Summer Fruit and Spiritual Fruit

Fresh fruit! Peaches, cherries, pears, apricots and plums! Available during the summer.

Spiritual fruit! Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, good, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control! Available year round.

Fruit trees and fresh fruit are part of God’s creation. In Genesis 1:11-12, it says that God made “fruit trees on the earth bearing fruit after their kind with seed in them.” Genesis 2:9 stresses that the “trees were pleasing to the eye and good for food.”

Galatians 5:22-23 describes the fruit of the Spirit. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control are the nine virtues of spiritual fruit.

A natural fruit tree produces only one kind of fruit. It is a fruit tree – not a fruit salad! During summer, the tree’s branches hang with an abundance of fresh fruit. Peach trees bear peaches, cherry trees produce cherries etc.

Spiritually, it is quite different. Spiritual fruit is singular and all inclusive. This fruit is within us rather than upon a tree. Galatians 5:16 tells us to live by the Spirit. Each of us is capable of bearing all nine  attributes with the help of the Holy Spirit. Excerpts from Psalm 1:1-3 declare,How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, . . . But his delight is in the law of the LORD, . . . He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers.”

A peach tree laden with peaches does not just appear overnight. First, a peach seed is planted. Then it grows into a seedling and eventually matures into a tree. Over time, it blossoms and produces fruit. We can apply the message of Mark 4:28 to the growth of a peach tree.The earth produces the crops on its own. First a leaf blade pushes through, then the heads of wheat are formed, and finally the grain ripens.”

We can learn how to become a spiritual tree bearing good spiritual fruit by observing the growth of a peach tree. Just like a peach that starts from a seed, so it is with us. When we accept Jesus as our Savior, we become a new creation according to II Corinthians 5:17. When we are planted and watered in the good soil of His written word, we grow in faith. Jesus says in John 5:14-15, “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.”

Colossians 1:10 tells us to bear fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God. As with any fruit, we won’t see the full results of this fruit immediately. Over time, it will grow and our ability to offer this fruit to others will increase.

Matthew 7:17-18 tells us, “So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit.”  

Jesus says in John 15:16, “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit–fruit that will last–and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.” The fruit of the Spirit we bear will be lasting! It will not spoil like an overripe peach. Spiritual fruit is not just picked and eaten once. As we offer spiritual fruit to others, the abundance of fruit increases. In contrast, once all the peaches are picked for a season, there will be no more peaches until next year.

We can taste the sweetness of summer fruit in our mouths when we bite into a fresh peach. We can express the sweetness of spiritual fruit when we praise the Lord with our mouths. Hebrews 13:15 says, “Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise–the fruit of lips that openly profess His name.” 

I enjoy fresh summer fruit that is produced on trees. However, I also desire to produce the fruit of the Spirit in my life.

It’s vital that Christians bear fruit in their lives—the fruit of the Spirit. But what does that fruit look like? In Jesus Christ we have the perfect example of what God’s Spirit should produce

It’s vital that Christians bear fruit in their lives—the fruit of the Spirit. But what does that fruit look like? In Jesus Christ we have the perfect example of what God’s Spirit should produce in our lives.

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Extra Ordinary!

I have an extraordinary God who makes extraordinary people”
Smith Wigglesworth

This statement recently caught my attention. I have been meditating upon it.

Synonyms for extraordinary are exceptional, amazing, marvelous, outstanding, and phenomenal.

God being extraordinary is not hard for me to comprehend. He is omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient – all extraordinary characteristics. The fact that Jesus died upon the cross for our sins is extraordinary. This is beyond what an ordinary person would do.

The possibility of our being extraordinary is more difficult for me to understand. When I look at a crowd of people, myself included, I see ordinary people.  

I see ordinary people because I look at their outward appearance. I only see from an external perspective. God sees differently than I do. I Samuel 16:7 says, “The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” The Holy Spirit makes the difference within the heart. When the Holy Spirit dwells within a person, there is an internal change. He or she becomes extraordinary. Jesus promised in John 14:16, “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever.” 

Paul writes in Ephesians 4:16, “I pray that from His (Jesus Christ) glorious, unlimited resources He will empower you with inner strength through His Spirit.” Inner strength is extraordinary strength.

The Lord says in Zechariah 4:6 says, “Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit.” Any ordinary person can exhibit might and power. Only by the power of the Holy Spirit can we accomplish extraordinary things.

Ephesians 3:20 NKJV says, “(God) is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.” This power is the power of the Holy Spirit.
I Corinthians 2:9-10 NLT declares, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love Him. But it was to us that God revealed these things by His Spirit. For His Spirit searches out everything and shows us God’s deep secrets.”

In Romans, Paul distinguishes between the flesh and the Spirit. The flesh refers to what is ordinary and the Spirit describes what is extraordinary. Romans 8:5 and 9 says, “For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. . . . However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you.”

Romans 12:2 advises, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” As we yield to the Holy Spirit, our minds are transformed from the mind of the flesh to the mind of the Spirit – from the ordinary to the extraordinary. I Corinthians 2:16 states that we then have the mind of Christ.

Paul says in Philippians 4:13 NKJV, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Paul does not stop with just saying he can do everything. He explains that he can only do all things when Christ gives him strength. His ability to only do ordinary things expands to extra ordinary things with the Lord’s help.

I John 4:4 tells us that greater is He who is in us (the Holy Spirit) than he who is in the world. Worldly people are ordinary. The Greater One who is in us makes it possible for us to be like Him. Smith Wigglesworth says, “Our incapability has to be clothed with His divine ability, and our helplessness has to be filled with His power of helpfulness.”

Since our God is extraordinary, we can become extraordinary. Romans 8:14 tells us, “For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.” We are part of an extraordinary family!

 

Progressing Spiritually

I am challenged by Sarah Young’s statement in Jesus Always, “Your life is a gift from Me, consisting of millions upon millions of moments.” I stop to ask myself, “How do I fill my millions of moments? What opportunities exist within these multiple moments?” Jesus’ response to my questions is found within more of Sarah’s words, “Fill your moments with My presence.”

Millions upon millions” is a phrase that causes me to think about several spiritual progressions.

Glory to Glory
But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord,
are changed into the same image from glory to glory,
even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
I Corinthians 3:18 NKJV

In Qualities of a Spiritual Warrior, Graham Cooke says we are always learning how to be changed from glory to glory into God’s likeness. “In Christ” is our starting point. “Christ in us” is our finishing point. We move from the first glorious state of salvation to our destiny as sons and daughters of the Most High. Cooke points out that each stage we pass though reveals more of God’s nature. The New International Version of I Corinthians 3:18 uses the words, “being transformed into His image with ever-increasing glory.

Daily, the Holy Spirit promotes Christ to us and Christ in us as the hope of glory. Our Heavenly Father deals with us through the context of eternal glory. Glory to glory.

Let’s consider another progression.

Grace upon Grace
For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace.
John 1:16 NASB

Hebrews 4:16 says, “We draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

There is grace – and then there is more grace. There is an inexhaustible supply of grace always available to us!

The New International Version uses the phrase, “received grace in place of grace already given.” This could mean that old grace is replaced with new grace. As we grow from glory to glory, our understanding of grace increases. So, we gain new grace. We can never deplete His supply of grace. God always extends grace upon grace.

Faith to Faith
For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith;
as it is written, “BUT THE RIGHTEOUS man SHALL LIVE BY FAITH
Romans 1:17 NASB

Hebrews 11:1 defines faith. “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Our faith grows as our walk with the Lord deepens. We go from glory to glory as we receive grace upon grace. This results in our growing from faith to faith. Ephesians 2:8 declares, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.”

Faith is not passive. Right words, right thoughts, right actions – all allow us to grow from faith to faith.

Line upon Line
Precept upon Precept
Whom will he teach knowledge?
And whom will he make to understand the message? . . .
For precept
must be upon precept, precept upon precept,
Line upon line, line upon line. Here a little, there a little.”
Isaiah 28:9-10 NKJV

II Timothy 3:14-17 validates the words of Isaiah. You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.

Our understanding of God grows when we repeatedly read the precepts and lines of scripture. Hearing the same Bible stories again and again influences nd increases our faith. Throughout our spiritual walk, we continually gain a deeper knowledge of God’s Word.

Little by Little
The LORD your God will drive out those nations before you, little by little.
You will not be allowed to eliminate them all at once,
or the wild animals will multiply around you.
Deuteronomy 7:22

Whatever progression we may be encountering, we will always go from level to level little by little. This can be difficult because we want what we want now. We do not like waiting.

The writer of Deuteronomy refers to “little by little” as the means by which the Israelites would conquer their enemies in the Promised Land. God told His people that He was going to deliver them little by little. He knew that if everything happened at once, it would not be good for them. He was taking them on a journey and teaching them to trust Him and follow His leading.

Victoria Osteen has written, “I believe God is doing the same with you and me today. He is leading us, little by little. He’s teaching us to trust, little by little. He is revealing His plan, little by little. Don’t despise the day of small beginnings. Don’t get frustrated when things are not happening as quickly as you’d like. Just thank God that you are moving forward. Trust in His timing. Trust that He has your best interest at heart. Trust that He is leading you into victory as you keep moving forward, little by little!”

We are given millions and millions of moments to grow in our relationship with the Lord. Moment by moment we progress into His presence. However, we must remember that we never experience any of these progressions in our own power. In Zechariah 4:6, the Lord says,Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit.Receive the power of the Holy Spirit! Allow the Spirit to lead you from glory to glory through grace upon grace so you may increase faith to faith. Learn line upon line and precept upon precept. Little by little, you will draw closer to God because James 4:8 says, “Come near to God and He will come near to you.

Let us fill our millions of moments with God’s presence!

I conclude with the words of the old hymn Moment by Moment by Daniel Whittle.

Dying with Jesus, by death reckoned mine;
Living with Jesus, a new life divine;
Looking to Jesus till glory doth shine,
Moment by moment, O Lord, I am Thine.

(Refrain) Moment by moment I’m kept in His love;
Moment by moment I’ve life from above;
Looking to Jesus till glory doth shine;
Moment by moment, O Lord, I am Thine.

Never a trial that He is not there,
Never a burden that He doth not bear,
Never a sorrow that He doth not share,
Moment by moment, I under His care;
(Refrain)

Never a heartache and never a groan,
Never a teardrop and never a moan;
Never a danger, but there on the throne,
Moment by moment, He thinks of His own.
(Refrain)

Never a weakness that He doth not feel,
Never a sickness that He cannot heal;
Moment by moment, in woe or in weal,
Jesus, my Saviour, abides with me still.
(Refrain)

 

 

 

 

Coloring Inside and Outside the Lines

As a child, I remember spending many hours coloring pictures in coloring books. I took pride in my creations. Today, there are coloring books for all ages – even adults. We never outgrow our desire or ability to create. In Genesis 1 we learn that God created the heavens and the earth. Then in Genesis 2, we read that God made us in His image. We like to create because God creates. I believe there are both natural and spiritual coloring books. God gives us the opportunity to color our lives. Some of us may prefer to color inside the lines while others may want to venture outside the lines of life. Both are artistic expressions.

Scripture draws some lines of life within which we can color. In the Old Testament, the Ten Commandments give us some guidelines. These are found in Exodus 20:2-17. In the New Testament, Jesus condenses these lines to two commandments. Matthew 22:37-39 says, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

Scripture also gives us the opportunity to color outside the lines. In Genesis 12:1, the Lord told Abram to leave his country. Abram, later known as Abraham, colored outside the lines. He obeyed God without having any specific lines to follow. In Mark 16:15, Jesus told the disciples, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” Going into the world does not define very many lines.

Jabez colored outside the lines. In I Chronicles 4:10 Jabez cried out to God, “Oh, that You would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let Your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain. And God granted his request.” God allowed Jabez to color outside the lines and create a bigger picture.

The Bible gives us crayons for our coloring project. Rather than referring to them as crayons, scripture lists nine fruit of the Spirit with which we can color our lives. Galatians 5:22-23 describes our spiritual crayons as, “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” Colossians 3:12 offers us a few more color options.Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”

II Corinthians 3:17 says, “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” The lines of life are not drawn with indelible ink. Neither are they printed upon color-by-number pages. The Holy Spirit may even inspire us to color outside our comfort zone. There is no perfect color perspective. However, our best pictures will be designed by the Holy Spirit.

God has given each of us our own coloring book. Every day we pick up crayons and make our mark. Some days we stay inside the lines and do everything perfectly. We color with lovely lavenders, passionate pinks and gracious greens. We may choose to add highlights of glorious golds. Peace will be portrayed in the picture. Other days we may grab a pencil of gray and scribble all over the page defying the designs of the printed page. These pages will reflect frustrating days of turmoil. Philippians 4:13 NLT says, “I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” That includes creative coloring no matter what color crayon we hold in our hands.

My Reader, grab a few crayons and color a picture in your coloring book of life. Your picture may not be perfect, but that is OK because none of us are perfect. Just continue to color inside and outside the lines of life as the Lord leads. James 1:4 says, “Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” I encourage you to persevere with your coloring project. The day will come when it will be complete.

Resurrection Life


We just celebrated Resurrection Sunday a few days ago. I guess I am still standing at the empty tomb. Am I standing at the tomb where Jesus was buried or at the tomb where my old nature was buried? Don’t think for a minute that I am comparing myself to Jesus! However, I think we can make some interesting comparisons.

Let’s begin by remembering four things that happened after Jesus was nailed to the cross.
1) Jesus died on the cross
2) Jesus’ dead body was buried
3) The tomb was empty
4) Jesus’ body was resurrected

Now let’s make four corresponding statements that apply to us as believers who have accepted Jesus as our personal Savior.
1) our human nature died on the cross
2) our human nature was buried
3) our tomb is empty
4) we live a resurrected lifestyle

Galatians 2:20 proclaims, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

Notice it says, we were crucified with Christ, not just that Christ was crucified for us. This becomes very personal. I realize that as Jesus hung on the cross, my sinful nature was hanging on the cross with Him. When Joseph of Arimathea buried Jesus’ body in the tomb, he also buried my sinful nature. (Matthew 27:57-59) My old nature is just as dead as Jesus was.

However, when the women went to the tomb after the sabbath, the tomb was empty. (Matthew 28:1-7) Not only was Jesus’ dead body missing, but also my dead sinful nature is missing. Mary soon found out that Jesus was resurrected. That means, I am also resurrected with a new nature.

II Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!We have more to celebrate than the resurrection of Jesus. We can celebrate the resurrection of the new creation we have become in Christ. Jesus did not stay dead. Neither are we to stay dead in our old sinful nature.

Being alive in Christ creates a whole new lifestyle for us! We are to walk in this freedom. We no longer wear grave cloths. John 8:36 says, “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.Hallelujah! This is worth celebrating!

Romans 6:3-11 gives a good summary of how we identify with Christ’s death and resurrection. Read the following excerpts. “Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, . . . For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

Yes, we are dead to the old, but we are alive to the new. Let us focus upon who you are becoming in Christ. We live our resurrected life in the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 8:11-13 says, “But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh— for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

We now have new life because we are new creations in Christ. Galatians 5:24 says, “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.We are set free from our old nature and selfish lifestyle. Let us remember that when Christ died, we died. Because Christ rose from the dead, we can rise above the dead snful life.

Don’t look back on what you have done. Look ahead to what God has planned for you. Jeremiah 29:11 is always a favorite of mine. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Do not allow Christ’s death to have been vain. Celebrate Christ’s resurrection by honoring Him with the new life you now live. Proclaim with Paul in Philippians 1:21, “For to me, to live is Christ!

*Many of my thoughts in this post were influenced by online comments by Graham Cooke.

 

 

Hidden Mysteries

Have you ever found the perfect gift that you just had to buy for someone? Did you then hide the gift because it was not the right time to give it?  I think God does this with us.

It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings.
Proverbs 25:2
It is interesting that God hides things. Although God interacted with the people of the Old Testament, He also chose to keep some things concealed. He revealed messages through pictures and prophecies but the people did not completely understand all He was saying and doing. I sometimes wonder if God hides things from us just so we will look for them. Today, I am searching for what He has hidden.

. . . filled with the full riches of complete understanding, so that they may know the mystery of God, namely Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
Colossians 2:2-3
Paul is talking about Christ being the mystery that was concealed in the Old Testament but revealed in the New Testament. He also emphasizes that there are more treasures hidden in Christ.

So was fulfilled what was spoken through the prophet: “I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter things hidden since the creation of the world.”
Matthew 13:35
Jesus taught through parables. He fulfilled the prophecy of Psalm 78:2. I will open my mouth with a parable; I will utter hidden things, things from of old.” Sometimes His parables hid meaning and other times they gave insight. Although I have read Jesus’ parables many times, the Holy Spirit continues to give me fresh perspectives. I can discover things that had previously been hidden.

there is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known.
Matthew 10:26

Jesus spoke these words as He sent His disciples out to “the lost sheep of Israel”. They were to reveal the Gospel’s hidden message.

I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth
John 16:12-13
Jesus is referring to the Holy Spirit. People were not ready or able to comprehend all that God still wanted to reveal. Now we have the Holy Spirit as our Helper so we can gain new understanding about God and His plans and purposes.

Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”
Jeremiah 33:3
Although God has concealed things, He also desires to reveal things. He promises to tell us things we have not even thought about! When we need to hear something fresh and are able to understand more deeply, God will reveal it to us. I find this verse very encouraging.

The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.
Deuteronomy 29:29

Although Moses spoke these words to the Israelites, they still apply today. When God entrusts us with His revelations, it is our responsibility to share His insights with those who have not yet heard the gospel or do not understand it.

You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.
John 13:7

Jesus spoke these words to Peter while washing the disciples feet. However, I also hear Jesus saying them to us
today. The greater eternal purposes of God are beyond our comprehension. Our knowledge is limited while God’s wisdom is beyond measure.

Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.
Hebrews 11:1 NLT

“What we cannot see” can refer to our lack of ability to see intellectually as well as impaired vision of the eye. Faith does not require us to know everything perfectly. All of us have questions for God. However, we need to be content knowing that what may now be concealed will be revealed in the future.
If I knew everything about God, I would have facts not faith. Faith allows us to accept the mysteries that God keeps concealed. It allows us to accept the limits of our revelation and honor God’s secrets. Although what our eyes see is easier to understand, faith is always more challenging and exciting.

Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.
I Corinthians 13:12 NLT
It is still God’s glory to conceal some matters. As long as we seek deeper insight, God will give us
clearer understanding. The mysteries of God encourage us to grow in our faith. Personally, His mysteries keep me from becoming bored. I am not content. I always want to learn more.

God has purchased the perfect gift for each of us. He still hides the fullness of this gift. However, He gives partial revelations at the appropriate times. God is too big for us to fully understand with our finite minds. But, the day will come when we will completely know Him. What a wonderful promise! Meanwhile, what an awesome journey!

Turn on the Light

You are the light of the world.
Matthew 5:14

Last week I shared about being salt. This week, I am thinking about being light. Through both images, Jesus is speaking about being a witness.

The very first verse of the Bible states that there was darkness over the face of the deep before God created the heavens and the earth. God’s first words recorded in Genesis 1:2 are, “Let there be light and there was light.” This verse describes physical light replacing physical darkness. However, as a witness, I am thinking about spiritual light overcoming spiritual darkness.

Jesus says in John 8:12, “I am the light of the world.” Then Matthew 5:14 says, “You are the light of the world. How can I connect these verses of Matthew and John? I am reminded of Genesis 1:27, “God created mankind in His own image.So, if Jesus is light and I am made in His image, then, I guess I can also be light. However, I like to make a distinction by thinking of Jesus as the light of the world while I am a light of the world. I am like the moon that reflects the light of the sun. The moon has no light of its own. It reflects the light of the sun. I shine forth light, but my light is a reflection of the light of God’s Son.

When Jesus says that He is the light of the world in John 8:12, He goes on to say,Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.Jesus is explaining that He is the source of spiritual light that overcomes spiritual darkness. He declares in John 12:46, “I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in Me should remain in darkness.

Ephesians 5:8 NLT says, For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light.’” I was not always light. I once knew what it was like to be in darkness without the light of understanding. I became light when I accepted Jesus, the Light, as my savior. Now it is my responsibility to be a light to those who are still in darkness.

Matthew 5:15 says I must not hide my light but let it shine. Matthew 5:16 emphasizes, “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” My light is not to shine on me. My responsibility is to light the way for others to come to see Christ. I desire for God to be glorified – not me.

How can I be the light I am called to be? The natural realm helps me understand the supernatural realm. A lamp setting on a table will not emit light in a dark room if its cord is not plugged into a source of electricity. If I am to be a light to the darkened world, I must be connected to Jesus, the light of the world. The Holy Spirit is my spiritual cord. He is my connection. He is my helper. John 14:26 NASB says, “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” Jesus says in Acts 1:8, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

John 1:4-5 says of Jesus, “In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.” Light overcomes darkness rather than darkness extinguishing light. Light is more powerful. It exposes the deceptions of darkness and illuminates the brilliance of truth. Proverbs 14:25 says, “A truthful witness saves lives, but a false witness is deceitful. As a witness, I am a light sharing God’s Word of truth with those who have not yet been enlightened by Jesus. Sharing scripture is one way of witnessing. Psalm 119:105 says, “Your (God’s) word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.”

Paul warns in Philippians 2:14-15, “Do all things without grumbling or disputing; so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world.(my emphasis) Choices I make affect how effectively and brightly my light shines to those in darkness. My actions are as much a part of my witness as are my words. I must be careful or my light will be very dim.

I Peter 2:9 NKJV declares, “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation. His own special people, that you proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. The Lord has called me into the light and now I am to go back into the darkness to proclaim the marvelous light of Jesus Christ. I have a testimony to share. God says in Isaiah 43:10, “You are My witnesses.” It is a privilege to be light for Him!

My Reader, are you a light?  Think about it every time you turn on a light.