“At Noon, Darkness Fell”

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33 At noon, darkness fell across the whole land until three o’clock. — Mark 15:33 NLT

3  I dress the skies in darkness, covering them with clothes of mourning.” — Isaiah 50:3 NLT 

At noon on Friday, the sun was hidden as nature mourned the approaching death of our Lord and Savior.  At three o’clock on Friday afternoon, the Light of the world was extinguished.  It was a time of deep darkness and mourning for all of nature and the followers of Jesus.  It seemed that satan and his demons had won a great victory.  At three o’clock, the natural light reappeared.  Could this have been a sign that the Spiritual light would also reappear, that all was not as it seemed to be?  A heaviness lay over the people and the land.  Friday night, all day Saturday and Saturday night was a time of grieving and wondering.  Could they have been wrong about this man, Jesus?  Was He not really the Messiah?   A time of fear, could they be the next to die?  For a moment, imagine that you are one of the disciples at that very time.  Look at the situation through their eyes, not knowing the final outcome of this event.  Take the time to imagine the scene on the cross and mourn the death of your teacher and closest friend.  His promise that He would always be with them must have seemed pretty hollow about then. Would your faith have carried you through this event?  What would your reaction have been?  Would you have been able to remember and believe all the promises at this particular point?   Would you still believe that He would arise after three days? Now, back to the present.  Will our faith carry us through what God has in store for us now?  When temptation stares us in the face, will we give in?  Knowing the whole story, how will we respond to the times of darkness and mourning in our lives?  Will we remember that there is hope?  Will we remember that “joy comes in the morning”?

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

“A Chosen People”

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9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. — 1 Peter 2:9 NIV

Think back to a time in your life when there was a particular group that you wanted to be chosen to be a part of.  Do you remember the joy and exhilaration that you felt when you saw your name on the list or heard it called out?  Multiply that feeling by a zillion zillions and you won’t even be close to the joy that we should feel every day because God has chosen us.  Knowing that we are God’s special possession should fill our hearts to overflowing and cause us to shout praises from the mountaintops or in the deepest valleys.  In the best and the worst of times, we, the chosen, can proclaim:

31 If God is for us, who can be against us? — Romans 8:31​b​

Think back to the time when you were a child and you were afraid of the darkness and how great it felt when Mom or Dad walked into the room, turned on a night light and took time to comfort and encourage you.  Or as they stayed, held you and you drifted peacefully off to sleep.  Multiply that feeling and that peace by a zillion zillions and you won’t even be close to the feeling of peace and the brightness of the light that comes when we answer the call of Jesus to come out of the darkness into His wonderful light.  And think of this, they left the room when you drifted off to sleep, but we have the added assurance that God will never leave us nor forsake us.  He is here to comfort and protect us all day and night, every day and night.

8 The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” — Deut. 31:8 NIV

No matter what circumstances are surrounding us or what situation we find ourselves in, we should be filled with joy because we serve a God who has been there, is there now, and will always be there.

4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. — Phil. 4:4-5 NIV

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

“So We Could Know the Glory of God”

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6 For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ. – 2 Cor. 4:6 NLT 

2 Cor. 4:3-7 NLT

When we allow God to use us as His witnesses, we may not see the results of our labors immediately.  It has been determined that it takes more than 7 “touches”  or exposures to the Good News for a person to accept Jesus Christ as their Savior.  Our God desires that everyone should be saved, but the “god of this age”, satan, has blinded many to the truth of the Gospel. They cannot see the Light because they are focused on the pleasures of this world and the desires of the flesh. Their refusal to see the Light does not alleviate us of the responsibility of being the Light of Jesus Christ shining in a world of darkness.  We have this Light of the knowledge of God’s glory shining in our hearts. God has placed His treasure, this knowledge of Him, in the hearts of human beings. These jars of clay are weak and decaying but the Light shining forth from them displays the power of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. This power is from God and not from us.  That is why God has made us responsible for shining, but He has kept the responsibility for dispelling the darkness. We can be assured that if we do our part, He will faithfully do His part and souls will be added to the Kingdom.

9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.10 As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, 11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. — Isaiah 55:9-11 NIV

 “The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

“Into His Wonderful Light”

9 But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light. – 1 Peter 2:9 NLT 

Strangers NLT

We were born in sin into a world filled with the darkness of sin. Some of us spent more years than others stumbling through the darkness thinking we could make it on our own.  Then the Holy Spirit called us out of darkness and into the wonderful light of Jesus Christ. It was then and only then, that we realized our inability to even walk upright without God’s help.  As new creations, we realized that we were foreigners and aliens in this world. Our fleshly desires had held us in bonds and chains, now we are free to live the good lives that God has called us to live. It should be our heart’s desire to please God in every way, every day. We are in a war and there is no neutral ground.  There is no standing still, if we aren’t making progress everyday, we are regressing. When we are in love with someone, we want to spend time alone with them. God is in love with each of us and He is overjoyed when we choose to spend time alone with Him. The time we spend with Jesus is the way we get the strength to wage the war. If we don’t spend time preparing for the battle, we will be defeated daily, even though the war was won at the Cross. Spend a minute with God right now and often throughout the day. He will give you peace in the middle of the chaos and strength to wage the war.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

“I Lay Down My Life’

17 “Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. 18 No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.”–John 10:17-18 (NIV)

The Holy Spirit has been given to us as our guide, but He will never make us do anything against our own will. We have the power and the authority to make the same decision that Jesus made. We can decide to hold onto our earthly, physical lives if that is what we want or we can decide to put our lives on the cross that Jesus gives us to bear. We will never do this as long as our own pride and other people’s opinions of us are more important than pleasing God. There is one funeral that we all need to attend and that is the death and burial of our fleshly desires. Anything that we put above our love and obedience for God has to be removed. It is a decision that Jesus had to make and so must we. In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus ended His prayer with “not My will but thine be done”. So should our prayer be as well.

44 Now it was about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. 45 Then the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was torn in two. 46 And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, “Father, ‘into Your hands I commit My spirit.’” Having said this, He breathed His last.–Luke 23:44-46 (NIV)

Are we ready to commit our whole lives, mind, soul, body, and spirit into the hands of God? The way of the cross leads home, but we have to go through the cross, the blood and the darkness to get there.


“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

“Whatever the Father Tells Me”

50 And I know his commands lead to eternal life; so I say whatever the Father tells me to say.”  –John 12:50 NLT

John 12:44-50 NLT

Because of His great love and mercy, Jesus gives one more invitation to the crowd to believe in what He has said and who He is. He is telling them since you have seen and heard me, you have heard and seen the Father. Every word Jesus said and every act He committed came directly from the Father. On judgment day, the unbelievers will be judged by the words that Jesus was teaching. After all, Jesus was the Word Incarnate, the Living Word, the Word that was established in the beginning. In Jesus, there was life and that life was the light for all the people.

1 In the beginning there was the Word. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 All things were made by him, and nothing was made without him. 4 In him there was life, and that life was the light of all people. 5 The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overpowered it.—John 1:1-5 NCV)

Jesus is God, God is Jesus, Jesus is the Word and the Word is Jesus and in Him is life and light. God and Jesus are in perfect agreement and have been since the beginning. The Word that Jesus spoke was commanded by the Father and contained Life. It is the same Word that has saved us and will keep us until the day Jesus returns. The world needs to hear that Word today, so they can ask the Lord for help.

14 But before people can ask the Lord for help, they must believe in him; and before they can believe in him, they must hear about him; and for them to hear about the Lord, someone must tell them; 15 and before someone can go and tell them, that person must be sent. It is written, “How beautiful is the person who comes to bring good news.”–Romans 10:14-15 (NCV)

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

“Walk In the Light”

35 Jesus replied, “My light will shine for you just a little longer. Walk in the light while you can, so the darkness will not overtake you. Those who walk in the darkness cannot see where they are going. – John 12:35

John 12:32-36 NLT

When ​Jesus​ used the words “if I b​e lifted up” the people seemed to understand that He meant He would have to die. They immediately respond that they thought that the Christ would live forever. So, to them if He were going to die, He couldn’t be the Messiah for whom they had been looking . They do not grasp the concept of the resurrection and eternal life.

1 In the beginning there was the Word. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 All things were made by him, and nothing was made without him. 4 In him there was life, and that life was the light of all people. 5 The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overpowered​ ​it.—John 1:1-4 (NCV)

After the resurrection and the coming of the Holy Spirit, we now have the light living inside of us and we are the light of the world. The Holy Spirit leads us into all truth as we study the word of God. So, we have the light internally with the Holy Spirit and we have the light externally with God’s Word.

105 Your word is like a lamp for my feet​ and a light for my path.—Psalm 119:105 (NCV)

There is no reason for us to walk in darkness. Every where we go, we should dispel the darkness.

“You are the light that gives light to the world. A city that is built on a hill cannot be hidden.—Matt. 5:14 (NCV)

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 05-20-2020

“Because They Had Heard”

18 That was the reason so many went out to meet him—because they had heard about this miraculous sign. – John 12:18 NLT

John 12:17-22 NLT

The people were still spreading the word about what Jesus had done for Lazarus. This caused a lot of curiosity in the villages and caused others to want to meet Jesus. Even people who were not Jews had become interested in who this man was. They were there to celebrate the Passover Feast. They went to Philip and said “Sir, we would like to see Jesus.” There are lost people in our world today who want to see Jesus. they may not realize that is who they are looking for, so we have to be the ones to tell them. They are empty and they need someone to love them enough to tell them about Jesus.​ Does our lifestyle and the way we act toward them cause the lost to be attracted to Christ? Would a person who knew you feel comfortable about asking you about Jesus? Are we letting our light shine? 

2 ​The people who walk in darkness will see a great light.
For those who live in a land of deep darkness, a light will shine. ​ – Isaiah 9:2 NLT​

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 05-17-2020

“You Won’t Have to Walk In Darkness”

12 Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life. – John 8:12 NLT
The Light

The claim that Jesus made “I am the Light of the world” was true. It was a fulfillment of the prophecy in Isaiah:

2 The people who walk in darkness will see a great light. For those who live in a land of deep darkness, a light will shine.-Isaiah 9:2 (NLT)

Where the light shines, it dispels darkness, the two cannot abide together. Those that follow the light of Jesus can walk without stumbling and they will be led to eternal life. When we were being led by the flesh, we walked in darkness and misjudged people just as the Pharisees and the religious leaders did. We were unable to see and understand the truth. When the Holy Spirit shined the Light of Jesus upon us, we could no longer live in darkness. Filled with the Holy Spirit, we are now the light that shines in the darkness of the world.

14 “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden.15 No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house—M​a​tt. 5:14, 15 (NLT)

This reminds me of the old hymn by Philip Paul Bliss. The hymn was inspired by a story told by the well known preacher, Dwight L Moody.

Brightly beams our Father’s mercy
From His lighthouse evermore,
But to us He gives the keeping
Of the lights along the shore.
Chorus:
Let the lower lights be burning!
Send a gleam across the wave!
Some poor fainting, struggling seaman
You may rescue, you may save.

We are the lower lights, we must continue to shine to lead others safely to the shore.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 04-21-2020

“This Is the Judgment”

 19 This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. – John 3:19 NASB

John 3:18-21 NLT

God has not condemned anyone and He doesn’t send people to hell. People are condemned when they reject Jesus, That is a personal choice and they have to earn their way to hell; “the wages of sin are death” (Romans 6:23) It isn’t God’s will that any should perish/go to hell. We each make a choice to accept the gift of eternal life or work our way to hell. A Christian cannot be condemned since we don’t “practice evil” We certainly fall occasionally but that is not our lifestyle. Condemnation comes from satan but conviction comes through the Holy Spirit. The feelings of guilt that a Christian has are not condemnation but conviction for failing to live up to the standards that Jesus has set for us. Jesus died once for all our sins, He is not going to the cross again. So, if you are feeling conviction and we all do at some time or other, don’t wait, ask God for His forgiveness and start to walk with Him in joy once again.

8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.–1 John 1:​8, ​9 (NLT)

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 03-09-2020