Do you like to be recognized and made to feel important? It's usually an honor for our name to be mentioned in the newspaper. When our name is in something, we're suddenly a whole lot more interested.
It's that way with what may be the most important statement in the entire Bible, certainly one of the most quoted. Here's what it says in John 3:16, "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whoever believes in Him will not perish but will have eternal life." Those words are probably the most dramatic answer to any questions we have about how God feels about us. God loved the world so much that He proved it by sacrificing His one and only Son - the most valuable thing He could give. He did all this so we who deserve to die can live forever. We all deserve to die. Romans 6:23 in God's Word says, "The wages of sin is death." That's the penalty for running our own lives. We all build a wall between us and our Creator by taking our lives into our own hands. This is called sin. It's difficult for us to get to the One who loves us because of the sin wall. There never seems to be any meaningful reason to live. That's because the One who knows why we're here is on the other side of the wall, and if we die with that wall there we're there forever.
On the other side of that wall is hell - an eternal death of conscious separation and loneliness, away from God forever with no earth sedatives to ease the pain. God, the one we have wronged, acted to get our death penalty paid with the life of His Son. He did it all for you.
You can put your name in John 3:16. God loved you so much that He gave His one and only Son so that if you believe in Him, you will never die but will have eternal life. It says you have to believe in Him to have that happen. That's total trust. The kind of trust someone in a fire has in a fireman who comes to rescue them. This is awesome love. This gift of God's Son was all for you, but you have to reach out and take the gift.
Something happens dramatically when you walk up to the cross of Jesus and say two words, "For me." This is for you. Some of the sins that Jesus died for are yours. God's waiting right now to erase every sin you've ever done to add your name to His Book of Life; the one He will check when your heart finally stops and you stand before Him. It all begins when you make the Savior your Savior. When your name is in something, it makes all the difference. Let this be the day you realize that what Jesus did was specifically for you.