"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."
— John 3:19
Some folks don't just reject Jesus; they hate God, Christianity, religion, Christians, and anything that smacks of wholesome living. Evil is real and controls the lives of those who give it safe harbor. Evil recoils from truth. Too often, people not fully controlled by evil end up rejecting the truth of God for a simple reason: they love how they are living and don't want to give it up. They are well on their way to being lovers of darkness. Don't let the opposition of evil, or of the Evil One, dull your spiritual senses to God's gracious and liberating truth. If you find yourself flirting with sin and evil, use the Joseph solution—get up and flee! When evil is allowed a place to grow, it will ultimately lead us to flee the light like cockroaches scurrying for cover when the light comes on. Let's keep our hearts set on Jesus and his righteousness.
Holy and righteous Father, keep my heart tuned to your Son's grace, love, and righteousness. Make me hunger and thirst for your righteousness. Kindle my desire to seek first your Kingdom and your righteousness. Give me a holy passion to live in your light. In Jesus' holy and mighty 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."
Related Scripture Readings
God was pleased for all of himself to live in Christ. And through Christ, God was happy to bring all things back to himself again—things on earth and things in heaven. God made peace by using Christ's blood (death) on the cross. At one time you were separated from God. You were God's enemies in your minds, because the evil things you did were against God. But now Christ has made you God's friends again. Christ did this by his death while he was in his body. Christ did this so that he could bring you before God. He brings you before God as people who are holy, with no wrong in you, and with nothing that God can judge you guilty of. Christ will do this if you continue to believe in the Good News you heard. You must continue strong and sure in your faith. You must not be moved away from the hope that Good News gave you. That same Good News has been told to all people in the world. I, Paul, help in telling that Good News.
In the past, your spiritual lives were dead because of your sins and the things you did wrong against God. Yes, in the past you lived doing those sins. You lived the way the world lives. You followed the ruler of the evil powers over the earth. That same spirit is now working in those people who refuse to obey God.
Our fight is not against people on earth. We are fighting against the rulers and authorities and the powers of this world's darkness. We are fighting against the spiritual powers of evil in the heavenly places.