August 18, 2017

This Week…John 3:19-21

adventweek2lighthascomegraphic

…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 3:19-21

*   ♥  ~  ✝  ~  ★   *

How encouraging it has been to read the Seeking Him devotionals each day during this Advent season. This week we focused on the theme of Jesus being the Light of the world.  The Scriptures and the encouragement shared have helped me to prepare my heart for the celebration of Jesus’ birth.   Please click on the individual links to read each complete devotional; here are a few excerpts from their thoughts….

In Light Exposes the Darkness, Clella gave us an excellent example to compare being with or without THE Light…

“If you have ever visited a cave and the guide turned off all the lights, you know just how dark that cave is.  You literally can’t see your hand in front of your face.  To take even one step in that darkness could lead to you falling into an unseen pit, possibly even to your death…There are many people who prefer to walk in spiritual darkness because they are doing things that are wrong or their motive is wrong. They don’t want to have those things exposed by God’s Light—Jesus. They would rather take the chance of ‘falling into a pit’ than to give up their evil actions.”

In Motivated by the Light, Ahmee asked some really good questions to help us recognize ‘why’ we choose to do good/right…

“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.”

In God’s Love to the World, Ann gave honor and glory to God and reminded us of the depth of God’s love…

“God’s love to the world was so unique—not just any father could do it.  He gave us His only Son to die for the sins of the world; truly, what manner of God is He?  Can any man give up his son just like that?  (No!)  In this scripture I am seeing love that is beyond my imagination.  The heart and purpose of God is clearly revealed in this verse.  God’s love is wide enough to embrace all persons….”

In Our Actions, Tina compared our love as parents with the greatness of God’s love—shown through His giving His Son to be the Light of the world…

“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?…”

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

*   ♥  ~  ✝  ~  ★    *

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.

Light Exposes the Darkness

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 refuse 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 NLT

*   ♥  ~  ✝  ~  ★   *

If you had the choice to walk through a dark cave with a flashlight or without a flashlight, which would you choose?  If you have ever visited a cave and the guide turned off all the lights, you know just how dark that cave is.  You literally can’t see your hand in front of your face.  To take even one step in that darkness could lead to you falling into an unseen pit, possibly even to your death.  You need the light from the flashlight to find your way safely out of the cave.

There are many people who prefer to walk in spiritual darkness because they are doing things that are wrong or their motive is wrong. They don’t want to have those things exposed by God’s Light—Jesus. They would rather take the chance of ‘falling into a pit’ than to give up their evil actions.  Ultimately, unless they repent and turn from their sinful ways, they will stand before God and He will judge them for their deeds and they will go to the pit of hell. That’s not what God wants, that’s what people choose.

But the way of the wicked is like total darkness.
They have no idea what they are stumbling over.
Proverbs 4:19

God sent Jesus, The Light, to the world to rid the world of the darkness of sin.  When evil is exposed and a person sees their sin, repents, and asks forgiveness, they can walk in the Light, and they will begin to do “what is right.”

The Word gave life to everything that was created,
and His life brought light to everyone.
The Light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness can never extinguish it.
John 1:4-5

For once you were full of darkness,
but now you have light from the Lord.
So live as people of light!
Ephesians 5:8

The way of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn,
which shines ever brighter until the full light of day.
Proverbs 4:18

As followers of Jesus, you and I walk in His Light.  We want to do what is right because that is what God wants.  When we sin, His Light will show us and He will forgive us when we ask (1 John 1:7-9).  When our actions please God, others will see and be exposed to His Light and be drawn to Him. As God sent out Paul, so He sends us:

Yes, I am sending you to the Gentiles to open their eyes,
so they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God.
Then they will receive forgiveness for their sins
and be given a place among God’s people, who are set apart by faith in Me.
Acts 26:18

Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee, 
God of glory, Lord of love; 
hearts unfold like flowers before Thee, 
opening to the sun above. 
Melt the clouds of sin and sadness; 
drive the dark of doubt away. 
Giver of immortal gladness, 
fill us with the Light of day!

*   ♥  ~  ✝  ~  ★   *

Father God, I pray that our hearts will open like an ‘unfolding flower’ to Your Son, Jesus, The True Light.  May Your Light shining through us drive the “clouds of sin and sadness, and the dark of doubt away.” Fill us, Lord, with Your Light so that others will be drawn to You.  We adore You, God of glory, Lord of love, Light Everlasting!  In Jesus’ Precious Name, we pray. Amen, It Is So!

Light Has Come

adventweek2lighthascomegraphic…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 3:19-21

*   ♥  ~  ✝  ~  ★   *

 

Charlie Hall
written along with Matt Maher

Good tidings to the world around
To the weak and the broken down
In a small, poor, and dirty town
Light has come

A baby splits history,
Emmanuel, Savior, King
Come, sinner, let your eyes see
Light has come

In His name our chains will shatter,
for unto us is born
A Son, our God is with us, this Christmas morn

Angelic hymns singing now,
Heaven’s bright star is shining down
To us and for His renown,
Light has come

In His name our chains will shatter,
for unto us is born
A Son, our God is with us, this Christmas morn
Now the chains are torn asunder,
all oppression is undone
To the glory of our Father, this Christmas morn

Let this story be told to a world broken down
That God sent His Son, cradle cross to the crown
He stepped down from his throne to the world that He loves
Light has come, God with us

Oh Merry Christmas, Oh Merry Christmas, Oh Merry Christmas
Light has come, God with us