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Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Jesus, the Light of the World -- John 12 -- Part 2


Last week we learned that we are to believe in the Light, trust the Light, walk in the Light and be sons and daughters of the Light of Jesus.
·       Light is unchangeable; light cannot be made dark.
·       Light exposes everything.
·       Light is the sustainer of all life.
This is true also of the Light of Truth – the Word of God. The Word is unchangeable and not only sustains our spiritual life, it also exposes the ways of darkness.
Proverbs 4:13-17 says that the “path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter till the full light of day.” When we first believe in Jesus our light is dim, but as we are willing, Jesus will teach us and increase His Light and glory in us. God wants us to be a shining light reflecting the Light of Jesus to a world that is spiritually lost, spiritually dying and spiritually in darkness.
This same proverb warns that we are not to “set foot on the path of the wicked or walk in the way of evil men.” V14 Followers of Christ are not to have anything to do with the unfruitful works of darkness but rather expose and refute them. Ephesians 5:8-14 says, “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible. For it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said, “Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead and Christ will shine on you.” Shine the light of Truth against the works of darkness. The devil is cunning and works in secret, scheming, lying, hiding, manipulating and deceiving. God and true believers are to expose the secret works of those who are in darkness bringing these things to the light of truth.
Jesus said that we are to live as children of the light – His Light. Those who belong to Christ are not to remain silent regarding the deeds of darkness and immorality. We are not to make excuses for the works of darkness but rather recognize it for what it is, expose it, cry out against unrighteousness and stand with God. Jesus did! He exposed the Pharisees as a “brood of vipers” and rebuked them for their false beliefs. They were leading God’s people astray with untruth. They turned their ears away from the Truth that Jesus spoke.
We are not to condone sin and make excuses for it in ourselves or in others. Our holy God hates sin, but He loves the repentant sinner. There were times in the Older Testament that God gave the Israelites over to their sin because they stubbornly refused to turn from their sin back to Him and His ways. God didn’t condone sin even though He was long-suffering with His people. Turning them over to their sin was God’s way of loving them hoping that they would get tired of the results of their sin and come back to Him. For whom the Lord loves, He corrects, just as a father the son in whom he delights. Proverbs 3:12  It is important to point out that God’s love for His people in the process never diminished. This is true of the Older Testament and the New. God’s ways don’t change! Even though at times they moved into darkness, God eventually drew them back to Him. God told His people that eventually He would make the darkness light and the crooked things straight at His appointed time. (see Isaiah 42:16; 45:2) If we are to reflect the light of Christ, then we must turn from the works of darkness.
Our fleshly ways war against the Holy Spirit. Galatians 5:16-17:So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want.” When we stray from God’s ways and allow our fleshly nature to take over, we are doing the deeds of the devil not God. The Holy Spirit of God is not leading us. We are to test the spirits and see who is guiding us and others.
            Do not think for a moment that God is not aware of what is going on in today’s world especially in the political arena. As the secrecy, lying, manipulating and immorality are being exposed, God is hoping that those who profess to love and serve Him will do something about it and bring it to the Light, not turn a blind eye to the truth or make excuses for behavior that is so obviously led by the devil himself. Any Christian should know that when a person lies, hides, manipulates, boasts, belittles, judges unjustly and tears others down is not led by the Holy Spirit of God, but by the devil who works through our fleshly ways.
A leader can be put in place by God to either bring blessing or punishment. All one must do is read the history of the Israelites in the Bible. God anointed and put in place some kings that He chose and prepared to lead His people. This is God’s way. He prepares a leader for the office and then puts His anointed one in the position of leader over His people. In the Older Testament, God’s choice of king brought blessing and abundance to His people, but others who were not led by God brought disaster and bondage to His people.  An example is David who was chosen and anointed by God to be king over Israel when he was in his teens. He did not actually become king over God's people until he was 30 years of age and had gone through many trials and tests. God had to prepare David for the awesome responsibility of leading His people. David was God’s choice, but Saul was the people’s choice. Saul looked good and said the right things, but he was not God’s choice. The result of Saul's reign is that God’s people did not prosper. Saul even tried to kill David. God protected His anointed one. David was a mighty warrior who regained most of the land of Israel back to God’s people. David is a type and shadow of Christ. He was a shepherd in his father’s field who became a conquering king with a kingdom!  
I believe God is saying as He said through His prophet Isaiah “Wake up, O sleeper!”

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