Over the next few weeks in our Rooted in Christ Study, we’ll be looking at some of the favorite passages from our staff at St. Matthew’s UMC. These are some of the parts of the Bible to mean to most … Continue reading
Today’s reading is Romans 13: 11-14 Light and darkness are always big Biblical themes. We see it in creation. We see it in the Gospels, especially in John. We see these themes all across scripture. Today we see choices for how … Continue reading
Today’s reading is John 3: 1-21 Here is another passage that is so very familiar to us. There are a couple of things that I want you to notice in this text. Notice when Nicodemus comes to Jesus. At night. In … Continue reading
This past Saturday, my daughter and the Germantown High School Band competed for a state title. They came in second, and I was very proud of her, and of them. I didn’t get to see many of other the bands … Continue reading
In this time of year, and really all throughout the year, the book of Isaiah is a great book for us to read as Christians. There are so many beautiful references to Jesus within its pages, so many prophecies that … Continue reading
Yesterday in our walk through 1 John we were told that if we walk with Jesus we will keep His commandments. Today in 1 John 2: 7-11 we see what those commandments are: 7 Beloved, I am writing you no … Continue reading
Today’s passage is one of those good ones. One that you need to go to your Bible and highlight, dog ear, and keep coming back to over, over, and over again. Read this. And then reread it again. Listen to 1 … Continue reading
Feels dark sometimes, doesn’t it? Feels like there is darkness in the world, darkness in ourselves, darkness all over. In the news, in our communities, all over. It just feels dark sometimes.
Every morning I read and reflect from the Morning Office, which gives a listing of an Old Testament, New Testament, and Gospel Lesson (or reading) for the day. Between those passages, you can read other acts of worship or readings of scripture. And one of those daily readings is from Isaiah. And that reading jumped out to me today. It’s from Isaiah 60: 1-3:
1 Arise, shine; for your light has come,
and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.
2 For darkness shall cover the earth,
and thick darkness the peoples;
but the Lord will arise upon you,
and his glory will appear over you.
3 Nations shall come to your light,
and kings to the brightness of your dawn.
Yeah, that’s how it feels sometimes, huh? Dark. Thick darkness. A hopeless darkness. Things are bad and they aren’t getting better. Yeah, we feel that sometimes.
So that’s why I think it’s cool that every day, there is this reading. Every day, we are reminded that light has come. Every day we are reminded that as dark as the darkness is, the light is brighter. The light is stronger. The light is more powerful.
The light is stronger than the dark. In our world. In our souls. In all that is happening.
Don’t given into the lie that darkness wins or is great than the light. It is is not. Light has come. Light wins. Light brings hope, peace, power, and light.
Feel the light today. I think of the words of Psalm 139:12:
even the darkness is not dark to you;
the night is as bright as the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
That is true, because even in the darkness, God is there, we can’t flee from His presence. And if He is there, then the darkness will be driven out. Hope hope today. God is good. Trust in Him. Cling to light. And know that no matter how dark it seems, His light has come.
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Well, it’s Monday. I don’t know when you read this. It could be early in the morning before you leave for work or school. You could be reading in the drop off line on your phone. Perhaps from your computer at work. Or maybe even tonight before bed.
I don’t know when you read it. But I know that whenever you do read it, you have some sort of task ahead of ahead of you. Something you have to do; something you have to face.
And sometimes we just need a little extra kick to get over the hump. Well, this morning I was reading in Philippians 2: 14-16. Listen to what it says:
Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.
Through your actions, through your words, through your faith, you are going to be a light. You are going to shine for all to see. In a world full of darkness, you are going to be a light to someone today.
You are. Really, you are. You are going to be a light today. You are going to shine for Jesus today. You are going to point someone to Jesus today.
Now, you may not be perfect; you may not do it perfect, but you have that chance. And you know what else?
God has confidence in you. He does. That’s He’s sending you out. That’s why He’s putting you where He’s putting you. That’s why you are where you are. Not just for “you” but for “Him.”
You can do it. Really, you can. You can do it. You can shine for Him. You can point to Him. You can be that light in the darkness today.
You can change someone’s world today.
Someone changed your life. Today, you have the shot, through Jesus, to change someone’s life yourself. Today, let Jesus shine through you.
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Because when we only stay around Christians, we know that people will share our values. They will share our desires. We know that they will like to do what we do, and will, in most ways, think like we think.
Only being around other Christians is safe. It is comfortable. It is more peaceful for us. And, truth be told, we really do need to make sure that our closest, most trusted friend are people that we can count on, and that will help us be the people that God wants us to be.
But, that said, if we only are around Christians, then how will people know the Good News of Jesus Christ. Listen to what Paul says today in 2 Corinthians 4: 4-6:
In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
Let the light shine in the darkness. We have to take the light of Christ into the world, if we want to make a difference. Let me say that again. We have to take the light of Christ into the world if we want to make a difference. We have to form relationships. We have to become friends. We have to go where “they” are, and take Jesus with us.
That doesn’t necessarily mean we have to go and start preaching. What it does mean is this. We have to go and form relationships. We have to go and be friendly. We have to go and take that love of Jesus, that’s inside of us, and love them in the same way.
Today, no matter where you are, or where you find yourself, let that light of Christ shine through you.
Don’t forget, you can click here to download Asbury’s mobile app and read these devotionals, as well as listen to my sermons on your smart phones.