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Let Me Be Light
Wednesday of the Second Week of Easter
God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him will not be condemned, but whoever does not believe has already been condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the only-begotten Son of God. And this is the verdict, that the light came into the world, but people preferred darkness to light, because their works were evil.
For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come toward the light, so that his works might not be exposed. But whoever lives the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God.
Opening Prayer: Lord, let there be light in my soul as I reflect on your profound words in today’s Scripture verses.
- John 3:16: These are some of the most famous words of Scripture. We see this passage written on signs at public venues, prominently displayed on the faces of sports players, and printed on t-shirts. It’s no wonder—this simple phrase assures us that God is love, that he loved us enough to sacrifice his Son for our good, and that we need not die because eternal life awaits us. Our greatest two fears are not being loved and dying. If we can believe in Jesus, we need not fear any longer! But belief can be costly, can’t it?
- I Believe: Belief in God requires our turning away from sin and striving to live according to the commandments and Church teaching. But many in our modern, post-Christian, individualistic society believe that obedience to God is a price too high to pay. It restricts “freedom,” they complain. How foolish! If God so loved the world as to give his Son in sacrifice, then we can trust that his commandments are also for our own good. It can be very hard to conform our lives to the commandments and Church teaching, but that’s one important way we show that we believe! It’s one beautiful way to show our love for God! And through our obedience, we experience true freedom as Jesus told us in John 8:32: “…the truth will set you free.”
- Condemnation: When we refuse to believe in Jesus, we “have already been condemned.” We are condemned even before we die as we wallow in unrepentant sin, enslaved by our passions. This spiritual reality binds us to the darkness, but even more tragically, we miss out on the delight and wonder of coming to know our loving God here and now. Life can be wonderfully illuminated by God’s light–in the faces of our loved ones, in the glories of nature, in the experiences of his grace–or we can choose to live in darkness day after day. All it takes is a little faith to break free of darkness. “Lord, I do believe, help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24).
Conversing with Christ: When my own “works are done in God” I radiate your light and, by your grace, can reach into another’s darkness to help him or her break free. Lord, I want to be an instrument of your light for many of my family and friends. Please continue to bless me with your grace so that I may “let my light shine before others” (Matthew 5:16).
Resolution: Lord, today by your grace I will reach out to one person with a kindness, knowing that your light is shining through me.
For Further Reflection: Watch Tim Tebow The John 3:16 Story.
Written by Maribeth Harper.