Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Living in the Light

But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin (I John 1:7 NLT).
 
There is no darkness in God (v.5).  We are lying if we say we know God but continue to live in darkness (v.6).  If we claim we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves (v. 8).  Residing with dark, secret things in our heart leads to all kinds of evil.  The only solution is to let in the light.

The problem is not in having sin; the Bible is clear that we are fooling ourselves if we say that we have no sin. The difficulty comes in trying to hide it.  God is light and has no darkness.  Light and darkness do not coexist.  When we receive Christ, a process starts where light dispels the darkness.  When we knowingly hold onto or hide our sin we try to create a state that spiritually cannot exist, light and darkness coinciding.  Of course, we never reach perfection, at least in this life, but if you are not advancing towards the light, then you are coming closer to the darkness. 

 Light penetrates transparent objects. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (I John 1:9 NLT).  God is not willing to cover what we are not ready to uncover.  At times living in the light can be a bit uncomfortable, but not nearly as shameful in the long run as living in darkness.  God is committed to us being known for who we really are.  Humble yourself or humiliate oneself, the choice is ours.

Image used with permission by Microsoft.

Ken Barnes the author of “The Chicken Farm and Other Sacred Places”  YWAM Publishing
Email: 
kenbarnes737@gmail.com
website:
https://sites.google.com/site/kenbarnesbooksite/
            http://gleanings757.blogspot.com


Monday, November 27, 2017

Good and Bad Suffering

If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. Make sure that none of you suffers as a murderer, or thief, or evildoer, or a troublesome meddler; (I Peter 4:14-15 NASB)
 
Suffering in the Bible is described from two different perspectives.  There is good and bad suffering.  Spiritual maturity is being able to discern the difference between the two and act accordingly. 

We often try to understand why we have trials and tribulations.  In some cases, they are self-inflicted due to our wrong choices.  In other instances, we suffer because we are making the right decisions.  If the former is correct, the response is simple, repent of our sins.  If the latter is accurate, the answer is not so immediate and straightforward, patient endurance.  In trying to encourage God’s people in their current suffering, and prepare them for future tribulations, Peter drives home a central point; all suffering is temporary. “But to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation” (v. 13).

Peter sums up this section on suffering by telling them that all righteous people suffer according to the will of God (v. 19).  Matthew Henry comments on this verse by saying, “It is the duty of Christians to look more to the keeping of their souls than the preserving of their bodies.”  If we take to heart this admonition, we will start to view our sufferings as good, and the burdens of this world will begin to seem minuscule compared to the exaltation of our soul in the world to come.

 Image used with permission by Microsoft.

Ken Barnes the author of “The Chicken Farm and Other Sacred Places”  YWAM Publishing
Email: 
kenbarnes737@gmail.com
website:
https://sites.google.com/site/kenbarnesbooksite/
            http://gleanings757.blogspot.com