December 27 I Monday
“For God so loved the world that He gave His One and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” —John 3:16
The opening verse of this devotion is probably the most loved and most repeated verse in all of Scripture. It speaks of God’s unfailing love for us, to the point that He gave us His Son, so that whoever believes in Him will have eternal life.
We have heard remarkable stories of Jesus healing the sick, the lame, the blind and the demon possessed. We have heard of how He walked on water, calmed the storm, fed thousands at a time and raised the dead. We know His teachings to be selfless and life changing, and that when our time comes, we will be in paradise with Him. For many people, this is almost too good to be true. They see Jesus as an antidote to the fear of evil and death, conceived in the minds of men, so that the weak may have hope and something to cling to.
No doubt, we live in turbulent times, and problems seem to be coming at us from all directions. In today’s world, we do not even know where the enemy resides, but this is not news to God. We need hope, and we need intervention; God gave us exactly that when He gave us His Son. Too good to be true by human logic, but not by the divine reckoning of God, in which He offers Jesus Christ as the light of the world.
Jesus did not perform miraculous signs and wonders to save us to eternal life, but so that we may believe in Him, and by believing in Him, we experience Him. Though we did not see the miracles God did through Jesus, and neither do we have a physical Jesus to turn to, we are given the Holy Spirit who testifies with our spirits that we are a child of God. This does not come out of weakness, but out of the absolute truth in which God has intimately and personally revealed Himself to each of us.
In this increasingly troubled world, evil is always active and lurking, but as Christians, we have the peace of God ruling our hearts. We have the indwelling Spirit of Christ, which means we have the same power within us that will one day reconcile the entire world to God. Where does this leave the strong and self-assured? Where do they place their hope and what will their futures hold? God gave dominion over the earth to mankind, but without His Spirit, mankind is incapable, which is clearly evidenced all over the world. We need to pray for those whose hope and dependence lies in human resources, because Christ alone is our hope for this world. Without Him, there is no answer.
Prayer: Gracious Father, thank You for giving us Jesus, our hope in a world full of strife. I pray for those untouched by Your Spirit to see the light of Christ and be drawn to Him. Thank You, Lord.