By His Light

John 3: 16-21
Acts 5:17-26 / Psa 34

… whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God.
(John 3:21)

He lives the Word who loves the light,
But evil deeds in darkness hide;
Can anything escape God’s sight?
The Truth can never be denied.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him might not perish but might 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 he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God.” (John 3: 16-21)

Reflection

Today’s Gospel reading brings to light another important reason why God had to become a man: in His great love and wisdom, God saw fit to put a Mediator between Himself and mankind. That is why Jesus said, “No one comes to the Father except through me” (Jn.14:6). The primary condition for our salvation is to believe in Jesus as the Son of God, Who came to redeem us through His death and Resurrection. And the second is that we must live by the truth in our words and deeds. Our works must be seen as testimony of our faith in God and His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.

How much, therefore, are we willing to stake for the truth? When I was in the low-cost housing business many years ago, graft and corruption seemed so endemic in many government agencies that we thought it would be near-impossible to turn up a profit if we paid all the exorbitant fees and taxes imposed by these government agencies. This frame of mind changed right after we finished a 9-week Brotherhood Christian Life Program. In the commitment cards that we pledged to follow, it stated among others that we would pay the right taxes. I called my staff for a meeting, and told them that henceforth we would pay all the mandated realty and transfer taxes according to their valuation, and that we would no longer cut corners with ‘grease money’ for take-out payments. The man in charge of following up the documents in various government agencies complained, “Sir, we may not be able to afford the payments. . . and our folders will take forever to move.” I simply told him, “Just have faith… from now on, no more shady deals.”

Years later, when many big housing developers were no longer in operation, our little company was still delivering quality, affordable housing units, albeit not “raking it in”, but definitely surviving in spite of the depressed real estate business that started in 1997. I believe the Lord helps those who abide by the truth, and will help them get by even in times of great economic crisis, such as the one we are experiencing today.

Lord, help me to persevere in my commitment to stand by the truth, whatever the circumstances or consequences. Bring to light all my sins, that I may never commit them again. Amen.

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