The Light of the World

John 8:12   (KJV)   12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

God wants us to see clearly, knowing where we are, with a clear sight of our destiny—the wonderful future He has prepared for us. He doesn’t want us lost, groping in darkness. He john-8-12-the-light-of-the-worldmakes sure our paths are lit well; He Himself is the light that illuminates our world and brightens our lives. (Thank You Lord). He leads the way where we should go. We—His followers are sure of our steps; we avoid stumbling and falling.

It’s difficult to move in darkness, much more to walk in it or live in it. But darkness is real; darkness abounds, and there are many of us who are still there. There is darkness in the mind: people are plagued with debilitating worries, erroneous beliefs, and destructive opinions. We have darkness in our hearts: many are sad, angry, and ashamed. There is darkness in our world: we see chaos, pride, hatred, and unbridled lust.

Praise God, we’re free from darkness. The Light of the World shines so brightly, showing us the way to go, and we walk forward with confidence. That’s the reason why we found our way to eternal life in the first place. He fills us, surrounds us, and leads us. He’s so much a part of our lives, so close to us that we as His followers share in His “light” nature. We are also lights of the world. He’s the great big universal infinite Light and Light Source; we’re the localized light—much smaller, but lights nonetheless—lights shining brightly as well.

Because we as believers live in His light, we see Him. Because of His light, we see ourselves clearly: we see if we’re clean, or if we have smudges, spots and stains. We’re honest about our real condition, and we address the problems. Because of His light, we’re living out our purposes well, and we’re journeying forward towards our destiny—joyfully.

 

Anti-Sin

Psalm 119:11   King James Version (KJV)   11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.

I was introduced to this verse when I was a new believer. It played a big role in my journey and growth. It’s still very precious to me. The more I grow, the more I see its immeasurable value. There are so many loud, influential, and powerful albeit very ungodly psalm-199-11-anti-sinvoices surrounding us that seem to control the direction of people’s beliefs and walk. They’re unashamed; they’re bold; they’re brash; and they’re bent to leading the populace to their march of godlessness.

As believers, we’re called to walk in humility and gentleness. We’re open; we listen; we value people. Many times, they don’t hold the same convictions as we do. There are shocking moments of revelations and realizations. It’s absolutely crazy when people who are so sure and so confident about their Christianity voice out opinions and convictions that are obviously contradictory to Scriptural precepts.

Our natural inclination is to voice out our opposing view. It works to some people. There are opinionated and vocal people who are sincere seekers of the truth; when they meet the truth, they don’t have a problem bowing before it. But there are people who have rock-hard hearts, and sky-high pride; they’re not after truth; they’re there to convince others to fall in line behind them. In the thick of battle of ideas and opinions, God’s Word is our immovable anchor. It keeps us from error and sin. Kings and queens may give their anti-Scriptural decrees, but our allegiance is to His Word. We chose to walk faithful before Him. Without shame, we live out His Words; our feet are established; our steps are steady.

Ready Hearts

acts-8-36-ready-heartsActs 8:36   (KJV)   36 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?

Some people’s hearts are just good grounds for the seed of the Gospel. There are people who sincerely desire and seek God. When they hear the Good News of the Kingdom, the Good News of Salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, there’s no hesitation; instead, there is an immediate act of surrender, repentance and obedience. They’re ready to do what God bids them to do. They’re there; they exist; they’re waiting to be told, to hear.

God is looking to and fro; He knows His own. He knows those who will be saved and those who will perish. Not that He wants some to be saved and some to be damned; no; He explicitly laid down the truth about His desire for the salvation of everyone. He desires none to perish; He longs for all to be saved, although He’s fully aware of the stubbornness of people’s hearts. God-haters and God-seekers, He clearly demonstrated His all-inclusive love by willingly dying a painful, sacrificial death—not just for a few, but for all the world. His loving arms of sincere and zealous invitation are extended to all people.

Whoever we are, whatever ethnicity, color, creed, persuasion, or position—God is calling. That’s the wonder of His amazing grace and mercy. People of high degree, people of low status, known or unknown, the least of sinners or the worst of us, God’s forgiveness encompasses all and is enjoyed by those who wise up, humble down, and bow their knees to our Lord and Savior. We do. We may not fully understand everything, but we see the reasonableness and wisdom in the Gospel. In the Gospel, we see the most reasonable proposition for a solution to our problem of sin and death. Here, love and justice conjoin in perfect harmony where no other person or system offers any solution. His love is perfectly demonstrated through His sacrifice for the forgiveness of our sins; His justice is satisfied through the same sacrifice payment for our sins. What hinders us from believing and surrendering our lives to Him Who loves us most and leads us best? That’s rhetorical.

A New Heart, A New Spirit

 

Ezekiel 38.31 - New Heart, New Spirit

 

Ezekiel 18:30-31   (KJV)   31 Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel?

God wants everyone to be saved. The last thing He wants is to hurt us, His much loved creation. Why hurt someone you love, unless doing so will ultimately be for their best? That’s the reason why He wants us to put away our sins. Contrary to what Satan or our flesh tells us, sin destroys us. Yes, it’s most often pleasurable, but the damage it creates is indescribably worse. Sin results to death. Do we really want this? Of course not, and God is so strongly opposed to it also.

When God tells us to get rid of something, it’s all for our good, for our best. We never think for a moment that He’s a bad Father, or worse, a sadistic one. He doesn’t delight in our pain. Our disobedience will cause exactly that – pain. Just because we don’t see the immediate result doesn’t mean we get away with it. God patiently gives us time and opportunities to humbly come to our senses and wisely take the next best step, that is, to repent.

We have to have a new heart, a new spirit. That’s the key to avoiding death. With it, we live. We can’t proudly go on doing what’s wrong, ungodly, and sinful, and expect God to just look away. It’s not love to just leave us walking the path of destruction without doing anything to ensure that we don’t end up ruining our lives. He runs quickly towards us to stop us before it’s too late. Isn’t that what He did when He left heaven and came down to where we are? He came to rescue us; otherwise, all of us would have kept walking the journey of destruction without any hope.

Life is beautiful; we love life. And praise God, we live and we will live forever—in bliss, beauty, and glory. For now, we get rid of all attitudes and acts of rebellion against God. That’s what real living is. What a wonderful life.

Heart Issue

Mark 7:21-23  (KJV)   21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, 22 Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: 23 All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.

I don’t know who originally said it, but it hits the bulls eye: “The heart of the matter is the matter of the heart.” If ungodliness characterizes the speech and actions of people, they’re just expressions of ungodly hearts. There are things that affect men physically, but there are things that reach way more deeply.

We’re often concerned about the physical, the superficial. Yes, our bodies are important; material things are important as well. But we often judge someone’s beauty based on the external. We often judge someone’s relationship with God based on the food they eat, the clothes they wear, what they drink, the make-up they wear, etc. We ought to not undermine the fact that our visible and physical conducts and demeanor can be telltale signs of what’s inside; but we ought to make sure that we don’t appear clean only on the outside yet filthy on the inside. The condition of our hearts matter most.

Our dear Holy God, please check, cleanse, change our hearts – whatever is necessary. May we be true to You inside and out, in Jesus’ Name, amen.