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Sunset over Green Bay
Sunset over Green Bay, Wisconsin
(Click to enlarge photo)

Thursday, July 6, 2006

"Some Love Darkness"

"Then the people began to plead with Jesus to leave their region" (Mark 5:17).  "This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil" (John 3:19).

I tend to be a very spontaneous type person. Sometimes this works out, other times it really doesn't.  Any who have had me as a pastor probably recall instances of both!  One time that really worked out great was when I opened the service by having the entire church sing the old children's song, "This little light of mine", motions and all.  My, did they sing out and no one seemed to feel so dignified that they didn't enter right in.  It was an enjoyable sight.  I hope that you let His light shine through your life today. Our portion of light may be little but all together we make a difference.

The evidence of the spreading spiritual darkness abounds.  God's design and revealed ways continue to be ignored, violated and tampered with and this leads to chaos and destruction. Sometimes it seems I can practically hear Satan's hideous laughter since he delights in destruction (John 10:10).

The daily verse ends a section that deals with one of the most remarkable and dramatic deliverances Jesus accomplished; that of the Gerasene demoniac. More detail is given to this deliverance than any other in Scripture, with each of the synoptic Gospels recording it. You can read the full account in Mark 5:1-20 and I would encourage you to do so.

But all are not joyful when the Lord of the universe comes in and cleans house! The pig owners lost a great source of wealth, the chain-maker a steady repeat customer, and the village novelty was now dressed and in his right mind. Those who had benefited from this man's possession were afraid (v. 15).  Life had been interrupted and little regard was apparently given for the man who had been delivered from years of demon possession. The daily verse is so indicative of the reaction of those lost in darkness, "Then the people began to plead with Jesus to leave their region."

This happens today as well. For most the miracle of salvation is not as outwardly dramatic as that of the demoniac's deliverance; but inwardly, genuine regeneration is every bit as miraculous. Genuine conversion has many consequences. Smokey's Bar loses a steady customer; the gambling casino has one less patron to be "entertained", the vile pornographic industry loses a great source of profit.

The world has one more little light to remind them of how dark the darkness really is. To those profiting in darkness that's scary (v. 15).  Those most accustomed to darkness don't want light. A powerful Scripture that teaches this is John 3:19: "This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil." Today, as then, many unregenerate people continue to plead with Jesus to leave.

Well, Jesus did move on and the redeemed man wanted to go with Him but Jesus told him to stay and spread the message. And he did so! Today redeemed people all over the world continue to share the message. And many still don't want to hear it. They'll still plead to those walking in the light, "Leave and take your Jesus with you."  But until we are called home let us remain obedient to Christ and keep letting our lights shine!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen C. Weber

Brooksyne's prayer: Jesus, You never asked me to change the hearts of those walking in darkness but You did declare that I am to let my light shine so that others will see Your work in my life and glorify my Father in heaven.  Lord, may the work of my hands and the words that flow from my lips be expressions of Your indwelling light that guides me day by day.  I desire, along with multitudes of other believers, to be a sunbeam shattering the prevailing darkness as I walk circumspectly in the ways of the Lord.

"This Little Light of Mine" sung by Romanian Christians here in the US with the enthusiasm I like! Turn your volume up and be prepared to smile.  If you can do so, sing along!

Speaking of old songs as I read Brooksyne's prayer I recalled another song we sang as children called "Jesus wants me for a sunbeam."  Anybody else remember that one!

"Shine, Jesus Shine" is song that goes with today's message. (Here's an audio file) I also used this song for a message last week but it seems to go with this one as well!

I took today's photo of the sunset over Green Bay in Door County Wisconsin this last Saturday evening.  For many years i have enjoyed taking photos of sunrises and sunsets! These are daily reminders of God's presence and faithfulness and should always prompt praise.  "From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the Lord is to be praised"  (Psalms 113:3).

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission; and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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