Lights in a dark world

The Covington News - - Religion -

The first recorded words spo­ken by God in the Ge­n­e­sis of cre­ation were: “Let there be light” (Ge­n­e­sis 1:3). Then God sep­a­rated light from dark­ness, and from that time on, they have been op­po­sites. Where there is the pres­ence of one, there is the ab­sence of the other.

God and Satan are op­po­sites as well. God rep­re­sents light and Satan rep­re­sents dark­ness.

The Bi­ble says: “God is light; and in Him is no dark­ness at all” (1 John 1:5).

Je­sus said: “While I am in the world, I am the light of the world” (John 9:5). He said this in the con­text of heal­ing a blind man who had lived his en­tire life in dark­ness. Can you imag­ine com­ing from a life of to­tal dark­ness to be­ing able to see?

If that be true phys­i­cally, it is also true spir­i­tu­ally. The Bi­ble says “the way of the wicked is like deep dark­ness; they do not know what makes them stum­ble” (Proverbs 4:29).

Through Christ, light en­tered our world, but the sad re­al­ity is that men love dark­ness rather than light be­cause their deeds are evil (John 3:19-21).

Ev­ery­where Christ went, he brought light into a world of dark­ness, both phys­i­cally as well as spir­i­tu­ally. And he still does.

When Christ comes into our lives, we then be­come chil­dren of the light. The Bi­ble says: “for once you were dark­ness, but now you are light in the Lord; live as chil­dren of light” (Eph­e­sians 5:8). It also says: “put aside the deeds of dark­ness, and put on the ar­mor of light” (Ro­mans 13:12).

As we fol­low Christ, our lives go in the op­po­site di­rec­tion from the way we used to live. The Bi­ble says: “if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fel­low­ship with one an­other, and the blood of Je­sus Christ His Son pu­ri­fies us from all sin” (1 John 1:7).

With Christ liv­ing in our hearts, we then, be­come the light of the world. Je­sus said: “you are the light of the world. A city on a hill can­not be hid­den. Nei­ther do peo­ple light a lamp and put it un­der a bowl. In­stead, they put it on its stand, and it gives light to ev­ery­one in the house. In the same way, let your light shine be­fore men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Fa­ther in heaven” (Matthew 5:14-16).

Is Christ the light of your life? If not, turn away from your spir­i­tual dark­ness and come into his glo­ri­ous light.

If he is your light, then carry your light into your dark world. Shine.

You are the only Je­sus some peo­ple will ever see, so let his light shine through you into their dark­ness. Be a light in a dark world. The Rev. Wayne Ruther­ford LifePointe Church

of the Nazarene

The word works

Liv­ing and work­ing as pas­tor on the is­land of An­tigua in the Caribbean has all perks that you might ex­pect. My house on a hill has a sweep­ing view of the Caribbean out the back and a beau­ti­ful view of the is­land out the front.

One of the as­pects of my life in the trop­ics, though, means hard work more than fun in the sun.

Dur­ing the rainy sea­son, it pours in An­tigua like nowhere else that I have ever lived. Dur­ing th­ese times I feel like I can al­most see the plants, bushes, and trees of my yard grow­ing. This is a prob­lem be­cause I want to do any­thing and ev­ery­thing I can to main­tain those beau­ti­ful views. So, I am locked in a con­stant strug­gle to keep that trop­i­cal growth un­der con­trol.

Th­ese words from Isa­iah talk about the re­sults of rain that comes down from heaven. It uses this ex­am­ple not to teach us about gar­den­ing, but to teach us about the un­fail­ing re­sults of the word of God.

“As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not re­turn to it with­out wa­ter­ing the earth and mak­ing it bud and flour­ish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not re­turn to me empty, but will ac­com­plish what I de­sire and achieve the pur­pose for which I sent it” (Isa­iah 55:10-11).

Th­ese words, spo­ken from God’s per­spec­tive, make a few things very clear. God could have cho­sen to zap us with lightening, but in­stead he works in hu­man heart through the word. That word “goes out from” the mouth of God. We can read that word and be con­fi­dent that it comes from God. The ef­fect that God de­sires from his word is that we put our faith in him, specif­i­cally in his son, Je­sus Christ as our Sav­ior.

I would hope that you are maybe nod­ding in agree­ment with that list, but still, it is so easy to ig­nore that word when the time is right to use it.

When a friend or fam­ily mem­ber is sick or has a ma­jor prob­lem, the words “it’ll get bet­ter” can eas­ily come out of our lips in­stead of find­ing the word which, God says, will ac­tu­ally make things bet­ter. When we have prob­lems of our own, it is easy to find all of our com­fort in all kinds of things in­stead of find­ing the “peace that passes all un­der­stand­ing” in Je­sus.

Ac­tions that show a lack of trust in the power of God’s word show an in­ner at­ti­tude that lacks trust in God him­self. It shows that we do not ac­tu­ally trust God com­pletely. It shows our sin.

Amaz­ingly, God’s word still comes to us, like rain fall­ing from heaven. It comes to us with a mes­sage as sim­ple and clear as wa­ter it­self. That word tells us of those sins for­given and life eter­nal in Je­sus. It of­fers us a free and full par­don by what Je­sus has done.

Just like the trop­i­cal rains that make things grow in my yard, so also God prom­ises that his word will work in us to grow true faith in him.

Mis­sion­ary Andrew John­ston

Preached at Abid­ing Grace Lutheran Church

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