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  • Writer's picturePastor Hans Fiene

Matins Devotion: February 9, 2023

John 3:1-21

It’s easy to hate the world because, well, what’s not to hate? This world is riddled with violence and cruelty, lust and greed. The world is animated by hatred of God and His holiness. Our world worships the slaughter of the unborn, worships perversion and unnatural acts. Our world ignores the exploitation of the poor and the plight of the suffering so we can fill our homes with useless possessions. Our world despises forgiveness and creates billion-dollar industries that amplify and profit off of anger and bitterness, envy and cruelty. The world encourages us to worship our own righteousness and to put anyone who seems holier through reputational woodchipper so we can keep up the illusion that we are worthier. In all of this, the world beats us down with sin and corrupts us with sin. The world tears us to pieces and rips us, rips our friends and neighbors, our sons and daughters away from Christ. So of course it’s easy to hate the world.

But don’t hate the world. Pray for the world. Love the world. Hunger for the world’s redemption. And do this because God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world.

When Jesus was lifted up on the cross like the bronze serpent in the wilderness, He saw the world in all its horrid detail. He saw the liars and the thieves, the murderers and the adulterers. He saw the exploitation, the corruption, and the cruelty. He saw every ounce of wickedness that this world of sin had ever produced and would ever produce. But in that moment, Christ did not hate the world. He loved the world. He gave His very life to rescue the world from the condemnation it had earned. In the nails, in the the thorns, in the final breath from His lungs, Christ was condemned in the place of this world. And in His resurrection, He claimed power over this world. He overcame it and gave it the right to shine in His glory forever. This is what Christ did for the world. And it’s what He did for you.

However greatly the world sinned against you and broke your heart, multiply that by fifty trillion, and you’re starting to get close to how greatly the world sinned against Christ and broke His heart. And yet, Christ would not stop loving this world until His heart stopped beating. And He will not stop loving this world until this world has been fully transformed by His love.

So follow His example. Hate what the world has done to you and your neighbors. Hate what the world has been. But love the world for what it will be because of what Christ has done for it. Love your enemies, pray for those who persecute you. Shout the name of Jesus into this world of slavery and hatred that it may find salvation in the God of freedom and love.

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