“In the Beginning With God”

2 ​​He existed in the beginning with God.  -John 1:2 NLT​

Before God created the world and divided time into night and day, They existed. God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit were there as One and yet separately. Jesus was the Word and was there with God. He participated in the creation of all things and all things were made for Him. He is Life and He is Light. He came into the world as the Word made Flesh. John was sent to announce His coming and John was faithful in carrying out that mission. John was the prophet foretelling the birth of Jesus. John was looking forward to that day even though John knew that when Jesus comes, “I must decrease and He must increase”. Now, we are the prophets looking back and looking forward, we tell of the future return of Jesus. We should pray that we will be as faithful as John was in carrying out our part of the mission. It is up to each of us to carry out the plan and the purpose that God planned for each of us to do. This was decided before the beginning of the world.

God’s Masterpiece

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

“The True Light Is Already Shining…”

8 Yet it is also new. Jesus lived the truth of this commandment, and you also are living it. For the darkness is disappearing, and the true light is already shining. ​- 1 John 2:8 NLT​

1 John 2:8-11 NLT

When we accept Jesus, each of us receives Life and Light at that very moment. From that moment on, we have access to all of the Light. However, we need more knowledge and understanding of God’s Word to be able to access more Light. None of us mature in God’s Word at the same rate because we have different levels of learning abilities. Also, some of us spend a lot more time in God’s Word than others so, there are different levels of knowledge and faith. Those that receive more Light have a greater responsibility to encourage and teach others. No gift from God is to be used to belittle or ridicule another person’s level of understanding. God gives the gifts to be used for His glory and the edification of the Church. How each of us interprets the Scriptures depends, to a certain extent, on our upbringing and our own personal life experiences. But, all of us receive enough Light to fellowship with our brothers and sisters in Christ, regardless of our denominations or doctrines. We should never use our share of the Light to illuminate faults in others. This only causes confusion in the Church and allows outsiders to find fault with our Lord and Savior. Our obligation is to use the amount of Light we have to dispel darkness where God has planted us. Use your Light as a beacon to bring others to Jesus.

Matt. 5:14-16 NLT

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

“But Whoever Keeps His Word…”

 5 But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. – 1 John 2:5 NKJV

1 John 2:3-8 NLT

The religious leader asked Jesus: ” What is the greatest commandment?” Jesus answered with two commandments instead of one. Jesus said to love the Lord your God with all your heart and your neighbor as yourself. He went on to say that all the law hinged on these two commandments. God has put His light in us to light the world and dispel darkness. The way we let our light shine is to obey these two commandments. We must spend time with Jesus to get to know Him better so we can love Him better, Then, by loving our neighbors, we demonstrate the love of God in our lives. When we accepted Jesus, we became aliens to this world and citizens of heaven. As ambassadors of heaven, we represent Jesus. It is our duty to reconcile others to Christ by giving them the Good News. We want to wait for some big thing to do, but we shouldn’t wait for grand opportunities. Start by doing a good deed today and you will give life and light to someone.

As the old song says:  

Do not wait until some deed of greatness you may do, Do not wait to shed your light afar, To the many duties ever near you now be true, Brighten the corner where you are. – Ina D. Ogdon, 1913

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

“God Is Light…”

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.  – 1 John 1:5 NLT

1 John 1:5-10 NLT

To live in the light means to be obedient to God by allowing His Spirit to lead us into all truth. Does this mean that we never sin? No, if it were possible for us to live sinless lives, then Jesus died in vain. It means that we do not choose a lifestyle that constantly repeats the same sins. All humans fall to temptation, but we should not allow the devil to use those failures to beat us up and keep us depressed. Do our failures send us to hell? No, but they do break our relationship with Jesus Christ. So what do we do? John tells us in verse 9, when we fail and we will, then we must confess our sins and allow God to cleanse us from our sins. Then our relationship is restored and we can rejoice in His goodness and mercy.

John 1:1-5 NLT

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

“And Then I Could See”

11 He replied, “The man they call Jesus made some mud and put it on my eyes. He told me to go to Siloam and wash. So I went and washed, and then I could see.” – John 9:11 NIV

​The crowd​ was so astounded at this miracle they argued about whether this was the same man or not. These weren’t strangers, these were neighbors and others that had seen this man begging everyday. In their hearts they knew he was the same man, but their flesh rebelled at the thought of admitting it. If they accepted this as a miracle, then they would also have to accept Jesus as who He said He was. We can apply this spiritually if we replace the mud over the blind man’s physical eyes with the sins that blind our spiritual eyes. When we accept the truth of who Jesus is, His blood washes away all our sins and we can see more clearly. It reminds one of the old Hank Williams song’
“Just like a blind man I wandered alone
Worries and fears I claimed for my own
Then like the blind man that God gave back his sight  Praise the Lord I saw the light.”

1 “Arise, shine; for your light has come,
​ ​And the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.–Isaiah 60:1 (NASB)

​So, this Christmas morning as you arise, before you start gifting and eating, take a moment and let the glory of the Lord shine and remember the real reason for celebrating this season.​

Hallelujah! Hallelujah! “For the Lord God Omnipotent Reigneth!”:​
​Merry Christmas and have a blessed New Year!!​

“…For Their Own Conscience and Thoughts…”

15 They demonstrate that God’s law is written in their hearts, for their own conscience and thoughts either accuse them or tell them they are doing right. — Romans 2:15 NLT 

Romans 2:10-16 NLT

It is said that on a dark night with no obstructions, the human eye can see the flickering flame of a candle up to a distance of thirty miles.  How is this possible?  Even the smallest of lights will dispel darkness.  This is true of that quality that we refer to as “good”.   Good dispels evil.  As Edmund Burke put it:  “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”  Even those who have never read God’s law or those that say there is no God know this is true.  All humans innately know the difference between good and evil.  For most humans, it is natural to choose to do good whether they believe in God or not.  That innate knowledge (we call it the conscience) that God has put in the heart of a human is what prevents total chaos from occurring on the earth. Even those who have never read the Bible or heard the Gospel know the difference between right and wrong.  That knowledge becomes more real and more powerful when we receive the Holy Spirit.  An atheist can only be an atheist because his/her beliefs are based on a wrong assumption.  If the foundation is faulty, then the whole house will crumble.  So, good men and women, let us build our house on a solid foundation of truth, light our candles and be a shining light in a world of darkness and evil.  Only God knows how much darkness each of our lights will penetrate, just let your light shine.

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

“…The Blinding Light From Your Face…”

3 They did not conquer the land with their swords;  it was not their own strong arm that gave them victory. It was your right hand and strong arm and the blinding light from your face that helped them, for you loved them. — Psalm 44:3 NLT

Psalm 44:1-8 NLT

Israel was the smallest of all nations (Deut. 7:7).  Had they been left to themselves, they would not have been able to leave Egypt and safely cross the desert to get to the Promised Land.  But God chose them and fought their battles for them.  He gave them manna from heaven and water from rocks to sustain them in their journey.  When they complained about the food, God gave them manna and quail to eat.  God gave them victories over every enemy that attacked them on their journey using miracle after miracle to defeat the attackers.  He parted the Red Sea and the Jordan River bringing them into the Promised Land at harvest time.  God gave them a great victory over the ancient, walled city of Jericho and they ate crops that they had not planted and drank from wells that they had not dug. Why? Because He chose them and loved them.  Why does He give us spiritual food and water in a spiritually dry and barren land?  For the same reason.  He has chosen us and He loves us. They were to bear His standard and carry His name throughout the known world.  Just as God called them out of Egypt, He has called us to come out and be a special people and a royal priesthood. Just as He brought the children of Israel out of Egypt to the Promised Land, so He will bring us safely out of this world and to the new heaven and new earth.  Not because of who we are but because of who He is and His promises to do so.

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

“Tell About the Light”

6 God sent a man, John the Baptist, 7 to tell about the light so that everyone might believe because of his testimony. — John 1:6-7 NLT

John 1:6-14 NLT

God sent John the Baptist as a forerunner of Jesus.  The purpose and plan for John’s life was to tell the world about the Light that was coming.  John understood and accepted his mission wholeheartedly.  John spent his life in the wilderness living on locusts and honey, witnessing to those who came out to hear him.  He was not the Light but was a witness that the Light was coming.  John was so effective in his work that Jesus called him “the greatest man who ever lived”

Luke 7:24-28

Yet, Jesus said “even the least person in the Kingdom of God is greater than he is”.  How can this be that we could be greater than John the Baptist who lived his life for and ultimately gave his life for Jesus?  The word “greater” here is used in the same sense that the word “greater” is used when Jesus said that we would do even “greater” works than Jesus did when He walked here on the earth.  It is not meant to demean or lessen the value of the work that John and Jesus did, but to emphasize the greatness of the Kingdom of God itself.   It is not written to give us illusions of grandeur or self-importance, but to encourage us to work for the Kingdom of God.  It is not as individual Christians that we are greater or can do greater works but it is our inclusion in the Kingdom of God that is emphasized as being of utmost importance.  So, the work we do for the expansion of the Kingdom of God is greater in importance than anything that we do that the world considers great or important.  If we are to be “greater” then we must finish the work that John started.  John was the forerunner, Jesus was the reason and we are the witnesses for this and future generations.  We are here as Light and Life to a dark and dying world.  So, we should be beacons and alarms that speak the words of Life to those around us wherever we are and whenever we can. There is no “greater” work to be done.

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

“A Chosen People”

even-smaller-bug-light1

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”

even-smaller-bug-light1

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