July 11, 2019 John 3:16-21 The Voice (VOICE) Every day I enjoy God’s miraculous creation. I enjoy nature and relationships. Yet, as beautiful and diverse as God’s creation emerges each day or as much as I enjoy my relationships, I never lose an awareness that this world is rebellious against God and, therefore, headed toward destruction. According to Scripture, the world and its inhabitants needs to be rescued and the Rescuer is Jesus—the Son of God. In our passage, today, John reminds us about our need to come to the Light or Word; to see things from God’s perspective. Shining this Light is the work of the Rescuer. When we come to Jesus, he illuminates the darkness of the world and draws our attention to the sin hiding in our own souls (mind/will/emotions). Jesus is such a Gift, because without him we would arrogantly walk around deceived all the time and ignorant that we are headed for our own destruction. There is no room in the life of believers for ill motives, hatred, gossip, greed, violence, etc. None; those deeds are not from God. We are to live in the righteousness of God found in Jesus Christ. That means we are to allow the Son to shine Light on that which does not belong in our lives and invite Jesus to rescue us from the destruction it will seek to inflict. Let’s get real here for a minute. Do you really think the Light of God is empowering those who actively hate others, speak hurtful and unkind things about other believers, feed a greedy appetite that is entirely self-serving, or take any action to harm the innocent? Ridiculous! The Son came to rescue us from living that way. Abandon deceit and reach for what is true! John 3:16-21 16 For God expressed His love for the world in this way: He gave His only Son so that whoever believes in Him will not face everlasting destruction, but will have everlasting life. 17 Here’s the point. God didn’t send His Son into the world to judge it; instead, He is here to rescue a world headed toward certain destruction. 18 No one who believes in Him has to fear condemnation, yet condemnation is already the reality for everyone who refuses to believe because they reject the name of the only Son of God. 19 Why does God allow for judgment and condemnation? Because the Light, sent from God, pierced through the world’s darkness to expose ill motives, hatred, gossip, greed, violence, and the like. Still some people preferred the darkness over the light because their actions were dark. 20 Some of humankind hated the light. They scampered hurriedly back into the darkness where vices thrive and wickedness flourishes. 21 Those who abandon deceit and embrace what is true, they will enter into the light where it will be clear that all their deeds come from God. Prayer: Lord, thank you for being the Light I desperately need to have shining in the hidden places of my soul. I submit myself to you and reach for the Truth. In Jesus’ name. Amen.