This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil.
John 3:19 NASB
This is just 3 verses after John 3:16, yet we do not give this passage the same respect. Christ quite clearly talks about the judgment here and that men, having been exposed to the Light, continued in evil. If we are exposed to truth repeatedly and continue to want to walk in our own path and not ask for forgiveness then indeed we have judged ourselves.
And that is the part that none of us want to admit, that we still are holding on to the concept of being our own boss. We don’t want to surrender ourselves to His good will. But we must make a choice whether to come into the Light and serve Him faithfully or to continue to stumble in darkness.
All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.
Hebrews 12:11 NASB
As a child I would always hear adults say that I would understand the lesson later in life. Of course this would often happen when I was in trouble for doing something that I shouldn’t have been doing. And naturally as any child I would be mad because I wasn’t free to do my own pleasure. But now that I’m older I understand what the adults were saying and the truth behind the text for today. For the discipline does indeed lead to peace, if we choose to let the lesson be applied to our lives.
See its not enough to just hear the word of God, you have to let the Spirit apply it to your life so that change can take place.
I learn a lot about how I should interact with God through the actions of my child. So this morning I’m sleeping and the little one wanted me to wake up and play. And everything was done to wake me up. Me not getting up wasn’t going to work. The persistence was going to work.
As I thought about it, I started asking myself what if we approached God like that. What if we didn’t leave until we got the blessing we were looking for? What if we were like Jacob or that woman of scripture and said we are not letting go until you bless me? What sort of change would happen in our lives if we had that type of persistence?
For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. But flee from these things, you man of God, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness.
1 Timothy 6:10-11 NASB
Pursue is such a strong word to use. When you pursue something it means you want to capture it, you want to really acquire it. Almost as if you have to have it. So when the text says to us to pursue righteousness, godliness, etc. those are things which we should want to have, dare I say need to have.
And the opposite is true that we should not be pursuing money. Because it does lead to all sort of evil when you HAVE to have it. That pursuit will cause you to stray from the faith and ultimately it will cause you grief.
So pursue the good things.
What does it “cost” to follow Christ? That was a question posed to me in my studies today. I don’t like the question because I don’t feel it really hits where it needs to. So let’s come at it this way….what are you willing to “pay” to follow Christ?
How much is too much for eternal life in your mind? We all want to live forever, no doubt, but how many of us when faced with what we would need to give, are willing to part with it?
I think this is why we fall so often in our walk. We haven’t really assessed what we are paying or what price we are willing to pay.
Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live.
John 5:25 NASB
Many times in life we will say the following, “I didn’t hear you.” Now often that is not true because we did hear but we chose not to listen. But from time to time it is true that we genuinely did not hear mom or dad calling us. It’s because to really hear someone you have to be paying attention and listening for the call.
Even though the text says that we are dead, we were actively listening for the voice from the Son of God. Well some of us were, others of us we just heard someone shouting at us that we needed to change our ways and follow Him. Either way we knew we heard something that caused us to change. May we all continue to listen.
God’s love is a mystery. Not in the way that we don’t know why He loves us, He created us and it’s hard not to love your creation, but in the respect that He continues to love us. Even after we fall time after time, He is there to present His love as an alternative to the choices we are making. Think about it this way. There are roughly 7 billion people on the planet right now. Could you forgive 7 billion times a day? I know I couldn’t, which is why I know I need more of His love in me.