This devotional from CountrySlicker was scheduled to publish yesterday. Due to the severe DDoS attack we experienced starting Thursday in earnest (An update forth coming) I am publishing it today. Thank you CountrySlicker. – JMc 

“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.  For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. 

He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.  And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.  For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.  But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”  (John 3:16-21 NKJV)

It’s important to remember that these are the words of Jesus as He is explaining to Nicodemus what it means to “be born again”.  Most people know John 3:16.  It’s one of the most quoted scriptures in the Bible.  In one sentence, this verse summarizes the gospel message, expresses the magnitude of God’s love, and demonstrates the length that God is willing to go to secure our eternity with Him in Heaven.

The next verse puts the proper perspective on the condition of the world prior to Jesus’ birth… For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.  The world was a fallen world in need of a savior.  Therefore, God sent His Son to become that Savior.  Jesus became a solution to a condemnation in which many individuals did not even recognize that they were suffering.  The fallen nature of man, separation from God, is a result of man’s actions (Adam in the garden).  The opportunity for salvation, reconciliation with God, is a result of God’s actions (Jesus on the cross).

Let’s look at verses 18-21: “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.  And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.  For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.  But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”

There are two groups of individuals described here in the scriptures.  The first group is “he who believes in Him (Jesus)”.  Jesus tells us that he who believes is not condemned.  Jesus also tells us that… he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.  In the believer, we see an individual whose actions are such that they can be done in the open without shame or apology.  The believer is not only willing, but also eager to openly serve God in a manner that others can see.  They provide an example for others to see the nature of God lived out in their lives.  They look like Jesus in their daily walk.

The second group is “he who does not believe”.  He who does not believe in Jesus is condemned.  The opportunity is there for the unbeliever to come to Jesus.  However, the unbelievers are not willing to surrender their own desires and lusts (all rooted in the depravity of sin) to dedicate their lives to following Jesus (in the perfect will of God).  Those that live their life in sin avoid the light (Jesus and the Word of God) because it exposes their actions and motives as being rooted in personal lusts and desires.  His deeds conflict with the loving motives of God and stand in the way of the fellowship that God desires and purchased with the blood of His Son.

The choice has been made available to each of us.  We can choose to dedicate our lives to serving God and living in the truths of God’s Word.  If this is the case, we accept the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross and our place with God in Heaven is secured.  God begins to transform us into a new creation.  Our actions become rooted in His truths and in love for one another and bring glory to God.  We are no longer condemned as a result of our relationship with Jesus and His sacrifice on the cross.

If we choose to live our lives in practicing evil and pursing our own dark desires, we remain in that condemnation of the world.  We are condemned not because of Jesus.  We are condemned despite the efforts of God providing for our salvation through the sacrifice of His Son on the cross when we reject Him.  And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

“Seek the LORD while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near.  Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, and He will have mercy on him; And to our God, for He will abundantly pardon. For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD.  “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:6-9)

CountrySlicker

 

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