Weekly Devotion – John 3:17

Published 8:44 am Saturday, January 4, 2020

By Mike Caton

John 3:17, For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

Jesus has just told us how much God loved the world, that he loved us pitiful, sinful creatures enough to send his one and only son to save us. And oh how we love to hold onto that. But now Jesus reminds us that God didn’t send his son into the world to condemn us, but to save us. What’s going on here? What does Jesus have in mind?

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So often we like to think so much of our salvation, our rescue from sin that we forget God came to save others as well. And it is possible, somehow, that we begin to think of ourselves as maybe having always been saved, we seem to forget there was a time we were actually sinners. And so it is easy to look down on those who are still sinners, who don’t know or haven’t committed themselves to the Lord yet. Jesus is telling us this is not the reason he came, Jesus didn’t come to condemn, he came to save. (The fact is, we do a pretty good job of condemning ourselves!) And we also seem to love condemning others. And it is easy to see the differences, the things we don’t do, the things we don’t agree with. And if they are doing those things, they must be wrong. And if they are wrong, they are condemned. Right!?

But that is not why Jesus came into the world. Honestly, there is enough condemnation to go around. Jesus came to offer hope, and we need to accept that offer of hope in our lives and we need to share that offer of hope in the lives of others. Everyone you come into contact with is fighting a battle of some sort, and we need to offer them encouragement and hope and grace as they fight. We need to share with them the good news, that there is a better way. And what better news is there than that God sent his son to save us?

Father, help me be an encouragement today. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Mike Caton is the preacher at Mount Olive Church of Christ in Belhaven. He volunteers at the Ponzer Fire Department and works part time with Hyde County EMS. If you would like to receive daily devotions in your inbox, email mikecaton@centurylink.net.



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