What do you see in your mind's eye? The sun, a light bulb, or maybe a flashlight?
One thing I see is sunlight coming through the window ... and then all the stuff floating in the air; stuff we're breathing into our lungs! It doesn't matter how clean your house is; when the light comes through the window, you see all the stuff that you may not have seen before.
The light of Jesus is the same. As lost people, the light shows us exactly how dark and evil our hearts are, forcing us to cry out for mercy and forgiveness.
That brings us to our first question: Have you let the light of Jesus in, and reached out to Him?
If so, then let's dig into our lesson this week, asking the question:
What will be the result if we walk in the light?
So grab your Bible, and let's get started looking at the light and its affect on how we walk. As you read 1 John 1-2:11, mark and list what you find out about each of the following:
What would you say about the light versus the darkness?
Do we have a choice as to whether we walk in darkness or light?
Dont stress out if you have more questions, or if you are wondering where this is going. Today is only day one, and the meaning will become clearer as the light shines on!
Did you see, from yesterday's study, that you have to choose daily to walk in the light?
The light of Jesus, that we receive at salvation, never goes out; however, depending on the way we live our life, it may be brighter or dimmer.
One thing I have asked myself, many times, is what wattage of light bulb am I using? 30 watts, 60 watts, 100 watts ... floodlights? The choice is mine. If I choose to walk in the light, it will become brighter and brighter, enabling me to see better, and also enabling those in my life to see better too!
So the question of the day is :
How can we walk in the light?
In Ephesians 5:8-17, Paul has some words, inspired by God, to tell us how to walk in the light. Depending on what version of the Bible you have, it will start out as walk as children of the light, or live as children of the light. For today's study, we are going to picture that as walk.(The King James is the walk version.)
As you read, mark the same words you did yesterday, and list what you learn.
How, then, can you choose to walk in the light?
How can you walk in the light today?
One of my favorite songs comes from Psalm 97, and today we are going to be looking at that particular Psalm. I'm going to put it here for you, from the Amplified Version, because I want us to see, a little more clearly, the intent of the original language.
1 THE LORD reigns, let the earth rejoice;
let the multitude of isles and coastlands be glad!
2 Clouds and darkness are round about Him,
righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne.
3 Fire goes before Him and burns up His adversaries round about.
4 His lightnings illumine the world; the earth sees and trembles.
5 The hills melted like wax at the presence of the Lord,
at the presence of the Lord of the whole earth.
6 The heavens declare His righteousness,
and all the peoples see His glory.
7 Let all those be put to shame who serve graven images,
who boast in idols. Fall prostrate before Him, all you gods.
8 Zion heard and was glad, and the daughters of Judah rejoiced [in relief] because of Your judgments, O Lord.
9 For You, Lord, are high above all the earth;
You are exalted far above all gods.
10 O you who love the Lord, hate evil;
He preserves the lives of His saints (the children of God),
He delivers them out of the hand of the wicked.
11 Light is sown for the [uncompromisingly] righteous and strewn along their pathway, and joy for the upright in heart [the irrepressible joy which comes from consciousness of His favor and protection].
12 Rejoice in the Lord, you [consistently] righteous (upright and in right standing with God), and give thanks at the remembrance of His holiness.
* * *
Look very closely at verses 9-12. Why would you say it is important to walk in the light?
I hope all of this is starting to come together for you. Walking in the light takes effort. In fact, everything with God takes effort; otherwise, why would He reward us?
Any type of walking takes effort. Think of a baby taking their first steps, or those times when you start a walking plan. It gets easier with time, and you will also see results with time!
Todayˇ¦ question is a little more thought-provoking:
Can you choose, over and over, to walk in the darkness and still be a child of God?
How would you answer that?
1 John 2:5-6 has some very direct, and challenging, words. What does it say?
We have seen how to walk in the light, and it was all about the choices we make regarding what we do, see, hear, and think. We have seen why we should walk in the light and the result of walking in the light. So, if God tells us, through John, that we have to walk as Jesus walked in order to be in Him, how then do we reconcile the difference between making the choice and being told that we have to do it?
I didnˇ¦ receive Christ until I was 20 and, boy, had I walked in some darkness! I have to admit that a lot of it I liked. Letˇ¦ be truthful, sin can be fun for a time. When we are living in darkness we can't see what that sin is doing to us.
Letˇ¦ try to work with an example of this:
Imagine cleaning your kitchen in the dark. I have three girls, and when they were little there was always more food on the floor than on their plates. Add to that the fact I am one of those cooks who makes a HUGE mess in the kitchen! So, if I cleaned the kitchen in the dark for years, day in and day out, what would happen when you turned on the light? Can you imagine all the mess I would have that I had never seen before?
As soon as the light hit the kitchen, I would realize the dirt Iˇ¦ been living in. The kitchen light had been there all the time, just waiting for me to reach out and flick it on.
The same was true when I became a Christian—when the light came in, I saw that I was a mess! Just like the light switch, Jesus is there for every human on the planet, waiting for us to reach out towards him.
Now the question is, do we really have to walk like Jesus did? The answer is, yes!
Would you ever go back to cooking and cleaning your kitchen in the dark? No, of course you wouldnˇ¦, and as Christians we would never cut the light out completely. We would miss it showing us what we need to clean and how beautiful our kitchens are.
See, that the goal of Jesus—to shine the light, so that our kitchens are clean, functional, and ready to bring others in so they can see what their kitchens could be like, if they would only reach out and switch on the light!
How about the people who claim, as John says, to be in Him, but walk in darkness? We canˇ¦ judge people, only their walk ... or in this example, their kitchens!
At times, I have been overwhelmed by the dirt in my life and have wanted nothing more than to turn the light down. If you happened to drop by on one of those days, it might not be a pretty sight.
Have you seen people like that? If you dropped by, maybe—just maybe you would find them overwhelmed, and in need of a little loving encouragement and help cleaning their kitchen. Eloise, one of my best friends and mentor for life, dropped by many a day, with her light shining bright, and offered to help me clean up a little more of the mess of my life.
Itˇ¦ Jesus who does the changing in a personˇ¦ life, and we just need to let him work through us. Maybe that person hasnˇ¦ reached out to the light yet, but you can show them, through your life, what the light can accomplish in them!
Oh, let that be us a people who shine brightly with the light of Jesus, and are willing to reach out and share our light, by lending a hand in love. We are never more like Jesus than when we love, and put that love into action!
Who can you drop by and share some light with?
Every week we are going to spend a little time praying for the people in our lives. Each week we will see different types of prayer from the Bible. The people in the Bible were all flesh and blood like us, so letˇ¦ learn from their example.
God's word is powerful, and prayer is powerful! Put them together and things will begin to change.
What we are going to do this week is my favorite way to prayusing the scriptures. I would also encourage you to do this out loud. You may feel goofy, but you will be surprised at how different you feel when you are finished.
Are you ready? Today's scripture comes from Colossians 1:9-14:
9 For this reason, since the day we heard about you we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of His will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding.
When you read this, who comes to your mind? Pray for them now, using this verse (and remember, do it out loud)
God I know that Joe needs the knowledge of your will in his life. Give him your wisdom. Help him to understand what you want him to do with his life.
10 And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please Him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God.
(Now I may pray for the same person, or God may bring someone else to mind.)
Help Chad, Meghan, Katie, Lauren and myself, to live a life worthy of you. Help us to bear fruit in every good work that we undertake. Help us to continue to grow in the knowledge of you. Let us be a family that learns and grows together. Help us to serve faithfully.
11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience,
Give Wilma strength and patience with your power as she deals with everything she has to with Papa. Show your glory in their lives. You have power over everything; nothing is impossible for you. Show us your might! Help us to offer strength to them both.
12 joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.
Thank you for giving me an inheritance with you, and the other saints, in your kingdom of light! Thank you that, because of Jesus, I qualify! Because of Jesus, I am a member of the kingdom, and I am a child of the King—a princess no less. Help me to remain thankful for all that you have done on my behalf!
13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves.
Thank you for rescuing me, but I still have friends and family who are in need of rescue. Help them to see you have your hand extended, ready to transfer them into the kingdom of light. You may need to just grab some of them by the head, and give them a good shake! Thank you that you are still in the rescuing business!
14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
Thank you that you will forgive my sins. Help me to see my own sins, and turn from them. Let me live my life in the light of you! You are the light, but help me live so pure that your light shines from my life!
(You also might want to confess any sins that come to mind.)
I hope this has encouraged you to pray for someone today. Thank you for allowing me to share my life with you!
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