Dutcher: Let me tell you about my wonderful friend

Published 12:03 am Saturday, March 14, 2015

By the Rev. Shawn Dutcher

The worst responsibility of serving on the ministerial alliance here in Andalusia is writing this column for the newspaper.

I am no writer, nor do I enjoy typing what I could be discussing in person; however, I do understand the need for paper and ink to provide a discussion for a much larger audience.

Every time I sit down to fulfill this obligation my mind becomes blank.

I cannot seem to draw out words that the other pastors seem to have no difficulty in conveying to their readers.

I guess if you are still reading then I’ll just tell you about my friend.

The most famous verse in the Bible is of course John 3:16.

For those who might be reading who don’t know it, scripture says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Just from this text of scripture alone, many, many sermons, books, discussions, and thoughts have spewed forth.

Does God love me? The Bible says so!

Does God love you? The Bible says so!

Does God love those I do not?

The Bible says so!

I looked up that word begotten in the original Greek text as it was written and discovered that it merely means only.

One could read then this passage as for God so loved the world, that he gave his only, only Son.

Now that is love!

I wouldn’t give my son for anyone, much less those that don’t even like me nor I, them, But God did!

He gave him up to die so that I, the sinful man that I am could have a chance at everlasting life, and my worst enemy, too.

Most of the time, the sermons, books and discussions stop here, especially here in the south.

Some would have you scared into church by talking about how hot hell is or portraying God as some tyrant looking and watching for the slightest mistake just so He could have a reason to destroy you.

Read John 3:17, or to save time and paper I will tell you.

“For did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”

God is in the business of saving people, not condemning them.

God loves you and is looking for you to be his friend.

Revelation, that apocalyptic book on the end of time, says in chapter 3 and verse 20.

“Behold I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear my voice and open the door, I will come into him, and will sup with him, and he with me.”

Jesus is speaking here; this is from his own mouth.

The thought here is that Jesus is looking for friends, not people who claim to love him because they are scared of hell.

Jesus is looking for anyone who will open up their door to him.

He doesn’t force, he doesn’t demand, he asks.

Question now is, will it be you?

Oh how I hope and pray you will.

If not already you will find that Jesus is the only friend you can count on, the only one you can lean on, and the only one you can share your inmost deepest secrets, heartaches, and longings.

You won’t have to worry about Him calling up another friend and tell it.