In the last year or so Iâ€™ve been encountering the number 316 a lotâ€”almost every few days. I am encountering the number everywhere: digital clocks , watches, street numbers, my professorâ€™s laptop battery life, homework, receipts, pay checks, etc. Few weeks ago my dad was watching an Iraqi TV station because Iraq was having its second elections and on the top right corner of the screen the number 316 was displayed! I asked him about the number and he said, â€œThatâ€™s the election ballot number for some political party.â€
Every time I see the number 316 I remember John 3:16. This has been very encouraging to me because recently I have been uncertain about my place in Christ. Before it was very easy to come pray because I had a much closer relationship with Him, but now it is much harder. But when I remember 316 it encourages me to go pray by faith. It is much easier to pray confidently when we have â€œbeen goodâ€, but it takes much more faith to come pray when we do so because He is good.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”Â John 3:16
Every once in a while now I just get overwhelmed by His grace and His goodness to me, even though I know very well that I donâ€™t deserve it. Through faith in His grace I am learning to be more joyful than ever. I am also learning to love Him because of who He is and not because of what He can offer me. I am learning to obey Him because He said so and I know it pleases Him, and not because of rewards and blessings He may give me if I obey Him.
It is much easier to live the Christian life like a mathematical formula: you input those unknowns and you get those values. But the Christian life is about loving God, our Heavenly Father, with all our heart, mind, soul and strength. There is no magical formula for love, because love is about life and relationships…both are unpredictable.
It is easy to accept trials and troubles when our view about the Christian life is that we are to suffer for Christ. It is also easy to accept blessings when our view about the Christian life is that God wants to bless us all the time. But it takes faith to accept both trials and blessings as God sends them in His timing.
I am saved because Jesus Christ paid my sin debt in full on the cross. I am not saved 99.99% because of His blood and 0.01% by my good deeds. No, I am saved only because I am washed by His blood. And the only reason I can pray confidently is because the death of Godâ€™s Son on the cross reconciled me to the Father.
So if you want to talk to the Father in prayer,Â but donâ€™t feel like it because you know your sins have separated you from Him, then do it by faith knowing that God â€œwants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men.â€
“who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time, ” 1 Timothy 2:4-6