Today’s devotional Reflection from St. Peter’s Anglican Church, Talahassee, FL encouraged and challenged me. The passage discussed is John 3:16-21. It’s an extremely familiar passage, but this devotional digs a bit deeper and provides a very apt practical application for Lent:
John 3:16-21 God So Loved the World
In this chapter, Christ is having the well-known “born again” conversation with the rabbi, Nicodemus. Christ has explained to him that this means you must be reborn of God’s Spirit and be led by Him, completely relying and trusting in His direction (v. 6-8).
Christ makes plain to Nicodemus how one may be saved. Christ would do the work of sacrificing Himself for us on the cross in payment for our sins, so that anyone who put his or her trust in Him would no longer be condemned. Christ says that, “whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life”. Believing does not just mean believing that Christ is who He says He is and believing that God exists and acts. It means believing in such a way that it changes how I act.
As I grow in Christ, more of my actions become ones that I can bring into His Light. As the Amplified Bible says it, “But he who practices truth [who does what is right] comes out into the Light; so that his works may be plainly shown to be what they are – wrought with God [divinely prompted, done with God’s help, in dependence upon Him]” (v. 21). As one born of God’s Spirit, I am acting in accordance with His perfect will. And so, I can “boast in the Lord” (1 Cor. 1:31) about these actions.
On the other hand, if I am unwilling to allow Christ’s light to shine on something I have done or said, then I had better confess my sin and redirect my will to His. If I am not willing to speak to Him about my words or actions, then I must be avoiding His light and hoping that my deeds are not exposed.
Living Out Lent – Be honest with yourself and with God. What are you failing to speak with Him about? Consider whether you are involved in something that you are trying to hide from His Light. If you are involved in ongoing sin; but, you are ready to turn from it, consider confessing to one of our priests, or to a trusted, committed Christian friend who can help you be accountable.
– Kris Bowers