Today’s Scripture: But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) Ephesians 2:4-5

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but…”

Whether it is buying a car, picking out a new stage design for our auditorium, or even something as simple as choosing a new suit, I like to have options. I don’t like to be told, “You have one option. Take it or leave it.”

When it comes to where we will spend eternity at the end of our lives, there is good news – we have two options. Yesterday we looked at the worse of the two options: separation from God for eternity in the lake of fire. As we continue our breakdown of John 3:16, we find that there is a major difference in these two options.

The biggest difference, or the biggest contrast, is found in one word in John 3:16 – “but”. It is the word that takes us from suffering the greatest tragedy or loss and brings us to the greatest gift, which is eternal life. The conjunction “but” is probably one of the greatest words in Scripture. Often, we find it used to contrast the great difference in our natural state before salvation and our perfected state after salvation – “…but God…”

I am thankful that God has given us the option of choosing the free gift of eternal life. I am thankful that He stepped in and made a way for us to have that choice. His love and grace are what makes the greatest difference.

Jim Scudder Jr.