Living In The Light

Luke 1 78 79

Luke 1:78, 79 “Through the tender mercy of our God, With which the Dayspring form on high has visited us; To give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, To guide our feet into the way of peace.”

 

Light verses darkness; we see it throughout the Bible when talking about the purpose of Jesus Christ coming into our world to deliver us from the sin that separates us from God. In these two verses Jesus is referred to as the Dayspring from on high. Jesus came to earth to be born as a baby, to walk this earth showing us the heart of the Father, and to die to bridge the gap that sin causes between God and man. He is our light in the darkness; our peace that reconciles us back to the Father. What does it mean to sit in darkness?

 

Darkness – Greek word skotos – The word is used literally for physical darkness and metaphorically for spiritual, moral, and intellectual darkness. The darkness arises from error, ignorance, disobedience, willful blindness, and rebellion. Darkness is an evil system absolutely opposed to the light.

 

It is said that before a person is born again, or brought into the light, that one of the ways that Satan uses to keep them from coming to the knowledge of needing Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord is through hanging a veil over their minds that blinds them so that the light of the gospel of the glory of Jesus Christ can’t shine on them. (2 Corinthians 4:3,4) We often pray for the lost that the blinders will be taken down off their minds so they can see the great love that God has shown them through the crucifixion of Jesus Christ for their salvation. The Bible records that when a person is born again they are “delivered from the power of darkness and conveyed” into the kingdom of the Son of God. So the person who receives Jesus as Savior and Lord is no longer under the power of darkness because when he accepts Jesus as Savior and Lord he is translated into the light that comes through salvation in Christ Jesus.

 

But what about life after being born again? Can a person who is now a resident of the kingdom of light, of God, still walk in the darkness? Even though God has broken the power of darkness over us when we choose to willingly sin we give darkness a right to hide in our hearts.

 

1 John 1:5-9 This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

 

We often hear 1 John 1:9 quoted when a person is admonished to confess their sins to the Lord for salvation, but this scripture is clearly written to believers as later in the book in 1 John 5:13 he states that he has written these things to those who believe in the name of of the Son of God that they might know that they have eternal life. So it is possible in a believer’s life for sin to hide in our hearts and not be fully exposed until at some point in time when God takes a person through a time of soul searching to be freed from a bondage or stronghold that sin has created. Inner healing comes as we allow God to shine His light into our hearts to expose the darkness that hides within us. In God there is no darkness at all, so when we confess our sin to Him it is exposed to the light and driven out. Light dispels darkness. The brighter the light the stronger it shines into the recesses of our hearts and the more darkness is exposed and driven out. The Psalmist prayed in Psalm 139:23, 24 that God would search his heart and see if there was any wicked way in him. As we walk in the light the prayer of our heart should be that God would shine His light in our hearts to reveal any darkness that might be there so we can be cleansed and forgiven.

 

I recently finished one of my college courses on the Father Heart of God. It was a course about understanding the love of God and living “fully loved” through receiving His unconditional love for us. There are many things that hinder a person from being able to receive God’s unconditional love. Things that have happened to us in our past sometimes causes us to build up walls of protection to keep us from being hurt again. Those walls create an alienation from both God and man. When the light of God’s love is shown in our hearts those hurts are exposed to the light and driven out. When we choose to not forgive people for the hurtful actions they have done that have created the need for these walls of protection it creates a sinful dark place in our hearts. It is as we confess these things to our loving heavenly Father that His light can shine on the sin that’s in our hearts and drive it out setting us free from the bondage that we have been under. What we think we have done to keep from being hurt once again really has created a distancing between us and the Father who wants to freely pour out His love on us but the barrier hinders us from receiving. Even though we may have had no control at all over the things that have been done to us if our response creates unforgiveness to the offender then we are at fault as well. It is that sin in the heart that causes us to walk in darkness, even as a believer. Confessing the sin to God and then forgiving the offender releases us from the darkness and sets us free to receive God’s love.

 

Romans 12-14 The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.

 

The works of darkness are cast off as we choose to not allow the hurts of the past to hold us in darkness. We must choose to repent of the sin that has come into our hearts through offense, hurtful words, and unkind treatment. Walking in the light of Jesus Christ then becomes an armor of protection. Sin keeps us chained to darkness, but acknowledging and confessing our sin to the Father sets us free to receive all that God has for us. Freedom comes when the deeds of darkness are exposed to the light.

 

Are you living in the light of God? Is there unconfessed sin in your heart that is keeping you from receiving God’s love in its fullness? Healing can’t come until you acknowledge that you need healing. A lost person cannot be saved until they recognize that they are lost and in need of a Savior. That is the first step to being healed of the hurts of your past. The next thing is that those negative feelings must be confessed to God in order to be brought out into the open. Then forgiveness needs to be extended to the one who has hurt you. Once you have forgiven the channel is opened for you to fully receive God’s love. Once you have received His love it is important that you secure that healing through believing God’s thoughts about you. He loves you unconditionally and you are made in His likeness and image. In Psalm 139 it says that you are fearfully and wonderfully made and His thoughts of you are more than the sand. Isaiah the prophet says in Isaiah 49:16 that God cares so much about you that He has inscribed you on the palms of His hands. Your walls, or your life, is continually before Him. And Jeremiah 29:11 says that God has a good plan for your life, to give you welfare instead of calamity, a life filled with a hopeful future. God loves YOU! Thinking God’s thoughts about you helps you to live in the light so the darkness has no place in you. The last step in being set free from the darkness that a wounded past has brought is that you not only need to think God’s thoughts about you but you must endure. When the enemy tries to bring back the offense, and he will, it is only you that can endure the fight to win. Stand strong in the freedom that you have received in Christ Jesus. As you endure and fight the good fight of faith the enemy’s attacks against you will decrease and the light of God’s love will shine brighter and brighter. Don’t give in to his pressure; continue to live in the light.

 

Father, I thank You that in confessing our sin to You we are set free from the darkness that tries to envelop our hearts. Thank You for providing a way for us to live in the light of Your love through exposing the dark things that try to hide in our hearts. Father, I pray for those this morning who are struggling with injustices that have been done to them throughout their lives. Father, I pray that You will reveal to them the need for confession of those things and their reaction to them that has created a place for darkness to hide in their hearts. Father, shine Your light of love into their hearts and show them what needs to be confessed to You so they can receive freedom. For those who don’t know You, I pray that the blinders that have been hung over their minds that have blinded them will be torn down so they can see the light of the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ and come to salvation. For those who are born again but having difficulty dealing with hurts and the pain of their past, I pray that You will draw them to You and show them that they can be free from the pain and injustice through allowing You to cleanse their hearts and apply Your love to their wounds. Give them the courage to face the offender and set themselves free through forgiveness for freedom comes as they are cut loose from the offense. Thank You, Father, for hearing and answering my prayer that is offered up in the name of Jesus. Amen.

 

Walking In The Light

John 12 46

“I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness.” John 12:46

 

Jesus spoke these words just before He was crucified. John records them as well as giving his description of Jesus coming as a man to dwell among us as the true Light that gives light to every man in John 1:9-12 The one who is the true light, who gives light to everyone, was gong to come into the world. But although the world was made through him, the world didn’t recognize him when he came. Even in his own land and among his own people, he was not accepted. But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God.

 

What does it mean that if we believe in Him we will not abide in darkness? Well, we can better understand that if we look at the biblical definition of darkness.

 

Darkness – Greek word scotia – means darkness, gloom, evil, sin, obscurity, night, ignorance, moral depravity. The New Testament especially uses the word in a metaphorical sense of ignorance of divine truth, man’s sinful nature, total absence of light, and a lack of spiritual perception. Scotia as spiritual darkness basically describes everything earthly or demonic that is at enmity with God.

 

In looking at that definition we see that darkness in a biblical sense refers to man’s inability to live above his sinful nature without living in the light that Jesus Christ offers. Abiding or dwelling in relationship with Jesus Christ through accepting Him as your personal Lord and Savior opens your heart to His light, His illumination, His truth and ways. His light floods your soul with spiritual perception of who He is to you, what He has come to give you through His crucifixion on the cross for your sins, and the life that He wants you to live with Him at the center to lead, guide and direct you.

 

1 John 1:5-9 NLT This is the message he has given us to announce to you: God is light and there is no darkness in him at all. So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness. We are not living in the truth. But if we are living in the light of God’s presence, just as Christ is, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from every sin. If we say we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and refusing to accept the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every sin.

 

Walking in the Light has a beginning and that is accepting Jesus as your own personal Lord and Savior. Many people believe that if you mentally believe in God that you are okay with Him, but the word tells us it takes more than a simple mental assertion that God is God because even the demons believe and tremble.

 

James 2:19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble.

 

They believe that God really is God! But mental assent is not heart belief. Heart belief is tied to trust. To believe, by biblical definition, means that you place your trust in God for your salvation from sin and all the other benefits that salvation provides. This morning we will simply talk about walking in the Light for salvation from sin. This is the initial trust that a person needs to begin a relationship with Jesus Christ so he can walk in the Light and be forgiven of his sin. This is the essential first step to living above sin and all that the sinful nature brings out in a person’s heart.

BElieve

Believe – Greek word – pisteuo – means to trust in, have faith in, be fully convinced of, acknowledge, rely on. This word expresses reliance upon and a personal trust that produces obedience. It includes submission and a positive confession of the lordship of Jesus.

 

So we see from the biblical definition of “believe” that it is not just a mental assent of who God is, but that it goes much further into trusting Him to be who He is to you, personally. That trust begins in the heart by placing your faith in Him by confessing Him to be your Lord and Savior. We gain further understanding of that by looking at what the scripture says in Romans 10:6-10 NLT:

 

For Moses wrote that the law’s way of making a person right with God requires obedience to all of its commands. But the way of getting right with God through faith says, “You don’t need to go to heaven” (to find Christ and bring him down to help you). And it says, “You don’t need to go to the place of the dead” (to bring Christ back to life again). Salvation that comes from trusting Christ – which is the message we preach – is already within easy reach. In fact, the Scriptures say, “The message is close at hand; it is on your lips and in your heart.” For if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved.

 

Mental assent simply understands that God is God, but heart belief recognizes personally that He needs to be accepted into your heart and confession by the mouth is necessary to secure personal salvation. Walking in the Light for salvation means that you place your trust in Jesus Christ for your forgiveness from sin and confess Him as being personally crucified for you to be your own personal Lord and Savior. The seal is confessing that personal trust with your mouth.

 

Romans 10:13 For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.”

 

You might think that you can be saved by going to church regularly or doing good deeds, but according to the word of God we are all sinners by birth and by nature. We all start off on the same level playing field. No one of us is any better than the other when it comes to beginning our walk in the Light. And in order to receive God’s gift of salvation we must do it His way. Our works of righteousness cannot cleanse the sin that courses through our veins through mankind’s bloodline. Sin’s only antidote is the blood of Jesus that cleanses sin and its effects on man.

 

Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

 

Sin came into our lives through the bloodline that we have from our first earthly father, Adam.

 

Romans 5:12 NLT When Adam sinned, sin entered the entire human race. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned.

 

But Jesus’s blood brings life and freedom from the curse of sin that we couldn’t avoid or wash away through our own works of righteousness. The only antidote for the death that sin brings is the blood of Jesus.

 

Romans 5:8, 9 NLT But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s judgment.

 

We are saved through the blood of Jesus and applying that blood to our own sin through believing that God sent Jesus to die for us personally and then confessing Him as our own personal Lord and Savior. It’s so simple and yet many do not know that the way of salvation is through Him and Him alone.

 

Jesus is the only name under heaven by which a man can be saved. (Acts 4:12)

 

Have you placed your trust in Jesus for your eternal destiny? Have you asked Him to come into your heart to be your own personal Lord and Savior? That’s the beginning step to walking in the Light. In my next blog we will talk about living in the Light. But before you can live and abide in the Light you must receive Jesus as the true Light and place your trust in Him for salvation.

 

Father, I pray for those today who have not received Jesus as their own personal Lord and Savior. I pray that You will tear down the blinders off their minds so they can see Him as the Light of the world and receive Him as Savior and Lord. I pray that You will illumine their hearts and minds to the sin that is theirs through the bloodline of mankind and that they will receive the antidote for that sin, the blood of Jesus that washes them clean and gives them a place in the family of God. Father, show them the truth of Your word that leads them to Jesus as the Savior that You provided to set them free from sin and it’s effects upon their lives. Draw them by Your Spirit to Yourself and give them salvation. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

 

If you have never received Jesus as your own personal Lord and Savior that is where you must begin your walk with Him. The light that He gives for all of life begins with a personal relationship with Jesus. Won’t you pray right now and ask Him into your heart?

 

Father, I come before You recognizing that I need Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior. I see now that I am a sinner by birth and the only freedom from that sin is through the blood of Jesus. I ask You to forgive me from my sin, to come into my heart, Lord Jesus, and to be my own personal Savior and Lord. I believe that You, Father, gave Jesus to die for me personally and I receive His salvation into my heart right now as I pray. I confess with my mouth that Jesus is my Lord and I thank You for saving me and for living within my heart. From this moment on I will live for You. I will walk with You in the light that You provide for my life. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

 

Live Out Loud

Live Out Loud

2 Peter 1:3-8 NLT As we know Jesus better, his divine power gives us everything we need for living a godly life. He has called us to receive his own glory and goodness! And by that same mighty power, he has given us all of his rich and wonderful promises. He has promised that you will escape the decadence all around you caused by evil desires and that you will share in his divine nature. So make every effort to apply the benefits of these promises to your life. Then your faith will produce a life of moral excellence. A life of moral excellence leads to knowing God better. Knowing God leads to self-control. Self-control leads to patient endurance, and patient endurance leads to godliness. Godliness leads to love for other Christians, and finally you will grow to have genuine love for everyone. The more you grow like this, the more you will become productive and useful in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

I love this portion of Scripture! The key to living life out loud with purpose and direction is in knowing Jesus Christ! When we grow to know Him more we understand all that He has given us to live life successfully out loud! What does it mean to live life out loud? To me that means that I live my life purposely and intentionally. Life can carry you along if you let it, but if you live life out loud you are the one making the choices that dictate where your life is going. You are the one who lives with purpose and direction, following the promises of God that give you faith to live a life of moral and spiritual excellence!

 

The New King James Version says in verse 3 that His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness! That means that whatever we need to live our lives with excellence spiritually and naturally has been given to us through the power of our relationship with Jesus Christ. His Spirit living within us enables us to live out loud!

 

John 10:10 NKJV The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they might have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

 

Abundantly – Greek word perissos – means superabundance, excessive, overflowing, surplus, over and above, more than enough, profuse, extraordinary, above the ordinary, more than sufficient.

 

Is you life filled with abundance? Is it overflowing with more than enough than you need? Maybe the thief is stealing from you without you really recognizing it. Or maybe you’re not making the decisions that lead to an abundant life.

 

Jesus came that we might have life in abundance; an enjoyable life; one filled to overflowing with the promises of God. But we must believe and receive to experience that life. When we allow life to carry us along we are simply living out the devil’s plan to steal, kill and destroy our destinies. God intends for us to live our lives out loud, with purpose and the direction that He gives to overcome all the attacks of the evil one.

 

2 Corinthians 1:20 For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.

 

God’s promises are to be fulfilled in us to His glory and honor. Have you ever thought that God’s goodness to you when lived out through your life would bring Him glory? His promises are positive, Yes and Amen, so be it and when we live out loud with His direction and purpose His promises are fulfilled in our lives and He receives glory from a life that reflects His goodness!

 

The choice is ours to make. Will we live the life that God has given us out loud with purpose and direction or will we be carried along by what life brings our way?

 

Father, I thank You for the life that You have given me; a life filled with Your goodness, with Your promises and with Your abundance! Thank You for giving Jesus to die for me that I might have the opportunity to life my life in Him, with Your Spirit’s direction and provision. Thank You for giving me the choice to live my life with Your purpose and direction.

 

Father, I pray for those who may be struggling with what life has brought their way. I pray that they will know You, the only true God and that You will show them the good plan that You have for their lives so they can begin to make the choices that bring Your promises into being in their lives. May they seek You with their whole heart and come to know You in reality in their lives. I pray that the eyes of their understanding will be enlightened that they might see Your promises and walk in alignment with them. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

 

Today

Today is a gift and blessing from God

“I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; “that you may love the LORD your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.” Deuteronomy 30:19, 20

God has given us the ability to choose which direction we will take for our lives. One produces life and the other one death. Which one will you choose?

Father, I thank You for the life that You have given me in Christ Jesus! That life is one that is prosperous and that produces within me the zoe, God kind of life. I thank You for giving me the freedom to choose. You have not created me as a robot or a puppet on a string, but You have created me in your image and likeness with the ability to make my own choices. I choose Your life over the negative, downward spiraling thoughts that produce the actions that bring the death of my health, relationships and destiny. Today I choose life! In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

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