Pushing the Darkness Away

Wow, this is a dark time in our country, isn’t it?

Disrespect, discord, distrust, disgruntled, discrimination, discontented, discouraged. The ‘dis-es’ are one of the biggest pandemics infecting our culture today.

Do you find it hard not to get sucked into the darkness?

I do.

Until…

I look to the Light.

Love, peace, forgiveness and strength come from the Light and his name is Jesus. When I focus on Jesus, the darkness fades away.

Have you tried this when the darkness overwhelms you?

There are times that I forget darkness is not the opposite of light, it is the absence of light. When I let the Light of the World fill my mind and heart, the darkness is pushed away. ” When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12

It can be very hard to focus on Jesus in the blackest part of the night when worries and fear creep in.  For many years, when my thoughts became anxious in the middle of the night, I would talk with my Father God.  Eventually I started to find myself thinking about all of the ‘bad stuff’ instead of praying about it and the night would gradually become darker and heavier on my soul.

Recently, I have begun to fill my mind with praise songs when the worrying starts and the darkness threatens. Remember – darkness is the absence of light. When I let the words and the melodies of some of my favorite praise songs repeat over and over in my mind, my thoughts become filled with the Light. It doesn’t take very long before my fears and concerns are replaced by reminders of Jesus’ love and care for me. He brings peace and security…..

and sleep.

Go ahead and try it.

His Light shines in the darkness.

Silent

I can’t imagine it – God being silent for 400 years.

That’s the amount of time between the Old Testament and the New Testament.   So it is said that God was silent.

But was he?  Really?

It’s hard for me to imagine that my Father God who loves us and cares for us so diligently each day would be quiet for 400 years.  I think it’s very possible that he was speaking and interacting with people at that time but none of it was meant to become part of his revelation to us so it was not included in the Bible.

When I think about how much I need God each day and knowing that there were some faithful people during that time as well, it doesn’t make sense that he was actually silent for 400 years.  It doesn’t sound like something he would do.

But we know that there were 400 years between the two parts of the Bible.  For some reason, God put in a significant break before he begins the account of his greatest Gift of all time – salvation through his son, Jesus Christ.

The Apostle Mark’s account starts with, “The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah, the son of God”.

John’s account starts, “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.”

The Light of the World was arriving – we would never be the same.

Amen.  Hallelujah!

Thank you, Abba Father.

He is the Light

I love how accurate Isaiah’s prophecies about the Messiah were even though he spoke them 700 years before Jesus was born.  This shouldn’t surprise me – God knows everything and is in control of everything – including my future.

Isaiah’s prophecy in the 9th chapter of his book was fulfilled when Jesus came to earth, died on the cross for our sins and rose again in victory over death.

Isaiah’s prophecy came true –

People who were walking in darkness saw a Great Light.  Lost in deep darkness, they saw the Light as it dawned.  This Light gave them success and joy.  They celebrated the Light just like they celebrated a great harvest.  They celebrated just like warriors who are dividing the plunder after a victorious battle.

This Light’s name is Jesus.

He forever shattered the yoke of sin and shame in our lives.  There is no need for war in his kingdom.

For he came to us as a child, the Son of God.  And we call him –

Wonderful,

Counselor,

Mighty God,

Everlasting Father,

Prince of Peace.

He is reigning forever victorious and there is no end to the peace he gives to those who put their faith in him.

He reigns in justice and righteousness –

now and forever.

The LORD Almighty has done it all for us.

Thank you, Abba Father

He Is Not Like Us

God is never tired, he is never impatient, he is never distracted, he is never busy.

We are made in God’s image – little glimpses of him show up in each of us.

But he is not like us.

This fact brings me a lot of peace and confidence. I desire to be more like Jesus. I am eternally grateful that he is not like me.  He has none of my weaknesses or failings.

Sometimes God tell us about his emotions in the Bible – anger, sadness, and joy.  All of his emotions are perfect – for the right reason.  They are not like our emotions which are self-centered and can often cause us to say and do wrong things.

When Elijah mocked the priests of Baal in 1 Kings, he was trying to point out the godlessness of their gods.   When Baal didn’t respond to their requests,  Elijah said, “Shout louder! Surely he is a god. Perhaps he is deep in thought, or busy or traveling. Maybe he is sleeping and must be awakened.” 1 Kings 18: 27. This kicked the Baal prophets into a frenzy of shouting louder and slashing themselves with swords and spears.  They often did this trying to get a response from Baal.

I grimace when I imagine this scene of four hundred and fifty bleeding prophets of Baal – crying out to a manmade wooden statue.  Looking for answers. Looking for hope.

How futile!

How wrong!

How lost.

When I take a look at the world which surrounds me today with overwhelming violence and lies and confusion, I can say the same thing –

How futile!

How wrong!

How lost.

Jesus came to bring his light of truth, grace and salvation to everyone who would believe. He is the only answer.

He lives within each believer and he has commissioned each of us to be his light in our part of this dark and broken world.

Dear Father, Please help us shine your light brightly right where we live, work and play

He Shines In the Darkness

Wow, this is a dark time in our country, isn’t it?

Disrespect, discord, distrust, disgruntled, discrimination, discontented, discouraged. The ‘dis-es’ are one of the biggest pandemics infecting our culture today. It’s hard not to get sucked into the darkness.

Until…

I look to the Light.

Love, peace, forgiveness and strength come from the Light and his name is Jesus. When I focus on Jesus, the darkness fades away.

There are times that I forget darkness is not the opposite of light, it is the absence of light. When I let the Light of the World fill my mind and heart, the darkness is pushed away.

This can be very hard to do in the blackest part of the night when worries and fear creep in.  For many years, when my thoughts became anxious in the middle of the night, I would talk with my Father God.  Eventually I started to find myself focusing on all of the ‘bad stuff’ instead of praying about it and the night would gradually become darker and heavier on my soul.

Recently, I have begun to fill my mind with praise songs when the worrying starts and the darkness threatens. Remember – darkness is the absence of light. When I let the words and the melodies of some of my favorite praise songs repeat over and over in my mind, my thoughts become filled with the Light. It doesn’t take very long before my fears and concerns are replaced by reminders of Jesus’ love and care for me. He brings peace and security…..

and sleep.

His Light shines in the darkness.

Thank you, Jesus.

24/7/365

Five more days until Christmas.

Five more days before we celebrate Jesus’ birth.

Well, that’s not really true.  We actually start celebrating the birth of our Savior way before the 25th of December.  We are celebrating him when we put up our Christmas lights.   Jesus is the Light of the World.

We begin celebrating when we start buying gifts for one another.  Jesus was God’s perfect gift to us.

We start celebrating Jesus’ birth when we invite friends and neighbors over for Christmas festivities.  Jesus loved us first and wants us to share that love with others every day – not just on Christmas.

My celebration of Jesus’ birth can’t be limited to just one day or one month.  Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life for me every day.

He is my hope.   He fulfilled God’s promise of grace providing a way for me to have a personal relationship with my Abba Father.

So I celebrate Jesus’ birth and life every day.  I am grateful for his death and resurrection every day.  I look forward to seeing my Savior standing next to my Father in heaven someday.

And Christmas is still a special time for me because the rest of the world joins in to celebrate.

Happy Birthday, Jesus.