Have you ever been in total darkness? Maybe the power went out while you were in the basement or lost in the woods at night. It can be scary! Reminds me of the creation account. Genesis 1:1-2…In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. The message translation says…Earth was a soup of nothingness, a bottomless emptiness, an inky blackness.
Of course, our all-knowing and all-loving God fixed the problem…verse 3…And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. When I was still doing full time ministry, I started my day at church about 6:30am. I would head to the sanctuary to pray (for many of you). The sun was not up yet, and it was really dark in there. I would leave the lights off so I would not be distracted. I would walk down the middle aisle…being careful not to bump my shins or fall, as I made my way toward the front of the church.
Two key takeaways would fill my mind as I spent time talking with my Lord and Savior. One image was that the perpetual candle (a candle that stays lit in the front of the sanctuary) reminded me that God is always with me, even in the darkest of situations. No matter how dark it would get, the light still shines. John 1:5…The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. The second image that I would get is the scary reality that the longer I would stay in the dark, the more accustomed I would become to it. My eyes would adjust to the darkness. I did not feel afraid and could maneuver around. I became comfortable in the darkness.
Well…this devotion is not about buying light bulbs and paying your electric bill. So (watt) what is the point of it? The Bible uses the contrast between light and dark…good and bad…God and evil. In heaven there will be no darkness. We associate darkness with evil activity.
A young soldier and his commanding officer got on a train together. The only available seats were across from an attractive young lady who was traveling with her grandmother. As the four engaged in conversation, the soldier and the young lady kept eyeing one another. There was an obvious mutual attraction. Suddenly the train went into a tunnel sending the train car into darkness. Immediately two sounds were heard: The smack of a kiss, followed by the whack of a slap across someone’s face. The grandmother thought I can’t believe he kissed my granddaughter, but I’m glad she gave him the slap he deserved. The commanding officer thought I don’t blame the boy for kissing the girl but it’s a shame that she missed him and hit me instead. The young girl thought I’m glad he kissed me, but I wish my grandmother hadn’t slapped him for doing it. As the train broke into sunlight the soldier couldn’t help but smile. He had managed to kiss the pretty girl, and slap his commanding officer, and get away with both.
Hard to get away with anything in the light, that’s why so many people love the darkness.
John 3:19…This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.
It’s the same with the darkness of sin, the longer we hang around it the more normal it seems. We get used to it…comfortable with it. Are there areas of your life that you are “hiding in darkness.?” The secret sins, areas of your life that have become “normal” to and accepted. The good news is that God is light! 1 John 1:5…This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.
Identify the areas of your life that you feel comfortable in the darkness of sin. Or maybe your life seems dark these days due to the situations you are facing. The darkness of loneliness caused by the Covid-19 world you live in. Maybe the darkness of a failing relationship…the darkness of a hidden (or maybe not so hidden) addiction that makes your life unmanageable…maybe the darkness of health issues…maybe the darkness of unbelief in a loving God.
If that’s the case…ask the Lord to reveal His light. I want to focus some more on how my eyes adjusted the longer I stayed in the dark. Have you been in the darkness of the evil one so long that it does not seem so dark anymore? Are there areas of your life that you are in a “slow fade.” A little darkness seemed ok and then gradually you feel at home in it.
Maybe it was a glass of wine once in a while, then every night, then a shot of whiskey to take the edge off, now it’s many shots throughout the day. Maybe a little flirting has grown to fantasizing…and maybe lead you further down the spiral. Maybe it was a peek at pornography…and little by little it consumes your time and mind. Ask God to guide you back to the Light of His ways. If you are justifying why your actions are “not that bad”…or “everyone does it”…or “I can quit this at any time” then take time to read the things God wants you to focus on. Philippians 4:8…Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Maybe you are saying that this devotion does not really apply to you…that you identify the darkness around you and seek the Light of Christ in all areas of your life. Great!!!! Now what?
Matthew 5:16… In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
You may say…I’m not a pastor…not trained…not capable. God can’t use me! Think again! One of the best illustrations for our calling as children of the Light…children of God is:
Alexander Papaderos, a doctor of philosophy, worked for many years trying to bring peace between the bitterly divided countries of Europe after WWII. His motivation for doing so stems from his childhood and a very odd event which took place. “When I was a small child,” he said, “during the war we were poor and lived in a remote village. One day, on the road, I found the broken pieces of a mirror. A German motorcycle had been wrecked in that place…. I kept one, the largest piece…. By scratching it on a stone, I made it round. I began to play with it as a toy and became fascinated by the fact that I could reflect light into dark places where the sun would never shine – in deep holes and crevices and dark closets. It became a game for me to get light into the most inaccessible places I could find. I kept the little mirror, and as I went about my growing up, I would take it out in idle moments and continue the challenge of the game. As I became [mature], I grew to understand that this was a metaphor for what I might do with my life. I came to understand that I am not the light or the source of light. The light [or truth] is there, and it will shine in many dark places only if I reflect it.”
He concluded: “I am a fragment of a mirror whose whole design and shape I do not know. Nevertheless, with what I have, I can reflect light into the dark places of the world…and change some things in some people. Perhaps others may see and do likewise.”
God shines His light on you…so that…you will reflect His light to others!
- If you have not seen Pastor Zahrte’s sermon last weekend about how to share the Good News…go to royred.org and watch it.
- What situations of your life seem a little dark these days? Ask God to fill you with His Light, Love, Joy, and Peace!
- What areas are you “hiding in the darkness of sin” …Seek God’s Light and freedom found in His Word? Let Him bring you into His Light!
- Who do you know that God is nudging you to shine His light into?
Humor for your day:
A couple were working together in a factory when the lights went out. When the lights came on again the young lady said, “Frank, you shouldn’t have done that.” “Shouldn’t have done what?” “You shouldn’t have kissed me when the lights went out.” “I didn’t kiss you when the lights went out.” He looked around belligerently at the people filing out. “But I’d like to catch the fellow who did. I’d teach him.” “Oh, Frank, you couldn’t teach him anything!”