Impacting Cities & Communities thru Prayer
A Community of Prayer Champions, Praying Churches, Prayed-for Communities
I want to address a subject that is in some ways difficult for all of us. I want to speak first to you who are not religious. There are many reasons for not being religious. And I cannot address all of them. Some of you may say that what I am about to deal with is not one of your reasons for not believing in God or for avoiding spirituality. Interestingly enough, the fact that this is not an issue for you may help you see this more objectively. However, some of you will find this difficult or even painful. But this is important, and I urge you to struggle through it with me. In chapter 3, verse 19 of The Gospel of John in the Bible, says light has entered the world in which we live.
“And this is the judgement: the light has come into the world.”
How is light judgment? That is because this light shines into us and reveals our inmost selves. That can be terrifying. The reality of God comes as a floodlight into our lives. We don't want God or anyone to see what we are really like. And we don't want to think about it ourselves. We fill our lives with many things, seeking anything that might satisfy, and with little success. Sometimes we are busy just to keep from coming to the light and looking into our own hearts.
Later in the New Testament we find the letters written by the Apostle John. In 1 John, the first of these, chapter 1, verse 6, John says that God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all. The very nature of God is a floodlight. When we seriously consider God or dare to come near him, his light shines into our lives.
Look with me at the broader context of the verse I began with. John 3:19-20 reads,
“And this is the judgement: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed.”
I would like us to consider some related promises that may give you the freedom to step into God’s floodlight.
God does not reveal what is in your heart to condemn you. John 3:17 says God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world. God sent his son to die on a cross to forgive you and pay the very real consequence of greed, and pride, lust, resentment and hatred that are in us.
When I was a boy we had barn cats. And I remember a number of times that I was scratched by a cat. When that happened, I would go to great lengths to hide the scratches from my mother. Even though cats are always cleaning themselves, a cat scratch will almost always become infected. I suspect this is even worse with barnyard cats. My mother’s remedy was a very painful cleansing of the wound. 1 John 1:7 says the blood of Jesus cleanses us of all sin. And while the honesty before God necessary for this cleansing is painful, there is relief in having been cleansed.
Even when my mother was pouring alcohol on those scratches, I knew she loved me. John 3:16 begins with the words “For God so loved.” Very few things in life are as comforting and sustaining as knowing we are loved. And God's love is unconditional. He loves us in spite of our faults. He will not force his love on us, but he offers it to us without any limit.
The Bible promises heart transformation to those who come to Him through Jesus. He gives the power to change us internally. John 3:21, just after verses 19-20 which tell us why we hate the light, says those people who live by the truth come to the light so everyone can see that it is God who is working in us. If you have to clean up your own life you are in trouble. But God changes our deepest motivations.
1 John 1:7 says, “If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with each other.” Our pretenses and deception, along with criticism of others form barriers to deeper relationships. But when we have come clean before God he brings us closer and closer to others who live in his light.
Are you willing to step into the floodlight of the presence of God?