The online Bible teaching ministry of Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
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Wednesday, February 22, 2017
"Walking In The Light"
Message summary: Today, as we "walk in the light" we will dispel the depressing darkness of sin. Sin will not penetrate our hearts when the light of God's Word is hidden within which shines forth the brilliance of His glory.
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"Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!" (Isaiah 5:20). "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life" (John 8:12). "So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet" (1 Thessalonians 5:6-8).
Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art
Thou my best thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.
Circadian Rhythm disorder (also known as "non-24") is a condition common in people who are totally blind. Essentially due to the inability to see light they are unable distinguish night from day and thus may be sleepy during the day and wide awake at night. I first learned of this condition due to an advertisement for a medication that claims to be helpful.
According to an article on the condition, "The majority of people with non-24 are totally blind, and the failure of entrainment is explained by an absence of photic input to the circadian clock. These people's brains may have normal 'body clocks', but the clocks do not receive input from the eyes about environmental light levels, as that requires a functioning retina, optic nerve and visual processing center." *
I suppose I never would have given this disorder much attention if not for the advertisement that prompted consideration for further study. It's certainly a reminder of another blessing we who have sight probably take for granted. But it also prompts a spiritual parallel:
Scripture describes the unregenerate condition of mankind to being blind: "The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God" (2 Corinthians 4:4). This spiritual blindness is expressed in the first verse of the great hymn, "Amazing Grace", "I once was blind but now I see".
One of the effects of spiritual regeneration is having spiritual sight or discernment. If you don't discern this spiritual darkness you're probably not spending enough time in the light of God's Word! You see, just as our physical eyes can adjust to a dark setting and then are pained by a sudden bright light, so our spiritual eyes can become familiar, even comfortable in darkness. After prolonged exposure to darkness, the light (which we know is good), can actually be painful.
You probably know people who are living in darkness that don't even know it. They are so accustomed to the darkness that any reference to light (Christ) is very irritating to them. This is the challenge we have in witnessing to our unsaved friends and family. This was also the challenge the Israelites faced as they inhabited the Promised Land. God knew that they could not immerse themselves in the daily lives of the idol worshiping inhabitants lest they themselves lose sight of the great I AM. That's why He empowered them to wipe out entire populations of major cities and villages. A hard part of the Biblical story but part of the record.
The Gospel of John has seven "I am" statements. The phrase 'I am' refers to the time that God revealed His Name to Moses in Exodus 3. From the significant ways that Jesus used the "I am" phrase, we understand that He is essentially saying, "I am the full revelation of God." This is why the Scriptures say that if a person rejects Christ, he rejects God.
Today's second daily text is the second of His seven "I am" statements. "I am the light of the world." This statement reveals Christ as the Illuminator, the One who brings the energy of light into our sin darkened world. In the introduction of John, Jesus is described as "The true light that gives light to every man" (John 1:9). "The true light" stands in contrast to the many false sources of spiritual light. Only Christ is the true light!
Jesus directs the second part of the verse to His listeners and applies this spiritual truth to all His followers, including us: "Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." The simple stipulation Christ gives for staying in the light is directed to "whoever follows Me." The Greek indicates that this is a present tense, meaning that we must have an ongoing, active relationship with Christ.
The wonderful promise is that we who follow Christ "will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." The Bible instructs us to "walk in the Light!" "But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin" (1 John 1:7).
Today, as we "walk in the light" we will dispel the depressing darkness of sin. Sin will not penetrate our hearts when the light of God's Word is hidden within which shines forth the brilliance of His glory.
When we walk with the Lord
In the light of His Word,
What a glory He sheds on our way;
While we do His good will,
He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, we choose to follow You all the days of our life. We find great assurance as we're reminded that we will not be engulfed by the surrounding darkness of evil but instead Your radiant light will guide us to eternal blessing. Help us to walk by faith and not by sight holding onto Your promises as we continue to build a solid foundation through Your Holy Word. Help us to "walk in the light". It is in the Name of Jesus that we pray. Amen.
Note: Although our study for today's message only focuses on John 8:12 we included the other two verses since we feel they have an interesting relationship to our daily theme.
Another disease I had not heard about prior to seeing advertisements of a medication used to treat it is PseudoBulbar Affect. I am musing on a spiritual parallel to this condition.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Trust And Obey" Video Mennonite singers
"Be Thou My Vison" Video Selah
"Open My Eyes That I May See" Video
* Article about Circadian Rhythm Disorder also known as non-24 or this FAQ page
Finally today: Yesterday we received an interesting note from Glenn Babbitt, a friend who lives in New England. He resides in Connecticut and, when we pastored in MA his family would visit our church in Taunton on their way to Cape Cod for vacation.
He wrote: Today's DE (our message on divinely appointed setbacks) strikes so close to home for our family. We have 4 kids - 2 "homemade" boys, and 2 "imported" girls from Bulgaria. The oldest daughter, Yana, is a student at Liberty University, and was signed to the track team for javelin. She made it to #2 in program history at LU before a weight lifting accident tried to leave her paralyzed. The doctor at the spinal rehab center in Atlanta, where she was transferred after surgery in Charlottesville, said that short of a miracle, she would spend the rest of her life in a wheelchair. Well, we know Someone who does those, and who did. Her accident was 10/24/2015, and on 12/18/15 I picked her up from rehab, and she walked out - no walker, no cane, no wheelchair.
The big challenge for her has been the continual back pain that she lives with since. Just last week, Liberty aired a 7 minute segment on her on their "GameOn" sports show, which goes out over local cable. I figured I would add the link here; in light of your message today: "In the Midst of the Storm" (Note from us: This is a very touching story of overcoming!)
Note: Glenn now serves in a church in Connecticut as a pastoral associate to Randy Shibilo, who grew up in the church we pastored in Massachusetts (before our time there). Randy's mother, Veda and his late father, Bill, and older brother were a part of that church and a tremendous blessing to our ministry. See here for a tribute I wrote for Bill Shibilo (and see a photo of him and Ester as a little girl).
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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 make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
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