“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 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 works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.” – John 3:16-21
Yesterday we discussed Jesus as our rescuer. Today we are going to focus on us, those who need rescuing. Christmas is the time that we celebrate light coming into the world, but light is only meaningful in comparison to darkness. Jesus is that light, and we are that darkness. The apostle John had amazing clarity on this point. The verse above starts as the most familiar and memorized verse for Christians, but what follows is a humbling description of us and where we fit into this picture of darkness and light. We love the darkness because our works are evil, the scripture says, which is echoed by the psalms and the apostle Paul who teach: “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” (Romans 3:9-12) This is the hopeless darkness of our lives without Christ, but that darkness need not be our destiny!
Christ’s birth, the light coming into the world, is a sign of hope for a world in desperate need of a savior. I can picture intimately a time in my life that was as dark as the landscape without Christ. I did not believe I needed saving, and was blind to the truth that my life was falling apart. I had no career direction. I was angry and destructive in relationships. I was consumed with pornography as a replacement for intimacy. Worst of all, I was cynical about everything. I saw all the worst things in people, and assumed all the worst intentions. As cynical as I was though, I never turned that cynicism on myself. I never questioned my own goodness or my own intentions. Spiritually, I was dead. But then, light came into my world.
In a moment of desperation I cried out to God, and Christ’s light shone in my darkness. I realized that I was the problem. I realized that I had wicked desires that lived in my heart. And I also realized that despite my wickedness and darkness, God loved me. He loved me enough to send His son to light up my darkness. He loved me enough that when I was least deserving of a savior, Christ died in my place. And though I still have wickedness in my heart, He loves me enough to be a lamp to my feet and to light my path.
Daily Battle Order:
Men, I encourage you now in this season of light to reflect on the darkness that you came from. My story is not unique. We were all dead in sin before we were made alive in Christ. Seeing the whole landscape prepares us for battle, and it is a constant fight to stay focused on that light. But as God’s word tells us: The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. Walk in the light!
**The Joshua Commission appreciates the opportunity to share lessons and testimonies of God’s love through the Daily Battle Orders. 2020 has certainly shed light on many facets of our culture, community and each of us individually. In 2021 TJC is taking a much more PROACTIVE position disciplining Kingdom Men to prevail through increasing challenges. As a Not-For-Profit Para-Church we rely on your donations to improve our operations and expand the Kingdoms influence. Please take the time to go on our website (joshuacommission.org) and subscribe, and donate if these DBO’s are of value to you. We aren’t asking you to partner with us, we are saying you are needed to lock shields with your brothers in the battles to come.**