And he loved the world so much! How much was the Father willing to give? Not a bank full of bills and coins, but his one and only Son. How far was the Son willing to go? He was more than a friend. He was our Savior who sacrificed his own life on the cross for us. How much is the Holy Spirit willing to do? He spends every moment telling the world the amazing story of Jesus. God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit work together so that everyone can believe in Jesus and enjoy heaven someday.
Sometimes, it’s hard for us to “make a trade” because we don’t want to lose out on things that are valuable to us. Other times, it’s easy for us to “make a trade” as long as we get the thing that we really want. God made the most important trade ever: he exchanged his greatest possession, his Son Jesus, for our sins, so that he would get what he always wanted—you. What a trade God made to save us and bring us home to be with him forever in heaven!
God the Father give us grace
To walk in the light of Jesus’ Face.
God the Son give us a part
In the hiding-place of Jesus’ Heart:
God the Spirit so hold us up
That we may drink of Jesus’ cup.
(by Christina Rossetti)
The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.
Questions for Younger Children
- What are words we use when we want something or when someone gives us a gift?
- God loved the world with all his heart. Who did God send to save every person in the world?
Questions for Elementary Age Children
- Name the most valuable and most special thing that belongs to you. Why would it be hard to give it away to someone else?
- Jesus might have thought that his Father wasn’t being fair when he sent Jesus to save the world. Why was Jesus willing to go?
Questions for Middle School and Above
- In the well-known passage of John 3:16, we can clearly see both God the Father and God the Son at work. Where do you see God the Holy Spirit working in John 3:16?
- What might you say to someone who is feeling lonely or guilty and says “I don’t know if I can ever be sure that God loves me…” Offer proof of God’s love from each person of the Holy Trinity.
Hymn: CW 391:1,6 – God Loved the World So that He Gave
God loved the world so that he gave His only Son the lost to save
That all who would in him believe Should everlasting life receive.
Glory to God the Father, Son, And Holy Spirit, Three in One!
To you, O blessed Trinity, Be praise now and eternally!