We love darkness
Devotional study in John chapter 3, continued, provided by David Niednagel, Pastor/Teacher, Evansville, IN. David uses the S.O.A.P. method (study, observe, apply, pray) in his morning study time. (Friends: One of the things I value and treasure the most in my life is the deep and abiding relationship I have with my pastor, David. David has been my pastor since 1974. He is not just my pastor, but he a true brother and friend at the deepest level. Thank you David for your faithfulness to God’s word and your steadfast commitment to training and teaching people like me, not only here at home but in other countries where you have been able to teach and train and equip for the work of God’s kingdom. Thank you!)
19 “And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. 20 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. 21 But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”
In the verses right before this Jesus said God does not want to judge the world, but to offer a Savior who would give eternal life instead of condemnation. In fact, He would take the condemnation/poison that the guilty ones deserve. What an offer! Had anyone in any religion ever heard anything as good as that? No. Nothing even close. Then wouldn’t we expect Nicodemus and everyone else to instantly trust in that Savior and receive that gift that could not be attained any other way? Logically, yes. But experience shows us that is not what guilty people do. Why?
Because after hearing that fantastic offer, those who have been bitten by the serpent must confess they are guilty of ongoing sin against the God who makes the offer. They must admit their sinful hearts and actions. And that is hard. We all have sin we try to hide rather than risk rejection. Jesus said it was like wanting to hide in the darkness and shadows rather than come into the bright light that exposes everything that we try to hide. Like roaches run when the lights are turned-on, and criminals often operate at night or try to hide their guilt. There is a shame factor and a spiritual battle that keeps us from coming into the Light and receiving forgiveness and Life.
Lord, Thank You for Your unique offer of forgiveness and Life, and for opening my heart to accept it. But I also know how guilt and shame keep us all from coming into the Light. Help me go with understanding and compassion as I try to help a man come out of the darkness and come into the Light. My logic isn’t enough. You must open his heart to admit his sin and come to You. Please show mercy that will lead him to confession and Life. Amen!