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God's light breaking over the horizon

God of Light

God is a God of light, not a God of darkness. In a world where so much darkness abounds, this is a much-needed truth that we need a revelation of. We need to get our theology from God’s Word.

1 John 1:5-7 says, 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 and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out 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 all sin.

God is a God of absolutes. This scripture says that ‘in Him, there is no darkness at all’. There is far too much dilution, pollution and contamination when it comes to our view of darkness and light. It is not politically correct to talk in absolutes, but it is biblically imperative and theologically accurate. It’s not about being dogmatic – it is about truth.

God is a God of light, not a God of darkness. It says that if we walk with God, then we will not continue to walk in darkness. This is not talking about people who made a decision once or prayed a prayer once. It is describing people who actually walk in fellowship and friendship with God. It is not talking about having moments of making wrong choices. It is talking about people who continually walk in darkness.

Jesus is the Light of the World, and if we are truly walking with Him, we will walk in the light.

1 John 1:8-10 states, If we 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 is not in us.

This scripture is a good reminder that we have all sinned and fallen short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23). To claim to not sin is pride and this displeases God. Acknowledging our sins ‘as sins’ is imperative to walking in freedom. Ignoring them or watering them down is always to our detriment.

Our freedom comes, not from perfection, but from Christ. And that freedom is released through taking responsibility for our sins and asking Jesus to forgive us. Yes, we have all sinned. This is a reality. But we also all have a Saviour who wants to forgive us, cleanse us and give us life to the full!

Praise God that He is the God of Light and that we can walk with Him in the light.

Woman with two hands full of fruit

One Handful or Two

I have found myself at times chasing many things. And they may have been good things – related to family, ministry, or church life. But as a bit of an over-achiever, I can easily find myself with too much on my plate. I say yes out of enthusiasm to help others, which can result in feeling worn out or depleted.

Ecclesiastes 4:6 says, “Better one handful with tranquillity than two handfuls with toil and chasing after the wind.”

God asked me one day, “What do you have in your hand?” And when I answered the question honestly, I realised that it was not just one handful that I was carrying, but actually I had both hands full. And my hands were full to overflowing. I was so busy doing things for God that I had been distracted from chasing after God himself.

When I was younger, my Dad used to have a bit of fun when offering us certain foods – such as a slice of cake or slice of cheese. He would ask whether we wanted a one-handed slice or a two-handed slice. Of course, if my friends were around, they would always ask for a two-handed slice – it sounded like it was going to be so much bigger and so much better! But in fact, a two-handed slice was so thin and fragile that it needed to be held with both hands. It would crumble at a moment’s notice. The one-handed slice was the one you really wanted – it was thick and stable and easily held in one hand.

When both our hands are so full of stuff in our lives, it is like that two-handed slice. Life seems like it will be so much better when we have two hands full – but in fact, too much and our lives feel thin and as if things would easily crumble. We end up chasing after the wrong things, and it takes all of our energy to ensure that things don’t fall apart. But we don’t want to drop the ball or let people down, so we keep straining to juggle our many responsibilities. As a result, our life feels unstable and uncertain.

When I chase after many things that are not in God’s plan, I lose my tranquillity. I forfeit that inner state of being calm and settled. I end up toiling and working so hard I lose my joy. And if we are honest, amidst the many good things in our lives, we can end up a slave to what seem to be good things. But too many seemingly good things are not always right if they are not in God’s plan.

Matthew 6:33-34 “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Jesus teaches us not to worry about tomorrow, and to seek Him first. God’s ways are always higher than our ways. If we stick to one handful of the things in life, we have the other hand free – to hold God’s hand. To allow Him to lead and guide us. To ensure that we have the margin and space in our day to hear His voice and be led by His Spirit. With one hand full, our lives are stable and secure in Him. And with just one hand full, we also have the other hand free to help others along the way as He directs.

So, allow Father to speak into what you have in your hands. Don’t get caught up in meaningless toil – live your life with one handful, not two.

Philippians 1:6 (The Living Bible) “And I am sure that God who began the good work within you will keep right on helping you grow in his grace until his task within you is finally finished on that day when Jesus Christ returns.”

stillness over a peaceful lake

Stillness and Silence

Sometimes when the pressure of decision is very real, there is a place that I like to go.  It’s a place in which stillness and silence reigns, where the beauty of God’s handiwork is seen so clearly.  It’s so easy to love a place like that for so many reasons: the quietness, the beauty, the serenity of nature’s touch.  But most of all, for me, it is a place where I find my Father’s heart.

Psalm 23:2 is such a well-known scripture – He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.

His silence is still golden. In an age where the pressure of decision seems to be an ever-present adversary, we need to know a place where we can find our solitude.  A place uncluttered by the affairs of man and the tension of the time clock ticking our moments away. A place where we can hear God clearly.

In my quest for such a place over the years, I have often found some beautiful and wonderful spots.  Places that still linger and minister to my mind.  But not always so.  There are times when such a place, is not to be found.  For reasons many and varied, our search for solitude remains an unfruitful one.  For too many this moment becomes a time of crisis.

It is in such moments that the reality of the Holy Spirit is such a comfort.  I have discovered that we can find a place of haven, wherever we are.  It’s not a place of trees, and soft waters in the natural, but rather a place where our minds are at peace and our hearts are ministered to by His love.  The Bible says that the love the Lord Jesus Christ can give is a love “beyond all understanding”.  He speaks of a peace which is above all ability to reason or comprehend.  It’s a peace which knows no limits and has no barriers.  It’s a peace not borne out of the efforts of man but has upon it the sweet touch of the Divine.  The loving heart of the Father ministering to us by the Holy Spirit.

When people question me concerning the reality of the Lord Jesus Christ, there are things I can refer to.  The miracles, the healings, the transformed lives, the sheer joy in our services from people who have previously only known despair.  But perhaps one of the greatest evidences of all is that ever present peace which is greater than my understanding.

The peace of which I’ve written, is a peace freely available.  But will never be found in the strife and struggle of physical or intellectual endeavour, for it is spiritual in nature. By coming to the Lord Jesus who is its Source and Supply we can receive in a moment that which may be the quest of a lifetime.

My prayer is that you will find your haven soon, for I know how much I value mine.

 

 

A dove representing the Holy Spirit

Holy Spirit Power

We live in a time when too many Christians accept such a small part of what God intends for our new life in Christ. We also live in a time when so many (myself included far too often) try hard to be good, rather than be filled to overflowing with the life-giving power of the Holy Spirit.

Matthew 3:11-12 says, I (John the Baptist) indeed baptise you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptise you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.

This scripture can be a little confusing, yet because it is one of the first mentions of what Jesus will do, I feel it is important to look to see what God is saying. As I pause and listen, I see two things: Firstly, all that God wants to accomplish in our lives is through the power of the Holy Spirit, not through our best efforts. Secondly, God wants to do a thorough and truly transforming work in us, not just a slight improvement.

The work of Jesus and the work of the Holy Spirit is a thorough clean out work. We need a deeper revelation of this in our lives. But we also need a deeper revelation of why Jesus wants to thoroughly clean out the chaff of our lives.

Freedom is the reason Jesus is an all-or-nothing Saviour. He has no desire to simply improve our present reality and our spiritual condition. Sure, we might measure our lives compared to some other people and think we are not too bad. But compared to a holy, righteous and perfect God, well, we all miss the mark terribly.

And this is why Jesus came! He came to remove restrictions, to remove barriers and to remove obstacles! He came to pay the price, tear down the veil, disarm the devil and usher us boldly into God’s throne of grace! He came to live as a man, sinless, reliant on the Holy Spirit, in communion with His Father and as a tangible example of this new life He was purchasing for us!

All of this is done by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Present Possession

We all want to walk with freedom in our lives. But do we really understand our present possession in Christ?

Jesus is our present possession as true Christians. Sometimes as Christians, we live too much in a future anticipation for what Jesus has legally provided for us now. If we have accepted Jesus as our Lord and Saviour, then we have received salvation (Ephesians 2:8).

Our spiritual address has shifted from death to life (Romans 6:11). Our spiritual identity has changed from slave to son (Romans 8:15, Galatians 5:25, John 15:15). This has happened! It is done! It is finished! It is ours now!

Yes, there is a work of sanctification and renewing that continues to take place, but the legal requirement has been met in Jesus, and salvation is our present possession in Him! Jesus is our present possession.

Jesus is also our future salvation: One day, Jesus will bring freedom from the penalty, power, presence and pleasure of sin. What Jesus accomplished on the cross was not incomplete or insufficient, but we still live in a world where the enemy is at work and his influence is seen and felt by many.

But one day, this will change! The enemy’s time is short! He is a defeated foe, and one day he will also be banished!

Then, our present possession will take on an even deeper level of completeness as evil ceases to be present in our reality and where there will be no obstructions or obstacles in any form!

Revelation 21:4 says, And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away. (NKJV)

Glory, majesty, awe, wonder, and the deepest, purest form of worship and intimacy will be our eternal joy and pleasure!!! Oh what a glorious day! Praise God for our present possession of salvation! Praise God for our future salvation!

I encourage you to take a few minutes to thank God for what He has done for you.