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. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.
The passage above, or at least the first verse, is without a doubt the most recognizable scripture in the New Testament. Today, as advent comes to a close, I pray that the Holy Spirit will allow us all to read these verses with fresh eyes.
As I discussed yesterday, we were all born into a battle that is waging inside of us and around us. We all need peace in one way or another, whether it’s in our minds, our bodies, our spirits, or our relationships. And we can only achieve real peace because Jesus came.
Let’s re-read the passage above, this time analyzing it as a description of the moment our battles changed forever. As we see in this verse, darkness is in the world and we all have the freedom to choose it. But in His deep love, God brought light to us in the form of Jesus. Holy light. Self-sacrificing light. Powerful light. Jesus’s birth forever changes our story if we simply believe in Him.
I had the privilege of ministering in Brazil last week alongside a group of hungry souls from around the world. While I was there, I saw a lot of darkness and I saw light’s powerful response. The first person I prayed for was a sweet little girl named Sophia. Through a translator, she asked for prayer for her thoughts. Her face said more. She was in a battle — fear, anxiety, heaviness, and grief, all had a tight grip on her. I invited Jesus to come. And He came. I asked for peace. And He gave it. I commanded every bad thought to leave. And they left. After that brief moment of prayer, Sophia’s whole demeanor changed. She came back two nights later to thank me and pray the sweetest, most heart-felt prayer over me. I can’t help but weep at God’s goodness when I think about her massive smile and bright eyes because they are testaments to the tender, life-changing love of Jesus.
See, true peace came in a person over 2000 years ago. And true peace can come to you in that same way today. Whatever battle you are experiencing, invite our loving savior into it:
“Lord Jesus, Thank you for coming into this world to enter into our battles. Please come and enter into my battle right now. I reject the works of darkness in my life and I welcome your light. I welcome your peace. Let me experience your true peace — in my spirit, in my mind, in my body, and in my relationships. Amen.”
By Luke Zipp