What Jesus Did! 'Doing What God Wants?' — John 3:20-21

Thursday, February 20, 2014

"Every person that does evil hates the light. That person will not come to the light. Why? Because then the light will show all the bad things he has done. But the person that follows the true way comes to the light. Then the light will show that the things that person has done were done through God."
— John 3:20-21
Illustration of John 3:20-21 — "Every person that does evil hates the light."

Key Thought

A life dedicated to God comes to his Light. A person living this kind of life doesn't fear judgment or rejection or truth. Falsehood, dishonesty, sinfulness, greed... all can be addressed through the lens of grace when those seeking righteousness come to the light. So the question you and I face each day is very simple: Do I gladly come to the Light to let God show me his grace in ways that allow me to see my sinfulness, shallowness, and selfishness and be transformed? My desire to open my life to the Light of God's truth and holiness reveals my desire to do what is right. My reluctance reveals how the power of sin has begun to edge its way into my life and my heart.

Today's Prayer

Almighty Father, God of holiness and grace, search me and try me and convict me of my sin. I want to be holy and blameless, not just by your gift of grace, but also through the sanctifying power of your Spirit at work to transform me to be more like Jesus, in whose name I pray. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

There was a man named Nicodemus. Nicodemus was one of the Pharisees. He was an important Jewish leader. One night Nicodemus came to Jesus. Nicodemus said, "Teacher, we know that you are a teacher sent from God. No person can do these miracles that you do without God's help." Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth. A person must be born again. If a person is not born again, then that person cannot be in God's kingdom." Nicodemus said, "But if a person is already old, how can he be born again? A person cannot enter his mother's body again! So a person cannot be born a second time!" But Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth. A person must be born from water and the Spirit. If a person is not born from water and the Spirit, then he cannot enter God's kingdom. A person's body is born from his human parents. But a person's spiritual life is born from the Spirit. Don't be surprised that I told you, 'You must be born again.' The wind blows where it wants to go. You hear the wind blow. But you don't know where the wind comes from or where the wind is going. It is the same with every person that is born from the Spirit." Nicodemus asked, "How can all this be possible?" Jesus said, "You are an important teacher of Israel (the Jews). But you still don't understand these things? I tell you the truth. We talk about what we know. We tell about what we have seen. But you people don't accept what we tell you. I have told you about things here on earth. But you do not believe me. So surely you will not believe me if I tell you about the things of heaven! The only one that has ever gone up to heaven is the One that came down from heaven—the Son of Man. Moses lifted up the snake in the desert. It is the same with the Son of Man. The Son of Man must be lifted up too. Then every person that believes in the Son of Man can have life forever. Yes, God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son. God gave his Son so that every person that believes in him would not be lost, but have life forever. God sent his Son into the world. God did not send his Son to judge the world guilty. God sent his Son so that the world could be saved through his Son. The person that believes in God's Son is not judged (condemned). But the person that does not believe is already judged. Why? Because that person has not believed in God's only Son. People are judged by this fact: The Light (goodness) has come into the world. But people did not want light. They wanted darkness (sin). Why? Because they were doing evil things. Every person that does evil hates the light. That person will not come to the light. Why? Because then the light will show all the bad things he has done. But the person that follows the true way comes to the light. Then the light will show that the things that person has done were done through God."

John 3:1-21

Related Scripture Readings

We heard the true teaching from God. Now we tell it to you: God is light (goodness). In God there is no darkness (sin). So if we say that we have fellowship with God, but we continue living in darkness (sin), then we are liars—we don't follow the truth. God is in the light (goodness). We should live in the light, too. If we live in the light, then we share fellowship with each other. And when we live in the light, the blood (death) of Jesus cleanses us from all sin. (Jesus is God's Son.)

1 John 1:5-7

God made us free from the power of darkness (evil). And he brought us into the kingdom of his dear Son (Jesus).

Colossians 1:13

To people who don't believe, he is: "a stone that makes people stumble, a stone that makes people fall." People stumble because they don't obey what God says. This is what God planned to happen to those people. But you are chosen people. You are the King's priests. You are a holy nation of people. You are people who belong to God. God chose you to tell about the wonderful things he has done. He called (brought) you out of darkness (sin) into his wonderful light. At one time you were not God's people. But now you are God's people. In the past you had never received mercy. But now you have received mercy {from God}.

1 Peter 2:8-10

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.