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Posts Tagged ‘darkness’

The One Standing Beside

October 24th, 2013

The following night the Lord stood by him…

Acts 23:11

His life was in mortal danger. His efforts to give a witness to his fellow countrymen had ended unsuccessfully. Paul had every reason to be discouraged and though the scripture does not state it, we would not be surprised to learn that he was going through some of the darkest moments of his life.

But in that darkness the Lord came alongside of him. It was a mystical experience, and the impression is given by the wording that it was another Damascus Road type experience for Paul, another post resurrection experience of Christ. But if not, if I misread this passage, then the experience with the Spirit of Christ was so deep and real that it was as if the Lord Himself was standing there.

No believer ever goes through a dark night alone. If it feels as though the darkness envelops us, we should be encouraged by the knowledge that there is One who is greater than any darkness, to whom darkness and light are alike. When we are groping with our doubts and concerns, He is standing beside us in the bright presence of light. We need merely to open our hearts up to Him, to turn to Him in faith, and we will find that His presence creates hope in our hearts.

And all that we become in Him, we become because His Spirit transforms us into Him image – His character becomes our character. So we also as His people stand alongside of one another, lifting up the downtrodden, encouraging the discouraged, comforting the bereaved, giving hope to the hopeless.

A secret to constantly growing in Christ is to know Him in our times of darkness. Even there we can experience growth. Like the rings of a tree that show its age – combining the quick growth of summer with the slow and solidifying growth of winter – the dark times call us to experience the solidifying growth of the Spirit. If you can feel His presence in the darkness, nothing can prevent you from becoming who Christ has planned for you to become in Him.

Evening Devotionals, Grief and Loss , ,

Walking in Light

June 9th, 2012

This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth.

1 John 1:5-6

The Apostle declared the most central truth of Scripture, that God is pure and holy, that He is pure light and there is no darkness in Him. This means that God is always good, always right, always fair, and always reaching out to us in love. John used the images of light and darkness to help us see the simplicity and purity of this idea. In the physical world darkness and light cannot come from the same source.

So this leads him to the conclusion that if someone is not walking in the light of the truth of God, in goodness, righteousness, compassion, fairness, decency, then that person cannot be fellowshipping with God. He makes the assumption that we will take on the characteristics of who we are around, whose heart attracts ours. And the surest way to check who we are listening to and who we are ignoring is to simply see how we are acting.

If we are walking with God it will show in our lives, in our choices, in our attitudes, in our relationships. And if we are not walking with Him, it will show also. God does not lead us to do the wrong things and there is no excuse for doing them. God is always fair and right, but in our own sinful nature we can think and do the wrong things. This is because of our sinful nature that goes toward the darkness.

A friend of mine in high school, Michael, became a believer and I saw the beginning of the transformation of his character. Previously he had a cynical scowl across his face, but after he trusted in Christ this softened. The angry look in his eyes became kind, the rebelliousness went away, and instead you could see that here was someone who had moved from the darkness to the light, and this is the inevitable result of anyone who will walk with God through Christ.

Our church covenant says: “We pledge therefore, by the aid of the Holy Spirit, to walk together in Christian love; to strive for the advancement of this Church, in knowledge, worship, ordinances, discipline and doctrines… To walk circumspectly in the world; to be just in our dealings, faithful in our engagements, and exemplary in our deportment; to avoid all tattling, back-biting and excessive anger … to be zealous in our efforts to advance the kingdom of our Savior.” We can make such a pledge because we are confident in the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

The word “circumspectly” comes from the King James interpretation of Ephesians 5:15, “See that you walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise.” The word here means to walk aware of our surroundings, we may think of it meaning to walk diligently or carefully, knowing that temptations are around us, that we could slip and fall. The surest way to avoid our actions from becoming wrong is to guard our hearts by walking in daily fellowship with Christ, confessing our sins and trusting in His grace and goodness.

Looking at your life today, how right are your choices? How pure are your thoughts? Since there is no darkness in God, darkness should not be in the hearts or our choices. Turn to Him and He will become light in your life, transforming you into His own image.

Evening Devotionals , ,