Monday, March 14, 2011
Memory Verse: "For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light" (Ephesians 5:8 NIV)
I still have a photograph of that exciting day, a "top ten" moment of innocence in my childhood. I was six years old. It was my birthday. And I was overjoyed. I had my very own "Lite Brite" and I was immediately mesmerized by my new toy. I spent hours poking the pegs patiently through the holes in the backdrop to reveal the beautiful designs aglow in the darkness.
As Christians, we are to shine in the same manner. We reside in a dark world affected daily by the curse of sin. And yet, through the blood of Christ, we are not of this world. In fact we are called "children of light." (Ephesians 5:8 NIV) In effect, Christians should appear different from the world we see around us. Our words should sound different from those we hear on the street. Our actions should demonstrate we are different from the chaos we witness on the evening news. We are called to be set apart for "we do not belong to the night or to the darkness." (1 Thessalonians 5:6 NIV)
If we desire to truly represent our Savior in this dark and fallen world we must take heart to make ourselves look and sound like our risen Lord. For some of us, that may challenge us to reject what seems "good" in this world. It will affect the way we speak, act, and think. Certainly, we will find ourselves challenged to stand firm in the things of God contrary to this world. Things that appear good in the eyes of men but foolish from the perspective of our sovereign God. We will continue to be confronted daily by the disease of sin that surrounds us. And as Christ's ambassadors we must draw near to God so we can be strengthened and committed in these dark days. Surely, no part of our lives can be left unclaimed by God as we "speak as men approved by God and entrusted with the gospel, not trying to please men, but God." (1 Thessalonians 2:4 NIV)
As we read the headlines and listen to the evening news, it is undeniable that the world is growing darker. Clearly, God is making His appeal to a world gripped in sin as "He reveals the deep things of darkness and brings deep shadows into the light." (Job 12:22 NIV) God's children must resolve to "warn the idle, help the weak, and encourage the timid, and be patient with everyone." (1 Thessalonians 5:15 NIV) Let us never forget who we are in Christ as we recall "God saw that the light was good, and He separated the light from the darkness." (Genesis 1:4 NIV)
We are God's precious church, His adopted children, heirs in Christ and holy ambassadors of truth. Today, let us resolve to be found bold, courageous, and faithful as we stand for the light of truth found in God's word. Let us not be shaken as we remain fully committed to the message of the gospel and the salvation found in Christ alone. We must, in these days filled with groaning and despair, be the light shining through the darkness.
Dear Heavenly Father,
We are in awe of your greatness, for you are good all the time. We take in your acts of mercy toward us with gratitude and humility as we remember Christ's sacrifice on the cross. We confess that we struggle to walk obediently in this fallen world. Too often we seek the adoration of man, rather than the approval of you LORD. Let it not be so. Strengthen your people in these dark days and let us be the light you have called us to be. Grant us your wisdom and discernment as we seek your path. Let us shine for you so we might point the lost to your limitless love.
Reflection: How difficult is it for one living in darkness to stand in your light?