Friday, June 5, 2020
Last weekend I went camping for the first time this summer. My whole family was there, along with ten other families from Calvary. During one of the campfire discussions, the conversation turned to sleep schedules. The debate between morning people and night owls was interesting. But the conversation shut down when the motives for each position were compared to spiritual life. It is a fact that we all have a preferred body clock. However, self-evaluation is healthy for us to determine if either position is motivated by a sinful desire to either appear more spiritual or to enjoy things that aren’t spiritual.
Here’s what Jesus said about that.
John 3:19-21 “And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”
The contrast between darkness and light has existed since time began. God’s very first creative words were, “Let there be light.” In the heart and mind of God, darkness has always represented everything opposed to life. Light is the source of life. As it was before light came into existence, everything without light is void and without form.
It is apparent from the words of Jesus that darkness is appealing. Here’s why I think that’s true. Sin is appealing. Self-gratification is appealing. Yet the consequence of sin is guilt and shame. So how can we have our cake and eat it too? How can we enjoy what we believe gratifies us and not feel the shame that goes with it?
WE CAN’T! That’s the message of the Gospel. We can be delivered from the desires of the flesh so that there is no shame that comes from exposure of our sin. In Christ, the consequences of sin are gone, and the constant Light of the Holy Spirit shines in us to purify us from the desires to go back to sin. It is the Light that conquers the darkness.
Take a moment and read this passage from the Apostle Paul. Let it sink in. Let it encourage you with the power of the Light in you.
2 Corinthians 4:4-18 …the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. 8 We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10 always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. 11 For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12 So death is at work in us, but life in you. 13 Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, “I believed, and so I spoke,” we also believe, and so we also speak, 14 knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. 15 For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God. 16 So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 17 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18 as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.