Eternal Savior Lutheran Church

A member of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod

2688 North Park Drive
Lafayette, CO 80026
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March 21 – People Loved The Darkness

“Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.” John 3:18-20

Devotional Thought For The Day

“This is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil.” These are astonishing words – delivered plainly, simply, and powerfully by the Lord Jesus Christ, “the ONLY Son of God.” If we were to take them seriously, and contemplate their depth and weight, many of the difficult and confusing things we experience in life would come into much clearer focus.

Tracing the logic backward helps.  Who does wicked things and evil deeds?  According to Scripture, every single human being: “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” [Rom. 3:23]; “Surely there is not a righteous man on earth who does good and never sins” [Eccl. 7:20]; “If a man keeps the whole law, and yet offends in one point, he has become guilty of all” [James 2:10]. Now for the hard part – these very people, all of us, are included in Jesus “judgment,” that “people loved the darkness rather than the light.” And the effect of this “love of the darkness” lingers on like a bad headache even in those who have come into the light, confessed their sins, and embraced the ONLY Son of God by faith, rejoicing that “in Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.” [Eph. 1:7]

So the reality is that all people engage in evil deeds and wicked things, and all of us by nature therefore love the darkness and hate the light. The fact that the law of God has been written in our hearts, clearly revealing right and wrong, and powerfully condemning our evil and wickedness [Rom. 2:14,15], obviously creates an immense urgency for human beings to find ways to justify what they are doing, soothe their guilty consciences, and obscure their evil and wickedness from others – whose knowledge of the law of God makes the wickedness of others plain to them. Enter all of the wretched hypocrisy of human “goodness, kindness, and love,” – but if Jesus’ Word is true, then this is an even deeper plunge into the darkness. Enter religion [which biblically speaking, Christianity is not], the systematized and highly organized hypocrisy of asserting our own “agency,” or “free will,” to commend ourselves to God and prove our goodness to Him, and the darkness is virtually unbearable. That this is the worst rebellion again Jesus, the light that has come into the world, the worst darkness, is seen when all of this is contrasted with Jesus’ simple message: “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe the Gospel.” [Mark 1:15]

All of the dishonesty in human affairs – business, commerce, relationships, is part of this love of the darkness. Dishonesty in politics, in conversations about God [which people trapped in darkness can only view as “religious” discussions], and all theological debate, is centered in this love of the darkness. All arguments against simple, true, humble, repentance, and full faith and trust in the salvation which Jesus accomplished as “the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world,” are headed directly into the deepest darkness, and away from the “love of God.” The conflicts we have even within the church, all of our continuing and ongoing sin and rebellion against God’s Word is a consequence of “people loving the darkness rather than the light.”

These are the options, and all of us are either headed toward the light, or heading ever deeper into the darkness, for “the light has come into the world,” and “the darkness has not overcome it.” [Jn. 1:5] Nor will it ever overcome the light, so those who do not believe “in the name of the only Son of God” can only try to escape it, plunging themselves ever deeper into the darkness of hypocrisy, deceit, self-righteousness, and religion. Though the brilliance of the light is quite painful for us, since we too are accustomed to the darkness of evil deeds and wicked things, nonetheless the promise of God stands sure and certain: “But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.” [1 Jn. 1:7] This is not “religion” but rather Christianity – blessed fellowship and friendship with God in the light of His truth and love, through true faith in Christ Jesus. His love alone has power to wean us out of the darkness and into the marvelous light of His love – in Christ Jesus!

Scripture Cited

Rom. 2:14,15 “For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them.”

Prayer For The Day

Dear Lord Jesus, I confess that much of my life has been devoted to darkness – evil deeds and wicked things. I have brought darkness to others by bad example, by sin against them, and by the hypocrisy of self-justification. I have also struggled to comprehend the enormity of the influence of darkness in this Your world. Thank You for coming into the world, and being the light of the world. Free me from the grip of the darkness by granting me true repentance and a firm and resolute faith in Your gracious mercy, forgiveness, love, and salvation. I know this is Your good and gracious will for me, for all people. Amen.