Join us today for an episode about the reason we have to live in the light not judge the dark...

Today's episode is focused on John 3: 14-21...

In today’s Spiritual Foundation Episode, I talk about John 3: 14-21. I share how choosing the light doesn’t mean we get to judge others. I also share how doing that helps invite others into the light far more than condemning differences.

Join in on the Chat below.

Episode 1413: Loving the Light

[00:00:00] Scott Maderer: Thanks for joining me on episode 1, 413 of the Inspired Stewardship Podcast.

[00:00:07] Dr. Rick Chromey: I'm Dr. Rick

[00:00:08] Chromey, and I challenge you to invest in yourself, invest in others, develop your influence, and impact the world by using your time, your talent, and your treasures to live out your calling. Having the ability to improve consistently over time is key, my friends, and one way to be inspired to do that is to listen to this, the Inspired Stewardship Podcast with my friend Scott Maderer.

[00:00:41] Scott Maderer: By the church, by the body of Christ. Not treated as outcast, treated as lesser, treated as someone that can't step up and be a leader, that can't step up and do other things. By doing that, then those that find themselves in the dark [00:01:00] will turn to the light. Welcome and thank you for joining us on the Inspired Stewardship Podcast.

[00:01:08] If you truly desire to become the person who God wants you to be, then you must learn to use your time, your talent, and your treasures for your true calling. In the Inspired Stewardship Podcast, you will learn to invest in yourself, invest in others,

[00:01:35] In today's Spiritual Foundation episode, I talk with you about John 3, verses 14 21. I share how choosing the light doesn't mean we get to judge others. And I also share how doing that helps invite others

[00:01:49] into

[00:01:49] Scott Maderer: the light far more than condemning the differences. John chapter 3 verses 14 through 21 says, And just as Moses lifted up the [00:02:00] serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.

[00:02:07] For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him may not perish, but may have eternal life. Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him. Those who believe in Him are not condemned, but those who do not believe are condemned already, because they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God.

[00:02:32] And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and the people love darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For all who do evil hate the light, and do not come to the light, so that their deeds may not be exposed. But those who do what is true come to the light. So that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in God.

[00:02:55] If like me, you're a fan of comic books, comic book [00:03:00] movies, and even some of those really bad action movies and dramas that you see out there, one of the things that sometimes comes across as a little weird, especially in older versions of those sorts of things, is when the bad guys were so easy to spot because they effectively named themselves.

[00:03:19] as bad guys the Injustice League, the Society of Evil Mutants. Why in the world would you name yourself as something that just begs attention from the heroes, from the good guys, from the Justice League, or Superman, or Batman, or the X Men? Why would you call attention to yourself if you have this sort of breaking the rules mentality and you're one of the quote bad guys?

[00:03:49] It seems like the villains must believe that their way is the right way. It's the better way. Their way was more just, it was more [00:04:00] good. Maybe it was brutal or illegal, but it was still more just, and in fact that kind of antihero villain is something that we see more and more in today's world. In this passage from John, Jesus is in this conversation with Nicodemus, and he seems to be telling Nicodemus that people, and that would be most of us, if not all of us, loved the darkness rather than the light because their deeds, read that as our deeds, were evil.

[00:04:39] He's calling out that people have done and do and continue to do bad stuff. But what does that mean to love the darkness rather than the light? Does it mean we've joined the injustice league? We've signed up with the bad guys? Did we consciously choose to oppose what Christ stands for and comes for and [00:05:00] came to bring us?

[00:05:00] Is that the accusation? At some level, maybe it is, but also within John, if you read it, you'll notice that John tends to set up binaries, tends to set up either or, light and dark, good and bad, and light and dark is one And I want to call out, we need to be careful with the use of that language, by the way, because it leaves the impression in some ways that light things are good and dark things as bad.

[00:05:32] And that, like many things in the Bible, has been misused throughout history. as an example of justifying slavery, as a way of justifying the abuse of dark skinned people, and in other ways, giving this sort of tacit approval to the idea that some are better than others just by the nature of their likeness.

[00:05:56] And you may think, surely we know better today, right? That doesn't [00:06:00] happen anymore. But honestly, using those terms and not acknowledging that sort of emotional history isn't being sensitive or being politically correct. It's simply not acknowledging the truth of history, and honestly, acknowledging the truth that still happens today.

[00:06:21] It's about not paying attention to things that matter. Not paying attention to the use of our language and paying attention to using language that lifts up, rather than language that demeans. The language that heals and is loving, rather than language that is cruel or hurtful. It seems to be about paying attention and choosing that if we're following Jesus, we need to lean into the goodness and love of God.

[00:06:50] Early in this text is perhaps one of the most famous verses from the whole Bible. John 3. 16 That verse that's held up on cardboard [00:07:00] signs, at football games, on street corners, all around the world. The verse that is at the heart of it, about the idea that God loved the world. God so loved the world. Dwell on that for a moment.

[00:07:21] That motivation for everything we are called to do, if we are a people of God, has to be about that. About love. Not about condemnation, not about judgment, not about bringing down the enemy or protecting our way of life, not about ripping up the misguided ones or judging them or harming them or casting them out.

[00:07:47] Even those who choose to seem to be in opposition to the gospel of Jesus. It's not about protecting ourselves or condemnation of them or judgment of [00:08:00] them. Instead, it is about Love. That seems to be what Jesus is saying. The loving of the light means choosing to heal, choosing to transform, choosing to honor, choosing to respect, not just people that look like me, act like me, sound like me, believe like me, love like me, do anything like me, but all people.

[00:08:20] of the people, not overlooking anyone, not the greatest, nor the least. But what about that line about being condemned already? Isn't that calling out and permission that we can overlook those who are already lost? We can ignore those? We should stay away from those that are already lost? But at some level, I think you know that doesn't seem to jive with the rest of the Gospel of Jesus.

[00:08:54] It's not. giving you permission to ignore or overlook or withdraw, but [00:09:00] rather giving you permission to get out of the condemnation and judgment business altogether. Jesus says that the Son came not to condemn, but to save. And though many of us would gladly take on that role of being judge, jury, and even executioner of calling out and condemning others of saying, pointing fingers to them out of love, of course, and saying, you're doing wrong.

[00:09:28] You need to straighten up. You are a sinner. You are messing up, but we aren't given that responsibility. We aren't given that job again and again in the gospel. Jesus says, you're Judgment is mine, not yours. Your task is to love. Your task is to love others as much as God and Christ loved us. As much as we are tempted to [00:10:00] build walls, to draw lines, to push others out, to protect our way of life, to protect society.

[00:10:07] I hear that language all the time. Our job as Christians is to Stand in the breach and protect the world. But that's not our job. Our job is to love the light. And how does that work to change hearts and minds of those that aren't loving the light? How will they know they need Christ? The same way we do because of the received mercy and grace and acceptance from God that we can model in the world by being graceful and accepting of all.

[00:10:43] And because of that They'll want to know more. They want to know more about what gives us that gift of the light. We reflect the radiance of Christ's love and that draws towards Christ, towards God, not towards us. [00:11:00] That reflection Allows us to be a sign that Christ is at work in the world and that there is still hope and love and resources and opportunities for grace.

[00:11:14] How will the world know that they're loved by God? Because they're loved by us, by the church, by the body of Christ. Not treated as outcast, treated as lesser, treated as someone that can't step up and be a leader, that can't step up and do other things. By doing that, then those that find themselves in the dark will turn to the light.

[00:11:41] Thanks for listening.

[00:11:48] Thanks so much for listening to the Inspired Stewardship podcast. As a subscriber and listener, we challenge you to not just sit back and passively listen, but act on [00:12:00] what you've heard and find a way to live your calling. If you enjoyed this episode, do me a favor, go over to facebook. com slash inspired stewardship and like our Facebook page and market that you'd like to get notifications from us so that we can connect with you on Facebook and make sure that we're serving you to the best of our abilities with time and tips there.

[00:12:31] Until next time, invest your time. Your talent and your treasures develop your influence and impact the world.

In today's episode, I talk with you about:

  • John 3: 14-21...  
  • How choosing the light doesn’t mean we get to judge others...
  • How doing that helps invite others into the light far more than condemning differences...
  • and more.....

"For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.” – John 3: 16

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About the Author Scott

Helping people to be better Stewards of God's gifts. Because Stewardship is about more than money.

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