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Despite the Darkness

Your word is a lamp to my feet

and a light to my path.

- Psalm 119:105 (NRSV)

This can be a very dark world.  Darkness seems to carry an eerie air as it overtakes the day or as it consumes a room.  Darkness can bring about some hidden fears that we once thought we had conquered from our past, but the darkness helps them emerge again with a fury.

God has help for us despite the darkness, though.

A Lamp to My Feet

Lamps and lanterns are held in front of you so that you can see your way.  You can never get ahead of the lamp and you sure shouldn’t get too far away from it.  It is best to have your lamp at a low level so that you can see what’s ahead.  It could be a ditch.  There could be a cliff.  You could be walking into quicksand.

A lamp  will guide you despite the darkness.

A Light to My Path

Light penetrates darkness.  It illuminates all that falls under it.  Nothing is hidden when the light is shone on it.

Ever been on a dark pathway?

People start talking about the Boogie Man and all sorts of creepy stuff when the lights aren’t on or around, but let that light hit the scene and things that were once unseen become real images to you.  A lighted pathway can put us at ease a little bit because we will be able to see what lies ahead.  The path can be seen easily.  We don’t have to squint or feel around.  We can see things with our eyes and know that the pathway is lit for us, for our safety and for our sure-footed walk.

  A light will show you the way despite the darkness.

  I need God guiding me through his Word.  I need God showing   me the path to take according to His Word.  I need god’s Word  as both my lamp and my light, for my feet and my path.

  He can do it for you despite the darkness.

Let God Hear

I rise before the dawning of the morning, And cry for help; I hope in Your word. – Psalm 119:147

In the morning and in the evening are times when God should hear from us. It isn’t reserved just for in times of trouble.

However, many people just wait until it is troubling. They wait until then to call on God. They wait until a deadline is fast approaching. They wait until they are backed up against a wall.

Let God hear from you daily. Come before His throne and lay out your heart to Him. He’ll hear you.

Add Wisdom for Success

“…But wisdom brings success.” – Ecclesiastes 10:10

I think it is safe to say that we all hope for success in life. No matter how you determine and measure what success is for you, you can be honest about how you view it. Success, for many of us, is a goal. For others, it is a destination.

You can’t get there without some work. You can’t reach it without some determination. You can’t get there without some faith. But you surely cannot obtain it or sustain without wisdom.

Solomon appraised life in its entirety through the lens of wisdom. He advised and admonished through Proverbs and Ecclesiastes. He pointed out how vanity led to misery and poverty, while humility led to honor.

Make it a point to be more successful. Add wisdom to your daily agenda and diet.

Sometimes, it just seems like our good intentions just aren’t good enough.  I know that we mean well, but it may not end up doing us or anyone else any earthly good.

I believe that we all have set out to do something for someone else without an ounce of greed or arrogance in mind, not even within our hearts. Sadly, the end result ended up being a disaster in our eyes. It was not even close to what you had in mind when you started out. It ended up blowing up right in your face.

I speak from experience.

As bad as it has felt, I also realize how humbling it had been for me. I recognized the short-sighted and well-intended moves that I made really made no difference in anyone else but me. I was humbled enough to see how fruitless my efforts were from the start.

In order to truly help someone out, you truly need to hear someone out first. If you don’t know they’re needs, desires and hopes, you are merely going through the motions and working from assumptions.

I had been doing so for a long time.

“Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.” – Romans 13:10

Loving others will cause to help without harming a soul. Love will cause us to listen and learn. Love will cause us to take it slow as we take it all in. Love will cause us to pause and pray over needs and issues that people have shared with us before we make the wrong move.

It was hard for me to learn that life lesson.

Let these words sink into your soul for a moment.

“And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching”- Hebrews 10:24-25

By God’s grace, we have been saved. Our purpose is to produce fruit through good works. Live out your purpose as a believer and seek to do good. Allow your good works bear fruit that lasts eternally.

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.” – John 10:11 (NKJV)

The modern society has made what we consider pastoring a mere shadow of what we truly should expect of the man of God today.  We may never get out of ordained and anointed pastoral leaders what we could get out of them because we can never drop or shed expecting more out of them than they have been called to ever do in the first place.

After all, just like the rest of us believers, pastors are Christians.  That point sometimes gets missed.  Plain and simple, they are Christians just like us.

Secondly, pastors are called from among the flock to stand set apart as “called” by God.  They’re still Christians but they have a greater responsibility in regards to standing firm and handling God’s Word.

Finally, God plucks out a set of His own chosen few to serve as pastors and shepherds.  He places His Spirit in them and allows manifestations of Word to emerge within their messages, sermons and Bible lessons. 

He uses them.  He molds them.  He shapes them.  He directs them.  He guides them.  He orders them.  He trains them.

After all, He called them. 

He called them to walk as He walked.  He called them to live as He once lived.  He called them to work just like Jesus did the works of the Father. 

If you want to see Jesus on display in your pastor, help your pastor do the things that allow Him to be display Himself in your pastor.  If you can’t help with that,  maybe you can just adjust your expectations.  After all, they’re still just Christians.

From Lost to Liberated

There isn’t much to worry about it.  It is already taken care of by Christ.  He’s done all of the heavy lifting.  We just have to accept it as so.

You see, we were once lost.  We were “slaves to sin” as Paul so eloquently depicts us all (Romans 6:20).  In other words, we were not just lost.  We were so lost that we were headed in the wrong direction and playing for the wrong team.  We were utterly living as “enemies of God.”

But isn’t God’s plan good?

Right when we were at our worst, Christ died for us and reconciled us with God.  He stood in as the propitiation of our sins.  He suffered and sacrificed for our salvation.  He saved us.  He took us from lost to liberated by grace as the atonement for our sins.

Christ has set us free for freedom.

Therefore, stand firm and don’t submit to

the bondage of slavery again.

- Galatians 5:1 (CEV)

Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. – 1 John 2:3

We are expected to keep His commandments. By doing so, we demonstrate that we truly know Him.

That sounds simple enough.

There’s just one problem.

More than that is expected of us.

He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked. – 1 John 2:6

We are expected “to walk just as He walked.” That’s where it gets a little more complicated.

Jesus is literally a hard act to follow. Yet, we can do it.

He promises to never leave us or forsake us. We have His Spirit dwelling within us as believers. He is present so we don’t go at it alone.

Acknowledge His presence in your life. Know that Him being alive within you can allow you to do mighty works. Stay in tune with the urgings of His Spirit alive within you. Refer to the Scriptures morning by morning, then seek out opportunity upon opportunity to live by them daily.

That being said, live up to the expectation of living like Jesus daily.

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