Light and Dark

I started a garden on my little patio. I have been ecstatic that so far, things are growing. Lets hope and pray the lord sends me a good harvest of vegetables. Gardening on the patio is nice but I sometime worry the plants do not get enough light. There is a covering and many trees that provide shade. The plants never get fun sun. But then I was reading how plants also need darkness. If they have sun a full 24 hours it stresses them and causes problems. Plants need darkness just like humans. Who knew? Not me. We as humans need darkness to help our brains sleep and keep a healthy balance. We need the light hours and the dark hours.

The Bible is full of references of light and dark. The dark is typically referred to as representing evil and the light as Gods goodness. Jesus Christ is referred to as the light of the world. Those who walk in darkness are considered to be evil and not of the Lord. We as Gods children are called to walk in the light.

As a child of God the light of Jesus has been so bright at times. At other times it seems like things are dark, clouded and full of hardship. Sometime life is challenging and things just do not seem to be going well. We are faced with trials and tribulations. It’s easy to feel like the light of Jesus has disappeared? The truth is Jesus light is still there we just are not seeing it because of the darkness clouding our vision. How do we walk in the light of Jesus when everything seems like darkness?

I want to go back to my little garden. During the day the sun shines. The light is apparent. But at night, it is dark. It is during this dark hour that the plant takes all the sunlight it absorbed from the light and uses it for growing roots, flowers, fruits, etc. It is in the dark hours that the energy gained from the sun is used to produce something. What a beautiful process.

When the Bible refers to darkness it is talking about the evil in this world, sin and the enemy. We often are attacked by these evil things. As we walk in the light we experience darkness. For there is a battle surrounding us. It is during those times we are experiencing darkness that we have to be carful to abide in Christ so that we allow the Holy Spirit to work in us producing growth. The product will be the fruits of the spirit that builds Gods kingdom of light and fights the darkness.

We experience darkness. But instead of falling victim to the darkness we should focus on using what we have absorbed from the times of light to allow the Holy Spirit to produce something wonderful.

Walking in the light of Jesus does not mean you will not experience darkness. It means that through abiding in Christ the Holy Spirit will use you to become the light of Jesus in a dark world.

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Can Something Good Be An Idol?

We as humans invest ourselves in a variety of things. We invest time and energy into our work. We invest time and energy into our hobbies, music and sports. We invest time and energy into our friends, family and loves ones, even our pets. I myself devote a good amount of time to my 2 dogs because I call them my babies. If we are not doing these things and have no motivation to do so then I would argue you are sick. For it is normal and healthy for humans to be active, engaged, and working towards something.

In the Old Testament after Moses lead the Israelites out of slavery he left them to meet with God on mount Sinai. This is the placed he received the 10 commandments from God. The first commandment being…

“You shall have no other gods before me.” Exodus 20:3

While Moses was receiving this commandment the Israelites melted down precious metal to form a golden calf in which they started worshiping. They exchanged the God of the universe who had performed miracles to free them from slavery for a gold calf.

This is the sin of humanity. To forget about God and start worshiping something else. It is not challenging. Even something we consider “good” like a career can become bad if we exchange our God and worship of God for that career or hobby or something else.

What is the cure? In the New Testament people asked Jesus what was the greatest commandment his response was this…

“Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and the greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'” Matthew 22:37-39

For when we are truly loving the lord our God with all we have we will have no space for idol worship. There was nothing wrong with the metal that made that gold cafe. There was nothing really wrong with the gold calf itself. What was wrong was the heart of the people that loved, worship and devoted themselves to this gold calf over God.

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New Life or Worm Food?

After being inspired by a friend I started the process of a small little garden on my tiny patio. I also started a compost bin. I just added the key ingredient to a compost bin, compost worms. So now I have a little worm farm. It was quite interesting putting together food (ie compost produce from my kitchen) and a worm bed (ie shredded paper and cardboard from the shredder). Home recycling. There you go!!

There are a variety of references to worms in the Bible. Normally they are referred to in ways we would rather forget. They represent the creatures that feed on dead things and decay. I am sure glad I am not a worm. Yuck! But I was reminded of the fact that these compost worms who feed on decaying scraps are the key ingredient to successfully producing rich soil necessary for growing a healthy garden. Without these gross compost worms the process of new life coming out of the decay would not exist.

In the Old Testament of the Bible it was prophesied that a savior would be born. Then in the New Testament we hear about the opportunity for new life through Jesus Christ. That through Jesus we are offered the opportunity to experience Gods forgiveness, provision, life and redemption. We all experience hardship and some of that hardship may even be due to our sin. Sin destroys causing rot and decay. No one is immune. But through Jesus the decay can be washed away and a new branch, alive in Jesus will give way.

No human in existence other than Jesus is without sin. Thus no human in existence other than Jesus who was/is without decay and rot. We all experience the effects of this death. But just as something dead can be made into garden, we to can experience new life in Jesus Christ. That process starts with faith in Christ, repentance of sin and baptism in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Would your rather experience new life in Jesus or be eaten by worms? Something to ponder.

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You Want An Earful???

Have you ever done something that completely shocked yourself? Well the other day I had one of those moments. I started yelling at a man at a restaurant. The man that was intending to pay for the food. I just let lose. Not one of my more graceful or beautiful moments. But it was indeed honest. He got an earful of exactly what I thought. Rather forcefully. It seemed I had harbored some rather strong emotions and feelings. It was the perfect storm to stir them up.

My initial feeling after the event was, I feel so much better. I held my head high as I tried rather unsuccessfully to slowly leave the restaurant. Then over the course of several days I started to realization how little self control and restraint I had shown. The fact that I did the very opposite of acting as a gentle/quiet spirit. As I realized these things the feeling of shame started to slowly creep up on me. Whoops!

“Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” 2 Corinthians 12:8-9 NIV

No person is without fault or struggle. We all have areas that challenge us. Areas our flesh surfaces. We all need for the grace of Jesus to cover those imperfections. But as I battled with a sense of shame over my outburst I realized that this too is not from the Lord. I have to learn to control these outburst with the help of the Lord but the shame or fear of failing should not keep me from moving forward and working for Gods kingdom. That through walking forward despite my struggle is an opportunity for Christ’s power to rest on me and be revealed. That none would say look at her but all would say look at Christ.

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The Purpose Of The Blessing

Of recent I have had the privilege to receive a number of acts of kindness and blessings from others. It has been an honor to receive such blessing. In the Old Testament there was a man named Abram. God choose him to be the father of the Jewish people establishing the blood line leading to Jesus. In Genesis 12:2-3 God promised this man who’s name was changed to Abraham these blessings:

1. I will make you a great nation

2. I will bless you

3. I will make your name great (I like to note this is the name that had been given to him by God, Abraham)

I think it helpful to ponder, what was the purpose of God giving this blessing? Was it so that Abraham could bath in his riches and fortunes? God had a purpose for blessing Abraham in this way. What was that purpose? Ultimately it was to be a blessing to others. That through Abraham, a man called by God, others would know God and also be blessed.

What should we do as Christian’s with the blessings given to us? What is the purpose of receiving the blessings given? The purpose is to use your blessings to build God’s kingdom. So I encourage you to acknowledge the blessing that have been given to you. Give thanks to the Lord and then ask him how can I use this blessing to bless others? How can I use this blessing to build Gods kingdom.

If you would like to share a prayer request you can do this online here!

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