Posts Tagged ‘ Light ’

Preparing Your Heart – Second Week of Advent

Once again, this series is a re-post from three years earlier, with some additions by me.

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It is now the second week of Advent! (See last week’s devotional thought here.)

Again, Advent is a time to remember our Lord’s first coming as we look forward to His imminent return.

So, let us prepare hearts for encountering the Lord!

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light.

The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
John 1:1-14, ESV

It is important for us to remember that God’s people, the Israelites, those who painstakingly preserved the written Word of God and pursued righteousness, failed to recognize Him when he came to them quite literally in the flesh.

Jesus said just three chapters later, “But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him” (John 4:23). Our culture today is largely spiritually dull, even in many churches.

Ask yourself, “Would I recognize God if He approached me today?” Seek His face in prayer, Bible reading, and the fellowship of believers. Ask God to reveal Himself to you. Too many missed Him the first time around. Seek the living Lord!

“For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.”
Matthew 16:7b, ESV

Weekend Words & Sunday Stanzas – 11/02/2014

Find the beauty in God’s Word at Proverbial Thought.

Almost exactly seven years ago today (two days ago, actually) I met a young woman who inspired this poem.

You may have already figured out I am talking about my wife. The mushy part of the story is that I knew the moment I looked into her eyes that she would be my wife. I could also detect what I came to see over the coming days. Her truest beauty came from the One living inside of her.

 

   more than skin deep

 

beauty that is more than skin deep

because of a deep love of God

if she only knew just how deep

the Father wants her to feel His love

her heart cries out for justice

in a world full of pain and grief

her soul cries out for the Lord Jesus

to put her troubled soul at ease

it has not been enough just to say

God had one Son Whom He sent

through His life lived and then paid

she knows she has a Perfect Friend

this love that so emanates

from her Savior working in Heaven

flows out as she emulates

the Lord Who is the Perfect One

this beauty that goes beyond skin deep

comes from the love of her Savior

it makes the inside soul and mind and body

a holy temple dedicated to the Lord

though on the outside her beauty is great

you need to see what she has inside

the love of her God so permeates

that you can see in her Jesus Christ

so walk with her and see this life

see the love that is so complete

and that this love from Jesus Christ

makes her beauty more than skin deep

Weekend Words & Sunday Stanzas – 08/10/2014

Find the light of wisdom and get a head start over at Proverbial Thought!

My family is currently going through one of the more difficult times a family can face.

In this time, my mom said that if there was one thing she wanted in this life it was that Jesus would be seen through her.

Even Jesus spoke to this being true in our lives:

You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
Matthew 5:14-16, ESV

Let us remember that others giving glory to God ultimately means that they come to believe that Jesus is the Son of God, the Savior of their souls, and the lover of their lives. And, as Jesus also said, they will know these things “if you have love for one another” (John 13:35). When we come together as one in Christ, His light shines brightly through us!

 

 

 

 

bonfire

we all try to be candles
in our darkened world
but as barely a spark
what are we good for
if we can come together
and our lights shine brighter
more of the world will light up
we will look more like a bonfire
our light will shine bright
more like a city on a hill
illuminating more than
alone we ever will
let us come together
and let the fire roar
saving the sick and homeless
the worried and the poor

Really?!

Get a taste of wisdom over at Proverbial Thought!

Big and Newborn Bros

Big and Newborn Bros

My Wedding with Nick

At my wedding 2.6 years ago

Yesterday was my little brother’s 28th birthday. I still think of him as a junior higher, perhaps 13 or 14 years old. That is now half his age! I can barely believe it!

This past Thursday, January 9, was my 14th Re-birthday. It was 14 years ago I first knelt down and declared I believed Jesus is my Savior and the Son of God. I was only a couple years older than how I still view my brother when that happened.

This all got me to thinking about something.

Some friends and I had a conversation about conversations a while back. It was all about the exclamation “Really?!”

The full context of this conversation was focused around what one of us had heard about friendly conversation and this one word. Asking this word after a friend or loved one makes a statement is the same as casting doubt on the validity of the statement.

It is one thing if the conversation goes like this:

“I just won a million dollars!”
“Wow! Really?!”

Winning a million dollars is not a typical occurrence in daily life. Shock and amazement with a little bit of doubt makes sense.

But when the conversation is more like this:

“I lost my phone today.”
“Really?”

In this context, it can said as any of the following:

  • Anger: “How could you do that again?”
  • Sarcasm: “This is such a surprise coming from you!”
  • Astonishment: “This just happened?”

And many others.

The underlying theme is that saying “Really?!” denotes disbelief or mistrust, or at worst it denotes aggression or animosity. And to be fair, most of us use the term in such a way as to say “Tell me more!”

In Jesus’ Name. Really?!

You are probably thinking about how often you say “Really?!” to people, and, if you are like we were, you are attempting to justify your use of the term and explain that you usually mean “Tell me more!”

Let me then ask you this, Christian believer: How do you live your life?

Do go around claiming your connection to your church and as a good Christian, yet those outside the Church look at your example of love and light and think “Is this person really ‘blameless and innocent, [a child] of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, 16, ESV)

Put another way, do they look at your life and say “Really?! That’s a Christ follower?” And they want to stay away from God because of your example?

Or do you go around sharing the good news of Christ as you live out His commands of love and sacrifice? Do those outside the Church look at your example of love and light and think, “Really?! This kind of thing is true? Tell me more!”

Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test! I hope you will find out that we have not failed the test.
2 Corinthians 13:5-6, ESV

Ray of Darkness

I first offer you some sagely advice: go to Proverbial Thought and get some godly wisdom!

What Lights?

Have you ever been walking or driving down a road at night when it is really dark? Have you ever been there and had a car come around a corner with its high beams on?

If you read this blog on a regular basis, you have probably read and/or heard this passage read:

You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”
Matthew 5:14-16, ESV

As a believer in Jesus Christ, we should desire to be the light of the world to a lost and broken world drowned in darkness. It is good to be the light and want to help people.

What if our desire to help gets in the way of helping?

“No one after lighting a lamp puts it in a cellar or under a basket, but on a stand, so that those who enter may see the light. Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light, but when it is bad, your body is full of darkness. Therefore be careful lest the light in you be darkness. If then your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, it will be wholly bright, as when a lamp with its rays gives you light.”
Luke 11:33-36, ESV

Spreading Darkness

Is it possible that the light coming out of our eyes is dark?

If we are calling out and shining light on the sins of the world, yet we are just as guilty of those sins as believers, we share an hypocritical message that no one would want to believe. Why should they? We say one thing and do another.

Do all things without grumbling or disputing, 15 that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, 16 holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.
Philippians 2:14-16, ESV

I am not saying most Christians do this. I do not know most Christians nor their hearts.

What if there is another possibility?

What if, in our desire to be compassionate and loving, we forget our compassion and love?

The longer we walk in darkness the easier it gets to see, though we can not see with the same detail as in the light.

Obviously, those who walk in the light know this, and we simply wish to share the light with others.

Going back to my initial question, what happens when you are on a dark road and someone comes around the corner with their headlights on high beam?

Night blindness.

It is almost as though you are completely blind, or at least considered legally blind being able to see only the biggest and brightest things. Usually those sights tell us either to draw near for safety or flee from danger, such as in case there is another car speeding toward us!

This is what it can be like with a Christian approaching one who still walks in darkness.

In our zeal to reveal the sin of the world, we may come out of nowhere with our high beams right in their eyes!

We worsen their lives with our attacks on their sin!

Do not get me wrong: we should most certainly wish to help lead the world to the Savior who forgives and cleanses away their sins.

Some indeed may turn, in the induced blindness from our light, toward our light in hopes that we are someone who can help.

In a world that lives in fear, however, the most natural response is to react out of … FEAR!

Remembering the Way

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. . . .Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.
Ephesians 5:1-2, 15-21

In our desire to share God’s love, we must remember to be careful in our approach. There will be times we must speed in, but most of the time we must tread carefully with love, compassion, and wisdom.

The wise will share the love of Christ by trusting the leading of the Holy Spirit.

Update: Prodigal Magazine had a very good article yesterday about this very thing! They have good writers! God is amazing!