Daily Light – June 19, 2017

Today’s Daily Light:

Romans 7:21-24, Paul wrote “So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me.  For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work in my members.  What a wretched man I am!  Who will rescue me from this body of death?  Thanks be to God – through Jesus Christ our Lord?  So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.”        
The ‘sin nature’ that lives inside our body…has one primary job…and that job is to distort our view of any and all things ‘God’.   It uses whatever power it has on our mind to install ‘its’ mind in us to interfere with our coming to see-and-be ALL we are and ALL we have in Christ Jesus.  The ‘sin nature’ will come at you/me at the level where it has learned how to best keep us distracted and ineffective…it seeks to keep us busy with temporary-non-eternal things…to keep us frustrated…keep us distracted….keep us content….keep us in any mindset and state of busy-ness of mind and body ‘so that’ we are not full effective or fully focused on the eternal things.
This is why we must spend time in God’s word, in fellowship with other believers, and in time in prayer.   We must ‘walk’ in and around ‘God’s truth and God’s light’ ‘so that’ we have sufficient light and truth always coming in to our mind to keep us focused and in balance and motivated to do the eternal things and not just spin our wheels in the ideas and activities that are not eternally productive.   We must learn to spend time in the spiritual disciplines of prayer, meditation, and the reading of God’s word ‘so that’ we can have ‘light’ to make sure we don’t get stuck in the world’s mold and way of thinking.   God’s light is the only light that has the power to penetrate through the darkness of the ideas that come from the ‘sin nature’ and show us the truth and the eternal way.
Romans 12:2, Paul goes on to say “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mindThen you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is –  his good, pleasing and perfect will
Father…this week…may we spend more time with YOU… ‘so that’ we will continue the work of being transformed into the image of Christ… ‘so that’ we will have YOUR constant source of light shining YOUR truth and way into our minds ‘so that’ we can see and taste of YOUR good, pleasing, and perfect will.

Daily Light – June 16, 2017

Today’s Daily Light:

Genesis 1:1  “In the beginning God created the heavens and earth.”

I don’t know if you saw the movie ‘The Matrix’.   The movie theme is that of an alien computer generated software program has the power to install a false realm of life where people living on the planet have no clue that the physical and social system that is created around them is a delusional and pre programmed system that creates a desired outcome that serves the interest of the alien software.  This false reality is called the ‘matrix’.  The truth of existence and the reason for life are replaced with a total delusional and false reality.   And yet…the mass of humans that populate the earth…are seemingly clueless as to they are living in a computer generated false reality…they just go on living day to day in the false reality.

The tension and central plot is that living outside of this computer generated false reality  is a small group of humans who know the ‘truth’.  And they are working to ‘liberate’ the masses from the prison of the false reality of the ‘matrix’.   The central figure, the hero that comes to save the day, is a character called ‘Neo’.  Neo is referred to as the ‘One’.   Over the movie Neo is transformed into this super powered ‘savior’ who becomes the  liberator for planet earth.   And so much of the intrigue in the movie is the ongoing fight between the dark side bad guys who run and work for the ‘matrix’..and the good guys who know the ‘truth’ and want to free the blind and deluded people of the world who have been blinded by the power of the matrix.

I think the movie replicates the central idea and truth of the reality of ‘life’ on planet earth.  God created a perfect world…a great ‘fall’ occurred.  Evil and powers of darkness entered onto the world stage.  The dark side, the evil empire, gained access to the operating software inside our bodies/minds and from birth it rewrites its own operating code and creates a false reality of life…and thus we grow-up inside a ‘matrix’…a world system that is under the influence and power of evil with the ultimate intention of keeping us ‘blind’ to the truth of who we are and why we were made and for what we were made.

(I will write more on this ‘view/idea’ that I am laying out for you…will write more on it next week…I don’t want this to be too long a piece today…or it would not be daily light..it would be all-day light 😊. )

1 John 3: 7-8  John wrote “Dear children, do no let anyone lead you astray.  He who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous.  He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning.   The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.”

John 3:16-21   John wrote ” For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  For God di not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.  Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.  This is the verdict:  Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.  Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.  But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.’

We live in a physical world that God created.  We know that God is Creator, Lord, and that He is absolutely sovereign in all things.  We also know, that God’s word says that darkness and evil entered this beautiful physical world that He created…and it ‘fell’…and that we also ‘fell’ with it.   We all came under the power and influence of the mind of darkness.  We became blind to the truth.  But our Great God..in His sovereign plan…sent us the true One…Jesus…to be our super hero and savior.  And in God’s eternal plot for the ages…when we believe and put our faith in Jesus as our Savior…God installs His spirit inside our being…inside our human spirit… to begin a transforming/renewing process ‘so that’ we can see the truth and recognize the power and influence of the ‘matrix’ around us…and ‘more so that’ we can know the truth ‘so that’ we can join the battle against the forces of the matrix and help liberate those that are blind and lost and living in the delusional and false reality of the matrix.

Lord…I pray today that we all see that the reason that you bring us into the light is not simply to ‘save’ us.   But ‘ohhh’..we are so grateful that you did save us.  But help us to see that we have been ‘saved’ from the darkness and brought into the light ‘so that’ we can see and know the truth ‘so that’ we can be liberators to those that are lost in darkness.  Help us to shine the light of your love out into the world around us.

Daily Light – June 15, 2017

Today’s Daily Light:

1 John 2:15-17 John wrote “Do not love the world or anything in the world.  If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For everything in the world – the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does – comes not from the Father but from the world.  The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever. 

2:24 “See that what you have heard from the beginning remains in you.  If it does, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father.  And this is what he promised us – eternal life.”

1 John 5:18-19  John wrote “We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one“. 

2 Corinthians 4:4, Paul wrote “The god (Satan) of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, ‘so that’ they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”

Romans 12:2, Paul wrote “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”

The ‘world’, the unredeemed world, the fallen world, is under the power of the evil one.  This ‘world’ system is the realm and sphere of darkness wherein evil operates.  The ruler of this fallen world system has the power to ‘blind’ the minds of those that are not redeemed.

But ‘we’ who are redeemed, do not legally belong to this fallen world system…we are children of God and belong to the Kingdom of God.   The king of this temporary present age is not our king and his time of illusion and darkness will come to a sure end.   We belong to a King and a Kingdom that are eternal, imperishable, unshakeable, and there will be no end of our Kings eternal kingdom.

Father….thank you for choosing us to be yours and for the gift of eternal life.   I pray that through the eyes of your Spirit…we can more clearly see the temporary world system and its influence and power on us.   I am aware of the desire I have for comfort and for things and so much of the ideas and view I have on ‘that’ come from the worlds view of having and consuming.  I thank you that I do not desire the obvious bad stuff and things from the dark side, but I am aware of how I ‘too-much’ like my comfort and my ‘stuff’ and I realize that even those these ‘things’ are not evil in themselves…that they can distract me from the eternal things that are Yours.   The world system causes us to ‘desire-to-acquire’.  I am soo guilty of liking my toys too much.   I pray for balance in how to negotiate living in this temporary world system as a child of an eternal kingdom.   Help me to not show love for my stuff more than I show love for You and what you love.  And as Jesus prayed in what we call the Lord’s Prayer…. ‘And deliver us from evil’.

Addendum:  At this time in my life, I find that God is retooling my understanding, thinking, and view as relates to my imbalance in my love for God and my love for the world.   I am reading a lot these days and I ask you to read the article in the link below written by John Piper.   Then, if you are so motivated, pick another day and time and go to his website and in the ‘search’ box, type in ‘Love Not the World’.

http://www.desiringgod.org/messages/do-not-be-conformed-to-this-world

Daily Light – June 14, 2017

Today’s Daily Light:

1 John 1:8-10 John wrote to us “If we (believers) claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.  If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.”

2:1-6  John goes on to say “My dear children, (you and me) I write this to you ‘so that’ you will not sin.  But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense – Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.  He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.”      

Wow!   In the context of 1st John… John is telling us just how absolutely and pure and holy and thus-‘just’ our heavenly Father is in the all of who He is.   God upholds and protects His pureness with his aversion to and His judgment of and against darkness.   Darkness produces fruit of darkness which is identified as ‘sins’.  Sins are a problem…an interference…in our being fully pleasing and obedient to God…because God is pure and thus-‘just’ and will not abide sins.  Thus our sins must be constantly ‘atoned’ for.

Jesus, now seated at the right hand of God is our ‘forever’ high priest.  He is always on duty 24-7, and His ‘forever’ ministry is to ‘atone’ for our sins.  Wow!   He intercedes for you and me constantly.   Now regard that it is the Father that gave us His Son to be our atoning sacrifice ‘because’ the Father loves us and wants to have an intimate relationship with us.  Soooo…this absolutely perfect and Holy God…installed rules and laws about protecting the realm of His purity that are thus-‘just’…God’s law of ‘justice’.  Breaking these laws and rules requires that they be forgiven and purified ‘so that’ we can remain in fellowship with other believers and with God.

God also installed an ‘atonement’ system that in itself has rules and laws that satisfy the rules and laws of ‘justice’.  God installed, gave us, Jesus to be our ‘forever’ atoning high priest who is our ‘forever’ atoning sacrifice….’so that’ we can be in constant right standing and in full fellowship with Him and other believers.

Father…I am beyond in awe of your glory…your holiness….your absolute perfection in the all of who you are.  I am sooo aware of my imperfection and sins.   I am soooooo incredibly grateful that you gave your Son to pay for my sin penalty and to provide Him as my forever high priest who forever atones for me.   I am sooooo grateful that you love us soooo much that you provided a total, forever, process in the person of your Son to keep us in fellowship with you.   And you say you did that because you love us….you created us so that you could adopt us and be our Father.  Thank you that you are holy and pure and thus-‘just’ and that you can never change.  Thank you for being who you are….which is infinitely beyond what my feeble mind can even begin to comprehend.  But I know you are real… I know you are Creator and Lord of Life.  Thank you for giving us your Spirit to live inside us ‘so that’ we can ‘know’ that you are real and true.  May we tell someone today that Jesus is always there to forgive and purify us from sins.

Go.

Daily Light – June 13, 2017

Today’s Daily Light

1 John 1:5-9  The Apostle John wrote “This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you:  God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.  If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by 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, his son, purifies us from every sin.”

God’s holiness, His absolute perfection, His absolute purity, His ‘goodness’…are the core elements of His essential nature.  John presents this to us as ‘He is light‘.   There is no darkness in Him at all…none…nada…zippo…zero.  No darkness…in the sum of who He is.  Period.

In order to have fellowship with Him and to have fellowship with the Body of Christ…our co-believers…we must avoid those ideas, behaviors, things, attitudes, and activities that are not light.  Such things belong to the darkness…and their purpose is to diminish our sense of God’s light..and to block out our ability to fully walk in the light and to interrupt our fellowship with God.  It is the goal of darkness (the dark side) to create its own light…a false reality of light…to replace our ability to see God’s light of truth by substituting an artificial light.   And such artificial light always comes with a battery that expires and leaves us groping in total darkness.  It is a light that shines a deceptive promise for temporary happiness or pleasure or comfort…but always and only ends- up guiding us down paths that are full of sorrow and pain.

God’s light provides an eternal battery charger, and a built-in eternal source of power and truth, and if we keep our spiritual battery hooked-up to the charger…we will remain in His light…His truth.   God’s light comes to us through His Son, Jesus.   Jesus and the W ord of God are our light and life.   If we abide in Jesus…spend time with Him through the Word… we will walk in the light and live by the truth.

Father…I know your ‘light’ is real and is the source of all things…especially the source of our life.  It is your light that sustains us and keeps us focused on the straight path that leads us home to you.  Father…as your child…I have touched, and walked in the deception of darkness at times…and I know how seductive and powerful it is.   I pray for myself..I pray for all of us…that YOU, our Great Father in Heaven…YOU…in your Holy name…will deliver us from the deceptive powers of darkness and keep us abiding in your light.   Amen.

Go and share the light of God with someone today!

Daily Light – June 12, 2017

Today’s Daily Light:

John 15:5, Jesus said “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

Friends:   I am praying that, this week, we are spending more time with Jesus and the Father through time in the word, and in prayer.   I have been a Christian for 44 years.  When I review the ups and downs in my journey as to bearing fruit…I can attest that the up times come through spending time with Jesus and the Father.   I know this because of how I can compare it to my, so many, down times.  (I say that sadly).

The Father gave us the word…Jesus himself is the living word…the manifestation of all that God desired to reveal to us as to the person and character of His own likeness.   And then we have the written word…which is the manufacturer’s handbook where God reveals the essence of His ways, His will, His principles, His holiness..and His love.

The written word is supernatural…mystical…has power beyond any other ‘word’ document that was ever written.  It is magical, spiritual food and feeds our spirit and is given to us from the mind and heart of God.

All of us carry around our water bottle these days..because we are convinced we need water to stay hydrated because we deem it vital and important to sustain a sense of well-being and health in the physical realm.

Spending time with Jesus and the Father through the word and in prayer is even more vital to in the spiritual/eternal perspective and realm than is water for this temporary physical realm.    We simply dry up and become carnal and live in the ideas of the fallen illusion that belong to this temporary world system without the nourishment that comes to us with ‘time’ spent with Jesus and the Father.

I encourage you today, this week, to not go a day without ‘grazing’ in the word and time in prayer.   Pray as you walk, drive, or sit.  Just shoot little arrow prayers up to heaven when you think of Jesus or the Father ….little arrows of thanks and praise.   Increase your understanding and practice of the way of spiritual routine and discipline.  Such discipline demonstrates our obedience…declares our love for Him…our dependence on/of Him…and it also serves to nourish and feed our spiritual man.  Jesus said it is the only way wherein we can produce fruit.

Father, I pray this week that I/we will more increasingly see the vital necessity of spending time with you.   I know by my times of blah, of sin, of just being in neutral and not listening, of being too-worldly-too-long, just how such spiritual malaise keeps me from bearing eternal fruit, keeps me from being all you intended me to be.   Give me/us help and strength to spend time with you ‘so that’ we can better run the eternal race with increased eternal purpose.  Amen.

Have a great week…  Go

Daily Light – June 9, 2017

Today’s Daily Light:

More from my friend/pastor David’s morning devotions:

John 18:37-19:6  All who love the Truth

John 18:37    Pilate said, “So you are a king?” Jesus responded, “You say I am a king. Actually, I was born and came into the world to testify to the truth. All who love the truth recognize that what I say is true.” 38 “What is truth?” Pilate asked. Then he went out again to the people and told them, “He is not guilty of any crime.  39 But you have a custom of asking me to release one prisoner each year at Passover. Would you like me to release this ‘King of the Jews’?” 40 But they shouted back, “No! Not this man. We want Barabbas!” (Barabbas was a revolutionary.)

19:1    Then Pilate had Jesus flogged with a lead-tipped whip.  2 The soldiers wove a crown of thorns and put it on his head, and they put a purple robe on him.  3 “Hail! King of the Jews!” they mocked, as they slapped him across the face. 4 Pilate went outside again and said to the people, “I am going to bring him out to you now, but understand clearly that I find him not guilty.”  5 Then Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. And Pilate said, “Look, here is the man!”

6    When they saw him, the leading priests and Temple guards began shouting, “Crucify him! Crucify him!” “Take him yourselves and crucify him,” Pilate said. “I find him not guilty.”   NLT 

“All who love the truth recognize that what I say is true.”  There are some people who love the Truth. Many would say they love truth, but in real life they prefer expediency to truth. Truth is that which corresponds to reality, but we often are afraid and/or unwilling to face reality. We don’t like to face it in ourselves or in anything/anyone that might bring pain or discomfort into our lives. Some avoid facing the truth about the condition of their marriage, or their health, or their use of time, or money. They may say they would like things to be better, but they are unwilling to face their own choices and take responsibility for making difficult changes..

Pilate did not want to face truth. Three times he declared Jesus was not guilty, but he still had him scourged and gave in to the will of the mob – who gave in to the manipulation of their leaders who also were afraid of the truth. The Jewish leaders  did not want to lose their positions of power and privilege.

Lord, You sent the Holy Spirit who is called The Spirit of Truth, who will guide us into all truth. We grieve and quench the HS when we resist the light He shines. You said we sometimes prefer darkness to light, because our deeds are evil and we don’t want to be exposed – even to ourselves. Help me walk in the Light, and let it shine into every area of my thoughts and actions. I have had times of guilt and distance from You because of my thoughts, and times of freedom and joy when I am willing to face the truth. And walking in the truth/light is so much better!

And Lord, let me help others choose truth. Some are discouraged by circumstances and relationships they think they cannot change. I think Pilate was like that, but he could have chosen truth. (Though if he had done that, Jesus would not have died for our sins, and that would have been terrible!) Lord, give me skill to present truth to others and help them make hard choices. You are the Way, the Truth and the LIFE. We will never enjoy the abundant life if we are afraid of the Truth. Thank You that You know everything about us, all our fears and sinful thoughts, and You have already provided forgiveness and acceptance. Help me/us enjoy that and enjoy You.