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Lenten Devo #35—For God So Loved

"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." (John 3:16-17)

We may talk about "the world, the flesh, and the devil" as our enemies, that which we need to fight against. And that's true. But when we think that way only we can miss the more obvious facts, namely that God loves the world and gave his Son so that the world might be saved.

If we think of the world as the enemy, and for good reason. The world is culture corrupted that influences us to believe things that aren't true and to do things that aren't good (to put it simply). We have to be cautious when engaging in the world and to make sure we are not "worldly" Christians, more attuned to the ebb and flow of what's fashionable than to God's eternal truths.

But if you camp out there you risk becoming a "hold-out" community, holding out until Christ returns. If you camp out there you will end up hating the world instead of loving it the way God does.

And what's more you'll miss the broader mission of God. God wants the world to be saved through his Son. Not simply individual Christians, mind you, but the whole world. He wants for all of his creation to be redeemed, and indeed that is the end game; just go read Revelation 21. That means our job is not to avoid the world but to thoughtfully (if cautiously) engage the world, and to do so with an expectation that God will redeem the world through you (well, through us, really; and through the Spirit, ultimately...but you get what I'm saying).

So when you're praying for individuals to come to faith, the broader project you're praying for is nothing less than the redemption of the whole world. What a thing to be a part of!

Who are you praying for today?

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