Lent Devotional: 1 John 2:7-14

by Jonathan Haefs

1 John 2:7-14 (click here)
… the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining. Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness. Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him there is no cause for stumbling.

I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one. (1 John 2:8b-10 and 14b)

The old buildings were beautiful… almost regal. They towered in the old section of downtown, having stood the test of time and seeming like they would stand forevermore. Even their basic architecture conveyed a sense of immovable strength.

At least that was the impression my boyhood eyes got from a distance.

Yet… the closer I would draw to those beautiful old buildings, the more cracks I would see. Perhaps the ol’ downtown of my hometown wasn’t as solid as it seemed. In fact, if you walked all the way up to most of these buildings, their façade could be chipped way with a single flick of the finger.

The cracks grew bigger, revealing the truth that what looked strong from a distance was close to destruction.

I think that when we look at the darkness of our world, it can loom large like those old buildings. Corrupt institutions seem so solid and firm. Totalitarians, dictators, and authoritarian regimes seem like they are winning… never to fall. The wicked always seem to win. The darkness conveys a sense of immovable strength.

At least that is the impression our fleshly eyes get from a distance.

But take a closer look. Examine the history of dark regimes and those who pursue wicked ways. The closer you get the more cracks you’ll see. The darkness “winning” is merely a façade that chips away with the single flick of God’s finger!

“…the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining.”

It shines via the love of Christ at work through you! When you love with self-sacrificial love, you chip away at the dark façade of the world. God reveals the emptiness, the darkness for what it is by shining a light on the fullness of his love.

Darkness is exposed and the evil one is overcome by the victory that Christ has already won in you! His word, his love, he himself abides in you and works through you!

Do not be discouraged by the illusion that darkness is winning! Shine the light of Christ’s love on its foundational cracks that the world may see there is only one solid rock… Jesus!
*All previous devotionals may be found at www.thejoyofglory.com
*The complete SVCC Lenten reading guide is available here.