November 23, 2017

Through Him

adventwk3seekHimlighthascome

In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
He was in the beginning with God.
all things were made through Him,
and without Him was not any thing made that was made.
In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men.
The Light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness has not overcome it.

John 1:1-5

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If you have children you may know this song, “In the beginning, God created …”  It is sung by a character, Miss Patty Cake. Toddlers love her! She has an amazing ability to keep the children motivated and moving. She also shares her love of God with them.  She retells the stories of the Bible in ways they understand and come to know who God is to them, even at their young ages.  Our children need to be secure in knowing God loves them completely. They need to see it modeled in how we react to life and how we approach God.

Even when we get it wrong the children understand and they know. We can rest on the assurance of God for His forgiveness when we let life get in the way and speak harshly to our spouse or to our children. We are to repent and ask God to help take away our pain and show us how to turn away from our wrongs. God is faithful to do what is right.

When we do this, the children learn forgiveness. They know that it is acceptable to forgive and to love unconditionally. When we let God’s light shine in and through us, our children learn.

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Father, I thank You for Your gift of our children and grandchildren. You have entrusted their lives to us and we do not take the responsibility lightly. Help us to forgive the wrong done to us by those in authority.  Help us to demonstrate the right way to live, love, and to be a light to our children and grandchildren. Help us let Your light shine through, no matter what the situation is. In Jesus’ name, amen.

The Light of Men

adventwk3seekHimlighthascome

In the beginning [before all time] was the Word (Christ),
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God Himself.
He was [continually existing] in the beginning [co-eternally] with God
All things were made and came into existence through Him;
and without Him not one thing was made that has come into being.
In Him was life [and the power to bestow life],
and the life was the Light of men.
The Light shines on in the darkness,
and the darkness did not understand it or overpower it
or appropriate it or absorb it 
[and is unreceptive to it].
John 1:1-5 AMP

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Darkness is defined as the absence of light.  The only thing that can make darkness disappear is light.  Think about it…at night a small light can be seen from very far away.  We see stars that are millions of miles away.  Makes sense, right?  As I was studying this Scripture, I had a “lightbulb” moment < pun intended 😉 >

Before I accepted Jesus, my soul was dark.  There was no light to dispel the darkness.  Life and light aren’t just in Jesus.  Jesus IS Life and Light.  Look at John 8:12 NASB:

Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying,
“I am the Light of the world;
he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness,
but will have the Light of life.”

Jesus IS the Light of men.  John 12:46 ESV reiterates this:

I have come into the world as Light,
so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness.

We do not have to stay in darkness!  I love John 1:5.  Darkness does not understand, comprehend, or grasp the Light but must acknowledge it.  Darkness cannot overtake, overcome, overpower, extinguish, or absorb the Light but must reflect it.  Isn’t that amazing? What is the best way to deal with the darkness of this world?  Add more light.  Darkness cannot hide the Light!  2 Corinthians 4:6 NASB promises: “Light shall shine out of darkness.”  Jesus’ Light shines through us.  Jesus gives us life and light.  Out of the darkness of our soul, the Light of Jesus shines.  John MacArthur puts it like this:

The light in us is His light, the indwelling Christ, the Holy Spirit within us.

“…And the life was The Light of men” (John 1:4).  Heaven merged with humanity and was born in a manger to bring us the gift of Life and Light.  What a Gift we have been given!

(Hallelujah) Light Has Come

adventwk3seekHimlighthascome

In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
He was in the beginning with God.
all things were made through him,
and without Him was not any thing made that was made.
In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men.
The Light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness has not overcome it.
John 1:1-5

*   ♥  ~  ✝  ~  ★   *

 BarlowGirl
Alyssa, Lauren, and Rebecca Barlow

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Hmmm my Baby
Heaven sent You to me
All the worlds been praying
Who will Save
But who am I
That here tonight
I hold the One
Who’ll Bring us life

Hallelujah
We’ve been found
A Child is born
To save us now
Hallelujah
Light has come
A Savior who will set us free
The Promise for those who believe

Do you hear the angels
Sing for You, my Baby
Men and kings have come to
Bow to You
But here in my arms

So close to me
The Son of God
Now all can see

Hallelujah
We’ve been found
A Child is born to save us now
Jesus Hallelujah light has come
A Savior set us free
So praise to God on high
He has heard our cry

Our Actions

adventweek2lighthascomegraphic

For this is how God loved the world: He gave his uniquely existing Son so that everyone who believes in him would not be lost but have eternal life.  Because God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world would be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe has already been condemned, because he has not believed in the name of God’s uniquely existing Son.  And this is the basis for judgment: the Light has come into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the Light because their actions were evil.  Everyone who practices wickedness hates the Light and does not come to the Light, so that his actions may not be exposed.  But whoever does what is true comes to the Light, so that it may become evident that his actions have God’s approval.

John 3:16-21

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Our children are our world.  Our lives revolve around them.  We nurture them, discipline them, love on them, and want to see them succeed in life.  If we do this, how much more will God our Father do this for His children?  As I walk through life, I am amazed at the wasted opportunities I have had to share God’s love with others.  Then when I do try, it seems to fall flat, like it is not believable.  I know God has a plan and a purpose.  I also know I should not listen to the negative self-talk I hear which tries to tell me I am a sinner and no one will believe what I have to say.  (Anyone feel this way?)

In an attempt to become encouraged, I listen to various speakers through podcasts who give encouraging talks about listening to the voice of God…being still…praying…and, ultimately, having the courage to be transparent with your life before others.  These all are good, and give many thought-provoking ways for me to rethink some of my wrong thinking.  The speakers are great in sharing their stories or allowing others to share, then I think, when is my opportunity to share?  And then, the Holy Spirit tells me ‘you need to practice telling your story.  You need to know your heavenly Father loves you completely, wholly, and purely.  You are worthy, you are a light, you have a purpose in MY plan for your life.  Pray and confess, confide in or with another believer so you can feel renewed, seeking wise counsel from those with more knowledge than you and you will be able to share your faith, your belief with others.’

I encourage you to practice your story with others.  Begin by writing it out. Be truthful. You may need to write several different versions, depending on your audience…and then practice. Become comfortable and confident in what the Holy Spirit leads you to share. You will be amazed at the outcome.

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Father, thank You for Your word.  Thank You for speakers who encourage and tell others of their walk through pain and trials.  Let us be a light for others and know You are in control.  All we have to do is allow Your might to be at the head of all that we do.  In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen.

Motivated By The Light

adventweek2lighthascomegraphic

And the judgment is based on this fact:
God’s Light came into the world,
but people loved the darkness more than the light,
for their actions were evil.
All who do evil hate the light and refused to go near it
for fear their sins will be exposed.
But those who do what is right come to the light
so others can see that they are doing what God wants.

John 3:19-21

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When you decide to do good or right what dictates your decision?

  • Does knowing that you are doing good motivate you?
  • Does not wanting to do wrong motivate you?
  • Are you motivated by the benefit you may receive?

Why do we do good/right?  John 3:19 says that “God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil.”  This makes me question how, even now today, people still reject God’s light.  When it’s all said and done, it’s much more easier to do wrong than good.  It’s much more easier to be selfish than selfless.  It’s easier to be thoughtless than it is to be thoughtful.  (Given this might not apply to everyone because being nice does seem to come easily to some.)

The next part says that “all who do evil hate the light and refused to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed.”  Many people who do wrong feel that they can’t come to God because somehow they feel exposed. God shows us the Truth.  That doesn’t mean He shares our truth with others.  God may push us to share, but we still choose.

The last part states, “…those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants.”  We are examples of what can happen when we bring our “junk” to God.  We show the world that it’s worth it.  We lead by example. Does God need us to do this?  No.  But others do, because we are humans and the “proof is in the pudding.”  It’s easier to believe something we can see.  Thank God that He cares enough to give us visible things to help us.

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Lord, thank You for the Light that You sent.  It shines light on all that we are.  Without the Light we wouldn’t even have the chance to come out of our darkness. Help us to continually strive to walk in and toward the light.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

His Light

luke1.78-79adventlightBecause of the tender mercy of our God,
His Light from on high has visited us,
to shine on those who sit in darkness and in death’s shadow,
and to guide our feet into the way of peace.
Luke 1:78-79

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His Light. God loved us enough to send us His only begotten Son to guide, teach, and lead us into a life of eternal happiness.  God had never intended for us to suffer and be in agony from our self-imposed guilt and shame.  Faith and trust in Him and in His Word is where our strength lies.

From the beginning of time God was very meticulous in creating our world. He took such care to speak the world into existence just so.  He created the animals, the trees, flowers, the fish, the grass, and the moon and stars.  Every little detail He thought of.  Imagine trying to create a world and thinking of everything—the oxygen, the gravity, the way things stay and grow in the ground.

How can we not be in awe of someone who is as thoughtful as our God?  He created the first man from the dirt of the earth and formed every little thing about him.  I mean, who thinks about the fact you need to blink in order that your eye would not dry out.  I am not sure I would have been so detailed.

If He can be that thoughtful, we should aspire to be there for our friends and family.  Forgiving as we go through life and not waiting for the right time, or until someone else apologizes first.  During this time of year, (and not just now but always), we should be the first to forgive and share the light God has created inside of us.  God knows our heart, He created us, He knew us when we were growing inside of our mothers.

When we were born, we came into the light. We were born into this world for a relationship with God and to tell others about Jesus, His Son, and how God wants us to live forever with Him.

You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.  You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.  Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

Matthew 5:14

Father, thank You for sending Your Son, Jesus, to teach us about Your love and the good You wish to do for us.  Give us the courage to speak when we need to and be silent when we need to.  We want to share Your love with others…putting ourselves aside and loving those close to us with an unconditional love.  Thank You for Your blessings.  In Jesus’s name, Amen.

Shining Into the Darkness

luke1.78-79adventlight

Because of God’s tender mercy,
the Morning Light from Heaven is about to break upon us,
to give light to those who sit in darkness
and in the shadow of death,
and to guide us to the path of peace.

Luke 1:78-79

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Luke 1:78-79 resonates loudly with me.  The part about “…to give light to those who sit in darkness…and to guide us to the path of peace,” hits home.  It reminds me to be so thankful for what God has done for me.

Without His “tender mercy” I don’t know where I would be.  Would my suicidal thoughts have gotten the best of me?  There are so many people that I would not have gotten to meet.  How different would their lives be? And my family’s?

Without Christ and the Holy Spirit I would be lost and possibly not alive, but thank God that He does not let leave us in darkness.  God never intended for us to dwell in darkness.  Any situation that is dark or detrimental to one’s mental or emotional well-being, or anything that is just dark—is not of God.  Jesus came so that we could have life and have it more abundantly (John 10:10).

God may find us in the darkness—we may find our way there or life may just be plain mean to us—but God never wants us to stay there. God sent Jesus Christ, His only Son, to die for you and I.  He loves us this much!  And if He loves us this much, what makes you think that He doesn’t love us enough to want us to live in His light?  Don’t dwell in darkness unnecessarily.  God has made a way in, so that we can find a way out.

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Lord, thank You for the lighted path that you have provided and thank You for never wanting us to dwell in darkness.  Help me to never forget that when I can’t find my way, and it seems You are not near, that You ARE always near.  Always.  In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

Spiritual Dawn

luke1.78-79adventlight

Because of the tender mercy of our God,
by which the Rising Sun will come to us from Heaven.
Luke 1:78

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This is an illustration of the new day springing forth.  Yes, because of God’s tender mercy, the rising sun will come to us from heaven…not anywhere else.  This is because the Creator is in Heaven and knows the start of everything and also the end.  He is the Author and Finisher of all things.  The spiritual is nigh; and we better be ready for it.

The night is nearly over, the day is almost here,
so let us put aside the deeds of darkness
and put on the armor of light.
Romans 13:12

In this scripture, Paul believed in the Lord’s imminent return to transfer the faithful of His churches to Heaven (The Rapture).

And we have the word of the prophets made more certain
and you will do well to pay attention to it,
as to a light shining in the dark place,
until the day dawns and the morning start rises in your hearts.
2nd Peter 1:19

Yet I am writing you a new command,
its truth is seen in Him and you because the darkness is passing
and the True Light is already shining.
1 John 2:8

All the scriptures above show us that indeed a day is coming—the new dawn.  As Christians, we need to be ready for this new day for it shall take us by surprise if we are not careful.  I don’t want to associate myself with this kind of surprise; I need to get ready for the day.  However we also need grace for us to sail through.  All the signs are being fulfilled. The time is here.

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O Lord, our God, I thank You because You are a great God who reveals things to Your children before time because of Your lovingkindness. Give us the grace to understand the times we are in and to live a life pleasing unto Thee always.  Thank You for Your grace; in Jesus’ name I pray Amen.

Emmanuel, God with Us

luke1.78-79adventlight…Because of the tender mercy of our God,
His Light from on high has visited us,
to shine on those who sit in darkness and in death’s shadow,
and to guide our feet into the way of peace.
Luke 1:78 and 79

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A sign shall be given a virgin will conceive
A human baby bearing undiminished deity
The glory of the nations a light for all to see
That hope for all who will embrace His warm reality

Immanuel, our God is with us
And if God is with us who could stand against us
Our God is with us, Immanuel

For all those who live in the shadow of death
A glorious light has dawned
For all those who stumble in the darkness
Behold your light has come

So what will be Your answer? Will You hear the call?
Of Him who did not spare His Son but gave Him for us all
On earth there is no power there is no depth or height
That could ever separate us from the love of God in Christ

When Love Was Born

SHadventlovegraphic

Starlight shines
The night is still
Shepherds watch from a hill
I close my eyes and see the night
when Love was born

Perfect child gently waits
A mother bends to kiss God’s face
I close my eyes and see the night
when Love was born

Angels fill the midnight sky, they sing
Hallelujah, He is Christ our King

Emmanuel, Prince of Peace,
Love come down for you and me
Heaven’s gift, the Holy spark
to light the way inside our hearts

Bethlehem through your small door
came the Hope we’ve waited for
The world was changed forever more
When Love was born

I close my eyes and see the night
when Love was born