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Friday, August 26, 2022
One of the first signs of the upcoming season. This Amish nursery is preparing for fall with mums, asters and other vibrant fall plantings.
Message summary: Today, we encourage believers all over the world to join us as we live in the light of Christ and walk according to the light of His Word! May this statement be true of us today, that we love light rather than darkness!
Listen to this message on your audio player.
“This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed” (John 3:19,20).
"Nyctophilia" is a word most have probably never heard. It sounds a lot like another word that means something entirely different. I used it in my Sunday School lesson this last Sunday and realized I would need to make clear right away when I used it what the word meant. But lo and behold afterwards I noticed I had mistakenly placed this other word on a PowerPoint slide I had used! It seems no one noticed or so I hope. (For the terminally curious see here for what this other similar-sounding word is.)
Nyctophilia means those who love night or darkness. It comes from "Nycto" the Greek word for night and "Philia" the Greek word for love.
Now there are some settings where we like it dark. For instance when I sleep I like the room to be dark. Even the light on an alarm clock or other artificial source may be disruptive to my sleep, although I am not bothered by the natural light of the stars or moon coming through our window. Some people actually prefer working the night shift or traveling at night.
However many people love the dark side spiritually-speaking and readily admit that this is the condition their heart is in. Our daily text states, "Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil". Some even proudly flaunt their desire to live evil lives and shamelessly expect hell as their final destination. You’ve probably heard people unabashedly say, “So what if I go to hell; that’s where all my friends will be” or “Hell will be one great party!” Of course now many admittedly serve the devil, the prince of darkness.
But when it comes to spiritual things we should not be nyctophiliacs! So just as I used the word, "troglomorphism", another very unusual word in yesterday's message to illustrate a spiritual concept, I do so again today. I promise you that I'll get back to using more simple terminology next week!
Moral nyctophilia describes those who love the darkness of sin. It is Biblically described in John 3:19,20 “This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed”.
This text is a macro assessment of the human race.
“This is the verdict.” (NIV) Other translations render it “this is the judgment” (NASV, ESV), “The [basis of the] judgment (indictment, the test by which men are judged, the ground for the sentence) lies in this” (Amplified), “This is why people are condemned” (GW) The sense is that what follows is the explanation for man’s condition.
“Light has come into the world.” The Greek has the definite article “the” before light and we believe this to be very significant. In the Gospel and Epistles of John “the light” is Jesus Christ (see John 1:4-9; 8:12: 9:5; 12:46; 1 John 1:5). The Light coming into the world is at the very heart of the Gospel message.
“But men loved darkness instead of light.” Again we have the definite article in the Greek prior to both light and darkness precisely reading, “But men loved the darkness instead of the light.” This is a matter of fact statement that explains much about human nature and the response to the Gospel. Many people would prefer to live in the darkness rather than the light. This preference, a result of the fall, leads to moral troglomorphism, the inevitable regressive adaptation to living in the constant darkness of a sin-filled world characterized by features such as loss of sensitivity to sin and progressive spiritual blindness.
“Because their deeds were [are] evil.” For those of us living in the glorious light of Jesus Christ we marvel that anyone would choose darkness but many do. The awful consequence of moral nyctophilia is that the more one spends in darkness his eyesight for spiritual things is diminished and he increasingly becomes blinded.
“Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed” (John 3:20). Many are unwilling to come into the light so they continue to live in the darkness. They fear that their deeds will be exposed. They become moral nyctophiliacs who love the darkness. When we come into the light our deeds are exposed we must deal with our evil deeds; confess, and repent.
Today, we encourage believers all over the world to join us as we live in the light of Christ and walk according to the light of His Word! May this statement be true of us today, that we love light rather than darkness! “But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God” (John 3:21).
Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, as genuine Christians we have forsaken the darkness and choose to walk in the light of Christ. In doing so we must be very careful not to substitute darkness for light or light for darkness. Otherwise we are expecting You to alter Your commands to accommodate the errant principles and philosophies of every nation, culture, and generation. You are the One True Supreme God who established Your unchanging, inerrant truths and commands before the world came into being. We choose to obey You not because it’s popular, rather we choose to obey You because You created us and made it possible through Christ that we would spend eternity with You in heaven. Though shadows surround us they never conceal our Saviour and Guide; for He is the light, in Him there is no darkness at all. Amen.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Here I Am To Worship" Video Maranatha! Music
Light of the world
You stepped down into darkness
Opened my eyes, let me see!
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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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