• [CHRISTIA] devotion: "Shine on Us!"

    From Mark@1:396/4 to Practical Christian Life on Sun Jun 14 12:57:45 2020
    From: lamppoet@CENTURYTEL.NET (Mark)

    Shine on Us!



    "He will cause the bright dawn of salvation to rise on us and to shine from heaven on all those who live in the dark shadow of death, to guide our steps into the path of peace." Luke 1:78b-79



    I am sure many of us have had the same disconcerting moment. Something wakes
    us out of a deep sleep in the middle of the night. We may have been in the midst of a vivid dream full of images and people that seemed as real as the waking world. Those few moments between reverie and reality can be extremely disorienting. Perhaps it was bright daylight in your dream and you cannot figure out why it is now so dark. Or you were halfway through a conversation with an old friend, awaking to wonder how the conversation ended.



    I had one of those moments waking for school when I was 12 or 13. Mom woke
    us all up, and I slowly moved out of sleep into the unhappy awareness that
    it was a school-day. Within seconds I was quite disturbed, almost panicky.
    (No, not because I hadn't finished my homework.) I could not see out of my right eye. Everything was clear and distinct in my left eye, but absolutely dark in my right. I sheepishly became aware of the origin of my abrupt blindness. I had been sleeping on my side and my right eye was still firmly smashed against the pillow. I rolled over, and my blindness was gone!



    We do not like to admit that we do not always perceive things "as they are." Until we have someone to demonstrate differently, our view is the only view
    of reality. In 1998 Patti and I moved to North Dakota with our two sons to pastor Gospel Tabernacle in New Town. I began to notice the most of the cars had electrical plugs hanging near their front fenders. I wondered why so
    many people drove electric cars up north. I soon discovered that these were block heaters to make the easier to start in the frigid winters. Nearly
    every car had one.



    Once I gained a bit of new information things began to make more sense. I
    would have been marked as fairly stubborn and maybe even a bit stupid to go
    on believing there was a high percentage of electric vehicles in North
    Dakota.



    God is light. As the human race we are in desperate need for the bright dawn
    of God's love to enlighten us. We tend to form opinions based on limited knowledge. And, once the opinion is formed, we judge others who disagree.
    Add "because God says so" or "my church teaches this" to the mix and you may lose a fight or a friend. Or win a fight and lose a friend!



    It is hard for us to admit we are in darkness. It takes a huge dose of
    humility to allow God's light into our lives and open us up to His truth.
    Too many people go through their lives protecting "opinions" that have
    little to do with the love of God sent through Jesus Christ. Those who walk closest to the light are the ones most willing to let their own opinions
    die. Why would I hold onto a dead belief when I can have the living truth of God instead?



    This election season, in my opinion, we have seen very little light. Oh,
    people have claimed the name of Christ, but that is what breaks my heart,
    and I hope it breaks yours. Candidates no longer debate issues, they call
    each other names. We no longer have statesmen; we have playground bullies.
    It should cause us deep pain. It should drive us to prayer. It should cause
    us to find the only solution to such ugly rhetoric. Recently, on a major
    news network's comment section, thousands of comments using racial slurs
    poured out their anger about Malia Obama's plans to attend Harvard. These weren't just political rhetoric, they were poison and hatred.



    Our world is in darkness and needs to cry out for God's light. He already
    sent His Son, Jesus Christ. He has shown us what He is like by pouring mercy upon a world full of selfishness and anger. I think God must weep over our world like a mother weeps over wayward children.



    Will you join me in beseeching God to send a revival of Christian love to
    our country? Will you seek His face to turn us away from ugly rhetoric and
    back to selfless love? We need His light to "guide our steps into the path
    of peace." Let us with tears of repentance approach God's throne of mercy
    and ask Him to forgive us for not representing the forgiveness of Christ to this world. Let us sow peace where hatred has taken root. Let us sow grace where judgment has grown. I know that within my own heart are corners of darkness that desperately need His light. Let us seek Him together for a
    deep and complete transformation as we long for the peace that comes only
    from Him.

    the peace that comes only from Him.





    mark p.

    lamppoet@centurytel.net



    Mark's Blog

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