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  • Bob Burk

Lent Day 27

Scripture: John 3:14-17 (NRSV)

14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up,[a] 15 that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.”[b]

16 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. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.


Today's Meditation: 

The focus of today’s devotional is verse 17 but verses 14-16 are included to give some context.  Context is important because cherry-picking the Bible is as deleterious as cherry-picking what other people say/express. None of us likes to be quoted out of context; I cannot imagine God does, either.

And a word of explanation about that word saved. It comes from the Greek, through the Latin, and it means “being made whole.” Its meaning is far more multi-dimensional than simply ascribing to some statement of belief, for example, “I believe the sun will rise tomorrow,” or “I believe in Jesus Christ.”

 

When I read verse 16, I am comforted, I am relieved. I could weep for the graciousness of this incredible God who cares about each one in this world and provides the way for my eternal salvation that is, God’s eternal purpose, through Christ, of making all of me whole.

 

When I read verse 17, I become a bit disquieted.  God is not about condemning but about saving.  So many of my daily thoughts (which sometimes find their way into words) are about condemning. I like being saved, which ought to usher in boundless gratitude.  Verse 17 convicts me that my gratitude is not boundless. In fact, it is often quite confined – to my tribe, my worldview, my universe, or simply to my temperament on a given day.  What if my condemning thoughts were converted (hey, there’s a word!) to ‘saving’ thoughts? Would the depth of my gratitude increase? Would I spend more energy in participating in God’s saving the world than I often spend in condemning it?


Prayer:

Dear God, thank You for being a loving and saving God. I thank You for the eternal assurance I get from Your words through the Apostle John. You know the duplicity of my being, that my insecurities lead me toward condemning rather than saving. Teach me to manage my mind and change my heart to Your expansive purpose of, through Christ, loving this world into wholeness.


Michelle Prentice-Leslie




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