No darkness, nowhere to hide, no secrets, no lies

The eve of my brother’s funeral and it just feels to me like I’m going to a very dark place.  Yet this morning I was reminded that in God there is no darkness at all.  I was also reminded yesterday not to judge or second guess.  Whilst outwardly my brother professed no faith, inwardly who knows what conversations he had with God, who knows what happened to him in his final days so I must remain open minded.  I also know that it is important for me once and for all to forgive my brother for things that happened in our childhood.  I am finding this probably the hardest thing I have ever had to deal with, God calls us to forgive and I thought I had achieved that, but my brother’s death has brought it home that maybe I hadn’t forgiven him.  I certainly hadn’t made my peace with him and I feel like maybe this is my last chance to put things right.  I need God’s strength and grace more than ever to work this through.

1 John 1:5 – This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.

NO DARKNESS

No darkness, nowhere to hide, no secrets, no lies, God’s light illuminating my heart, shining into the recesses of my mind to find those things that need addressing, the things that are continually messing with my head, things that should be dead to me now I have found the Lord, the scars that I cling to dearly, that I “nearly” handed to God but I found it a little too hard to truly hand over, he knows the pain, he collected every tear in his bottle, and now he calls on me to have the bottle to let it be, these memories did not create my identity, I am in Christ, a new creation, my frustration no longer relevant, I should not be hesitant in praying the Lords own prayer, forgive me my sins as I forgive those who sin against me, once and for all my forgiveness releases me.

Allowing Satan’s diseased thinking to shadow our thinking

I’ve been thinking about light and darkness today and how Christians are all little pinpricks of light on the earth, illuminating the area around us.  Some of casting a small light, others casting a vast light, all of us contributing in our way to lighting up the world.  I then got to thinking about Creation and how God created light and saw that it was good.  In the same way he sees our light and sees that it is good.

Before the fall of man, all was good, all was light and there was no evil.  It was through eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil that man came to a close acquaintance with the darkness.

That got me to thinking about our role as Christians to help keep the light shining into the darkness.  The example I want to use is based on my personal experience of being a Christian called out of a gay lifestyle.  Today a Facebook friend, a Christian, posted a picture of two men kissing with the comment “Love who you love! That’s what I’ll be telling my children”.  This was then agreed with by another couple of Christian friends.

My issue is that I believe every time a Christian promotes homosexuality, a tiny bit of their light goes out.  I’m not saying be homophobic or non-welcoming of homosexuals, that’s not what Jesus taught us, he taught us to love each other.  What I am saying is be clear on God’s teaching and let his light shine through us, do not let the darkness overcome, overshadow or taint God’s message of love and truth.

  • Genesis 1: 1-4 – In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness.
  • Genesis 3: 6-7 – When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.

DARKNESS THEN LIGHT

There was darkness, then God created light, brightness illuminating every corner of the globe, strobes of light penetrating the shadows, the light turned on and the darkness fled, now we are the light of the world, anointed and called to speak of God’s redeeming grace, to light up space as beacons of hope, yet we walk a tightrope when we get lost in the darkness of our own making, faking it to fit in with secular beliefs, allowing Satan’s diseased thinking to shadow our thinking, the lights start blinking, not quite so bright now we’re masking the light, what’s right, what’s wrong, how long oh Lord how long before your people let this go, before they grow in maturity, before they gain clarity, your word unveiled, your word prevailing, no more bending Biblical teaching, no more watering down of their preaching, no longer desiring to placate the devil but ready to stand up against evil, there was darkness but you brought the light, Father God pour out your light on this nation, open their eyes remove the blinkers, may they be faithful witnesses, heavenly citizens ablaze with your Glory, their minds no longer bleary, standing up for the truth as faithful servants, Christian’s with a message, a belief and a purpose.

Supporting you until like a bird you are ready to leave the nest

Picking up your Cross and following Jesus.  Was thinking about this today, not so much what it means but how God empowers us to do this.  I’m giving my testimony in a couple of weeks and as part of that I was reflecting on Jesus being a life changer.  When I think about where I was before I met God and what I had to change to get to where I am now I could not have done it in my own strength.  When Jesus asks us to pick up our cross it’s important to remember that he’s right there behind you taking the weight, you are not doing it alone.

Matthew 16:24 – Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.

MY CROSS

Pick up your cross, pick it up and see how light the burden is now you’ve chosen to follow me, impossible my reality, difficult becoming easy, night becomes day, I say to you if you want to be my disciple you must deny yourself, yet what you may not get is the promise that I will never let you falter, never leave you to struggle with the sacrifices in your life, make no mistake I will never forsake you, so as you put yourself out for me you’ll start to see my lamp as I light your path, start to feel my strength rise up in you as you face the storms head on and win, as you turn from your sins in obedience to me, you’ll feel more free, you’ll see that I am by your side, not just along for the ride but bearing the burden of your sin, transforming you into that new creation, gently supporting you as you find your feet, seated beside you as you sleep, walking beside you every day, taking the weight of the cross away, pick up your cross and follow me, see what I can do for you, see where I will take you, believe that you will soar on wings like an eagle because I have freed you, supporting you until like a bird you are ready to leave the nest, supporting you as a Father who knows what is best, pick up your Cross and follow me, deny yourself to receive.

Be the light, defy the darkness

Lit a candle this morning as a kind of symbol of my recommitment to God.  All the gifts he has given me freely given back to him, what a privilege.

Psalm 18:28 – You, Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light

LIGHT IN DARKNESS

Be God’s light to those in darkness, be the light, defy the darkness, God turned my darkness into light and now I burn for what is right, I burn for truth and justice, I burn because the truth is God has given me a purpose, God has given me direction and I give him my dedication, my determination to use the gifts he has given to show others they are forgiven, to let others light their candle from mine, to be the spark that sets the fire going and whatever your calling, whether to be a candle or the mirror that reflects it you have to accept it, we are not called to hide the light, we are called to do what is right, to tell others of the light of the world, Jesus who in a word offers salvation to every man in every nation wants us to have a fixation on the light, to burn so brightly for him that we are completely immersed in shining our light for all to see, so that all who seek him can go free,

A crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord

When I read this passage I just knew it was what I wanted to define me.  I want to be a light for God, I want people to see the glory of the Lord rising upon me, I want nations to come to my light, what more could I possibly ask for than for God’s glory to be upon me?

Isaiah 60:1-3 – Arise, shine, for your light has come and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.

MY GOD IS REAL

Restored, redeemed, renewed, God changed what was broken and made it new, I radiantly reflect his glory as I recount my story, not lost but found, no longer shrouded in darkness I now arise and shine, not I but the grace of God within me shining out for all to see, the everlasting light of the world changing me, I have become a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord who is true to his word, faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness, may I live in your brightness, become your likeness, shine brightly so all can see that my God is love and my God is real.

Celebrate today our Saviour’s birth,he shattered the yoke that burdened me

I was reading Isaiah 9 this morning and enjoyed the familiarity of verses 6 and 7, often heard at this time of year.

Isaiah 9:6-7 – A child will be born to us. A son will be given to us. He will rule over us. And he will be called Wonderful Adviser and Mighty God. He will also be called Father Who Lives Forever
and Prince Who Brings Peace. The authority of his rule will continue to grow.  The peace he brings will never end. He will rule on David’s throne and over his kingdom. He will make the kingdom strong and secure. His rule will be based on what is fair and right. It will last forever. The Lord’s great love will make sure that happens.  He rules over all. 

But what really stood out for me at this time of reading was not the familiar part but the preceding verses:

Isaiah 9: 2-5 – The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned. You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy; they rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest, as warriors rejoice when dividing the plunder. For as in the day of Midian’s defeat, you have shattered the yoke that burdens them, the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor. Every warrior’s boot used in battle and every garment rolled in blood will be destined for burning, will be fuel for the fire.

As a Christian re-read those words and rejoice. Our yoke has been shattered, our nation has been enlarged, our joy increased, our warrior garments and armour stained in this battle will one day be fuel for the fire as we stand before our God victorious.

INCREASED JOY

The world’s not safe anymore, we have become a nation living in darkness, embracing the murkiness, ignoring the absence of light.  We have become cold to the notion of a God whose devotion is without question.  Is it truly beyond our comprehension that God’s expression of love was to send his own Son?  His Son was given to us, Jesus is the great light that shines into the darkness, fellow citizens of heaven living on earth, celebrate today our Saviour’s birth for he has shattered the yoke that burdened me, broken the chains of the enemy, enlarged our territory, increased our joy, today rejoice with me that one day at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow, Prince of Peace, bringing unity, love and reconciliation, one day our heavenly nation will taste victory, our armour stained in battle will become fuel for the fire, today heavenly choirs sing to herald the birth of a King, good news for all who are listening for this King came for all, his birth not exclusive, our God’s not elusive, he came for all, he came to break into your darkness, God incarnate born for you, God of love given to you, open your heart he’s waiting for you.

Keep shining beautiful one

Was reading John this morning and another verse about the Light.  We are all called to be light in our own corner of the world, like God has given us our own territory and we are called to keep it illuminated, to touch everyone passing through, to provide the light in this world where darkness surrounds us.

John 1:5 – And the light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not overcome it

KEEP SHINING

Keep shining beautiful one, the world needs more light, this world needs definition and a single candle can define the darkness, a single candle can defy the shadows, be the light, be as a candle or a mirror reflecting the flickering light of hope, don’t let anything dim the light that shines from within, you are called to be the light and as a candle loses nothing by lighting another, you lose nothing by lighting the path for your brother, be the light, shine in the darkness and the darkness will not overwhelm you, shine for God he will protect you, keep shining beautiful one, press on, I am the light of the world and I have overcome.