Only God Can Judge Me. But, He Doesn’t Want To.

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John 3.17“Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Those who believe in him are not condemned; but those who do not believe are condemned already, because they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God.”

A man asked me if he just believed, would he be saved from God’s judgment. I pointed to the chair on which I had been seated and said, “I believe that this chair will hold me up and I put my whole weight on it. If your belief helps you put your whole weight on Jesus, you will be in great shape.”

As we read more of Jesus’ life in the coming chapters, we will see the truth of Jesus’ words. People put their whole trust in him and were set free from sin and guilt. Praise God that he is still writing his story of belief, forgiveness and freedom today!

Jesus tells us (verse 18) that we don’t have to wait until the end of time to be confronted with condemnation. The world is full of examples of how broken life is apart from Jesus. Violence, war, family destruction, trauma, addiction, and so much more are all examples of experiencing judgment in the hear and now.

I rejoice that we often get to see people turn to Jesus after they have experienced the painful results of a lifestyle apart from Jesus.

Who is attracted to the darkness?

John 3.19-20“And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. 20 For all who do evil hate the light and do not come to the light, so that their deeds may not be exposed.”

As we read the Gospel of John, let’s pay attention to who is attracted to the darkness. The usual suspects are the tax collectors, prostitutes, and demonized. What’s interesting is that they often respond to Jesus and begin following him. In chapter four we will meet a very troubled woman from a suspect race of people. She was the first person in John’s Gospel to learn that Jesus was the Messiah.

In John’s Gospel the religious leaders seem to prefer the darkness of their own opinions and power over a humble acceptance of the light that Jesus gives. The famous psychiatrist, Dr. Scott Peck, points out in one of his books that the greatest evil cloaks bad deeds around religion. Please keep that in mind as we read the Gospel.

Who is attracted to the Light?

John 3.21“But those who do what is true come to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in God.”

Notice the phrase, “those who do what is true.” Jesus has come from heaven to reveal to us what is really real. His actions and his words are truth, what is really real in life. People who follow him will live a Jesus-kind-of-life, as Dallas Willard teaches.

Your Turn

Now is a great time for all of us, both the writer and readers of real-voices to choose to live our lives in the light of Jesus’ life and teaching. Let’s tell Jesus today that we want to do the truth and to live a life that is colored by what is really real.

Thanks for reading and for your comments.

Today’s Prayer

Dear Jesus, you are absolutely the best! You have come from heaven to show us what is really real in life. May we live according to what you show us through your teachings and your actions that we discover in the Bible. Thank you for your grace and love.

3 Comments

  1. “In John’s Gospel the religious leaders seem to prefer the darkness of their own opinions and power over a humble acceptance of the light that Jesus gives.”

    This line really jumped out at me. I’ve been thinking about humility quite a bit since coming across this quote last week:
    “There is such a thing as humility, however, and we must learn the true humility that consists of two things: (a) knowing your limitations and (b) getting the help you need. That is all humility is. It has nothing to do with any ascetic personal style or with being self-effacing. It is simply knowing your limitations. That is what the grandiose self hates. The grandiose self does not want to know any limits, and it does not want to ask for help. The twelve-step programs are so powerful because they teach a form of humility that says: “Know your limitations, and get the help you need.”
    ― Robert L. Moore, Facing the Dragon: Confronting Personal and Spiritual Grandiosity (haven’t read the book, just heard the quote)

    I’d love to hear your further insights into humility. You have spent so much of your life leading others and being greatly respected. Has knowing your limitations and getting the help you need been a part of what you have learned? Are there other insights you can give to how to grow in humility so as to have more of Jesus’ light?

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thanks for your comment, Jake. I agree with the 12 Step programs about humility. The people who get sober through a 12 Step program are humble enough to work the program as directed and follow the direction of a sponsor.

    I will pay more attention to the subject of humility and include it in articles when appropriate. Thanks again for your comment.

    Like

  3. Today seems to be a day for me to ask God to confront me with my misunderstandings and to teach me more of who he is.

    Like

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