Tag Archives: leading

Walk in God’s Light

2016-11-in-the-lightThe light of God is like a great feast of endless delight for all who accept His invitation to partake of it. With His light, we know we are headed in the right direction. He sent His light into the world through His Son, Jesus Christ, in whom there is no darkness at all.

Those who gladly receive the Light that is Jesus Christ will experience transformation. We receive a changed nature and become part of His new humanity. We receive a more childlike nature, more inclined to trust the word and the person of Jesus Christ in opposition to the prevailing culture. We more readily delight in the truth of God.

Our eyes will open to things we never saw before, and which others, who do not have the Light, cannot see. We will more readily speak the truth. We will more readily see the true mind and character of God and desire that above all else. We will more readily live a life of fruitfulness, joy and peace.

This does not mean we can or will attain sinless perfection in this earthly life, but we will have greater ability to understand ourselves and our world from God’s viewpoint. We will put less trust in human wisdom. We will better understand that human wisdom will disappoint us in some way because human understanding always falls short of God’s perfect Light.

Every follower of Christ has the Holy Spirit who provides the potential to experience all the light of Christ. Because of sinful habits we have developed since birth, we may still allow emotions, social or business pressures, cultural norms and other things to sway us—things that seem logical and even good to us, but do not take into account the full truth God makes available to us.

David was a man after God’s own heart, and yet he allowed Bathsheba’s beauty to capture him more than the Light of God. He suffered dire consequences for his acts, and brought untold suffering upon himself and others that continued even after he repented. In many ways, Judas and Peter perceived the Light better than any of us, yet they betrayed and cursed the Light for short-sighted reasons. If they failed, we are also subject to failure.

Jesus invites and warns us at the same time when He says, “While you have the Light, believe in the Light, so that you may become sons of Light.” We have the Light now, but if we ignore the Light, we will not always have Him. If we continually look to our own light, darkness will overtake us, and he who walks in the darkness does not know where he goes.

The Light of God is found in the Word of God through the Spirit of God. We must learn to let His Word speak to us in our daily lives, let it challenge our ideas, let it take precedence over cultural norms and trendy presumptions. Learning to follow the light is difficult for people like us with sinful tendencies to wander.

Let us remember that in the end, it is not we who possess the Light, but the Light Who possesses us. This is the ultimate message of the Good News, and let us make sure that others see signs of the Light in us.

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When Our Children Don’t Succeed

All of us who have children want them to succeed in life. We become overjoyed when they do, and we proudly tell others of their accomplishments. Their success reflects upon us. In a very real sense, we regard their success as our success.

What if they don’t succeed? What if their accomplishments are few, or worse, what if they fail and become burdens to our family and to society? Whose fault is it? Most parents tend to blame themselves. They spend endless hours asking themselves where they went wrong and where they failed God, not always able to arrive at solid conclusions.

May I offer a word of comfort to such parents: God the Father is the most perfect of parents, but all of His children (you and me) are abject failures in His sight. Is it possible that God the Father does not judge us as parents on whether our children succeed in life but on the way we live out His love and grace toward them? None of us will ever have a perfect family this side of heaven. So what is God looking for?

Christian family counselor Emmerson Eggerichs suggests a worthy biblical model for a good parent in the father of the prodigal son and his ungrateful older brother. In their own ways, both sons are miserable failures.

In this parable, Jesus clearly wants us to imitate the father’s grace toward his sinful sons. Throughout this parable, the father demonstrates remarkable patience in the face of outrageous behaviors and attitudes. As we study this parable, we become amazed that the father does not disown both of them for their insulting and ungrateful ways.

The father in Jesus’ parable represents God Himself. This means that to become successful parents, we must learn to first love God even more than we love our children. When we learn to love God first, we soon become overwhelmed by His grace. When we see the powerful grace of God working in our own sinful lives, we begin to take a different attitude toward our children and their failures. We begin to see them from God’s perspective.

Rather than see (and even resent) our wayward children as imperfect reflections of ourselves, we begin to think of them in the way that God regards us. Rather than judging or even rejecting our children, we begin to show them the same grace of God that He has displayed toward us. Like the prodigal son, some of our wayward children may return “home,” humble and repentant and ready to serve God and their fellow man.

Even if our children do not return, we will have the peace of knowing we succeeded in demonstrating the grace of God toward them.

Let us all learn to become overwhelmed by the grace of God. Let that growing experience of His grace make us the best parents. It will also help us to submit to our husbands, give ourselves to our wives, and do things that encourage rather than discourage our children. It will also make our gospel message more credible to a world filled with failure.

God’s grace helps us to accept others’ failures when we see how God receives us in spite of our failures.

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The Finger of God

All of us need a special healing touch of God upon our lives that renews as well as purges out what is unnecessary or harmful.

The ancient Egyptians of Moses’ day referred to this as “the finger of God.” This is a colorful term that refers to God’s direct and miraculous intervention in human affairs. The Egyptians were referring to how God miraculously freed the Israelites through the judgment of plagues upon Egypt. At the same time, the finger of God brought freedom to His chosen people.

We also see “the finger of God” in judgment upon the corrupt Babylonian monarch, Belshazzar, as a large hand appeared and spelled out his imminent doom.

But “the finger of God” appears also in God’s acts of grace and mercy as He writes the Ten Commandments for His chosen people, Israel. Later, Jesus frees people from the power of demons by “the finger of God” (Luke 11:20).

Today, we experience “the finger of God” most notably through the work of the Holy Spirit. Before He departed His earthly ministry, Jesus promised His disciples—and us—the privilege and blessing of the Holy Spirit in our lives. The Holy Spirit—God’s very presence—is our guarantee all that He intends to miraculously work in us.

The Holy Spirit is more than a force or power. The Holy Spirit is God Himself dwelling in and through us. The Holy Spirit is the same One who created the heavens and the earth, the galaxies and stars, and all the millions of species of plants and animals. None of us has fully grasped or experienced the full power of the Holy Spirit that is our awesome privilege.

The Holy Spirit guarantees our inheritance in God’s kingdom. The Holy Spirit is our constant companion. The Holy Spirit does battle for us and gives us protection and victory. The Holy Spirit sets up divine appointments for us, guides us into truth, and gives us heavenly power. The Holy Spirit enables us to display the life of God to a world who does not believe in God.

“The finger of God” is still at work today:Image
• The finger invites us and others to become a part of His kingdom and join Him in His work.
• The finger writes His law on our hearts.
• The finger grips us for all eternity.
• The finger points us to the truth. We can depend upon the Holy Spirit to give us wisdom in life’s most challenging circumstances.
• The finger works. The Holy Spirit works in us, and when we give Him permission, He enables us to live and work in ways that display the glory and character of God to the world around us.

Through the Holy Spirit, we may become agents of the Holy Spirit, inviting others into His kingdom. We may write things that move others to respond to Christ. We may faithfully seek out those whom God wants to seal for His kingdom. We may point the way for others to receive Christ. We may do the work that God has given to us, empowered by His might.

Let each of us seek to become better acquainted with the ministry of the Holy Spirit in our lives that we may better minister to others who await Him.

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