One Liners

John 3:16 Do I really have to quote John 3:16? It is perhaps the best known verse in all the world. You see signs at football games that depict just that John 3:16.

Henny Youngman was the king of the one liners. “Take my wife, please.” That was perhaps his best known joke. Biblical one liners are no joke but can you say with any certainty that anyone was ever  saved by this one liner? “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

If that was the only thing any unbeliever ever heard about Jesus Christ, would it lead to their salvation? Where in this verse does it speak to confession of condition, repentance or surrender? Does it speak to justification, sanctification or conformance?

“For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” Do you know the address for this quote? It is just as vital as John 3:16. Do the lost even understand the issues of condemnation? I have seen the looks on the faces of the lost as they are told bitterly that they are going to hell. It doesn’t do any good to preach hell to a person who doesn’t believe in God.

If you love the lost it takes a longer and deeper conversation than delivering one liners. Even if that one line is “What is going on in your life?” That care and concern isn’t accepted and the conversation cannot deepen until trust is established. That doesn’t come quickly for hurting people.

Now comes the last word anyone wants to hear that is central to Christianity, sacrifice. How much of your life are you willing to give up to save a lost soul? We all have responsibility and needs, so any amount of time spent loving the lost is a sacrifice of some sort.


Job 5:8,12 I would seek unto God, and unto God would I commit my cause: He disappointeth the devices of the crafty, so that their hands cannot perform their enterprise.

Eliphaz has some good lines. Eliphaz is a clever fellow. I have to remind myself what God had to say about Job’s three friends in order to place their clever words into perspective.

Does God get the glory in those lines or is it Eliphaz’s cleverness that stands out?

I write this as both a confession of condition and encouragement to be careful to glorify God in those things you say or write.

These past few days I find myself deleting or rewriting devotionals because I was being clever to the point of being a showoff. Where is God to be glorified in that?

If you take one liners from chapters 4 and 5 in the book of Job, where Eliphaz speaks, they sound good and are quotable enough. We must be careful in quoting one liners out of context because they do not glorify God but rather show how clever we can be.

I found myself in that category of Job 5:12 being crafty and having God disappoint my efforts. He called me out on my behavior.

God has done wonderful things to shape and mold me into His servant but servant I am and nothing more if I cannot remember the words of my Lord.

John 5:30 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.

It is not mine and I should not glory in it. I did not judge rightly in those things I was going to say to you and ended up having to eat my words.