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Thursday, November 20, 2014
Sunburst, blue sky and cotton-like clouds over Delaware!
(Photo by Duke)
Click to enlarge
This week we are sharing a series of messages from Romans 13:11-14
"Understanding The Present Time"
"Living As Children Of Light"
"They grope in darkness with no light" (Job 12:25). "But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness" (Proverbs 4:19) "So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light" (Romans 13:12) "For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them" (Ephesians 5:8-11).
Yesterday I heard a testimony for Christ at a CBMC meeting in Lancaster. CBMC is an international ministry active in over 90 countries of Christian businessmen who seek to live for Christ. I have been a part of CBMC since 2001. Although I am not a businessman per se, I have been blessed in our corporate chaplaincy work by the relationships I have established.
Our speaker was Stephen Bloom (2nd from right in photo) who is a Pennsylvania state representative. He was raised in a non-Christian home and during his college years was an atheist/agnostic. He shared his journey of coming to faith in his mid-twenties and his growing relationship with the Lord since praying to receive Christ.
Distressed by the direction in which he sees our country heading he first became a state rep in 2010. His mission statement unambiguously expresses his faith: "Lord willing, to serve in the public square as a loving witness for Jesus Christ and an effective champion for life and liberty." He heeds Christ's command in letting his light shine before men in such a way that they may see his good works, and glorify our Father who is in heaven. (See Matthew 5:16).
A key component for all of us who strive to understand the present time is living as children of the light!
It's interesting that one of the many distorted pictures Satan presents as "having a good time" is going into places of darkness. Perhaps you can easily conjure up such a place in your mind. For me a casino, bar, brothel, "adult" bookstore and other such places represent places of "deep darkness". What a deceitful lie many have come to believe! In reality an ancient word from Job is so pertinent, "They grope in darkness with no light."
Christians are often portrayed as a disgruntled, judgmental type of people who really don't know how to enjoy life. I contrast that portrayal with my experience as a follower of Christ for over 40 years. Being in a joy-filled church service, gathering around our big dining room table for a home Bible Study, enjoying activities with men on a campout (Stephen) or sharing with women at a fellowship (Brooksyne). A fruitful happy marriage and the blessing of family and friends are among the many joys of living in the light. The tremendous prayer support and encouragement from the body of Christ extended to me in times of need leads me to say along with so many others in times of crises: "What would I do without the body of Christ?" My brothers and sisters who uphold me in prayer and encourage me with their words and actions. I'll take that kind of life over the dark, often dangerous, and godless places that those who walk in darkness are drawn to!
The radiant light of God's Holy Word exposes and dispels darkness. When God's servants live as children of light, darkness is dissipated.
All of us, in one way or another, are affected by darkness. By God's grace and through His might, as believers we want our light to shine brightly to expose and then dispel the darkness! We cannot dabble in darkness and still live in the light. God has not called us to blend in but rather we are to stand out as those whose lives are filled "with goodness, righteousness and truth". When we try to blend in we are putting ourselves at danger since one force will eventually overtake the other.
live as children of light and find out what pleases the Lord.
We must have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. In our present day when crusaders of darkness are applauded and in some instances upheld as "courageous" role models, let us hear the resounding call God has placed upon us to "live as children of light!"
There is a candle in every soul
Some brightly burning, some dark and cold
There is a Spirit who brings a fire
Ignites a candle and makes His home
Carry your candle, run to the darkness
Seek out the hopeless, confused and torn
Hold out your candle for all to see it
Take your candle, and go light your world
Take your candle, and go light your world
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Jesus, You are the Light of the world. And because You reside in our hearts we are a reflection of Your holy light. The world we live in is dark and growing even darker as Satan's sinister and deceitful schemes are being played out. Help us not to dismiss the darkness that is spreading lest the darkness overshadow us in time. Instead we ask You to empower us through the light of Your Holy Spirit to shine in a wicked and decadent society. We come against the darkness by speaking against wickedness in all forms. And, Lord, help us to be consistent not only in what we speak but the manner in which we live, for our actions often speak louder than our words. May the "fruit of the light consisting in all goodness, righteousness, and truth" be evident in all we do since we have "put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light." It is in Your name, Jesus, that we pray. Amen.
"Groping in darkness" comes from an interesting phrase found in a section of Job that deals with leaders. "He makes the nations great, then destroys them; He enlarges the nations, then leads them away. He deprives of intelligence the chiefs of the earth’s people and makes them wander in a pathless waste. They grope in darkness with no light, and He makes them stagger like a drunken man" (Job 12:23-25). That is certainly a portion worthy of further consideration.
Let me share a couple more takeaways from the testimony I heard yesterday at the CBMC meeting by Stephen Bloom. He shared that while in college he mocked Christian speakers who came to the campus (Penn State). I can't remember the exact details but he shared that he saw a prayer list with his name on it and how that really touched him although he didn't surrender his life to Christ until several years later. He shared how in politics especially during a campaign, it's difficult to keep a good spirit but the Lord directed him to pray each day for his opponent.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Carry Your Candle" Video Kathy Troccoli
"Light Your World" Video NewSong
"This Little Light Of Mine" Video Addison Road
"This Little Light Of Mine" Video Soweto Gospel Choir
"God of Brilliant Lights" Video Aaron Shust
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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, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. 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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