It’s the most-quoted verse in the Bible, but what does John 3:16 mean to someone who has never heard it before? A tired and cold newspaper boy approached a policeman one night and asked, “Mister, where can a poor boy find a warm place to sleep tonight?”

The policeman pointed down the street, “At that big, white house. Knock on the door and say, ‘John 3:16,’ and they will let you in.”

When the little boy knocked on the door of the house, an elderly lady greeted him. He looked up and said, “John 3:16.” The woman invited the child inside and had him sit down in a wooden rocking chair in front of a large fireplace. As he sat there, he thought to himself, John 3:16 — I don’t understand it, but it sure makes a cold boy warm.

Later, the woman returned to offer the child food. The little boy ate . . . and ate . . . and ate until he could eat no more. Then he thought to himself, John 3:16 — Boy, it sure makes a hungry boy full.

Then the woman allowed the boy to take a warm bath — the first he had ever taken. He thought to himself, John 3:16 — it can make a dirty boy clean.

Finally, the kindhearted woman brought the child to a large guest room where he could spend the night. As the boy slid beneath the covers, he thought, John 3:16 — it sure makes a tired boy rested.

After breakfast the next morning, the woman found a Bible and sat down with the little boy by the fireplace. She asked if he understood John 3:16.

“No, Ma’am, I don’t.” The woman found the verse and told the child about Jesus. He accepted Christ as his Savior and thought to himself, John 3:16 — it sure makes a lost boy feel safe.

The best truths are those which are tangible. We can clearly see them as they are applied to ordinary life circumstances. John 3:16 is such a truth. It reminds us of God’s gift to mankind and challenges us to express His love through giving. Love gives. Unleash its transforming power in your life this week.

Click here to learn a clear and simple way to share John 3:16 with others.

Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.