God’s Light

Genesis 1.1-4 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.  And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.  And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.

1 John 1.5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.

God is pre-existent, from eternity past to eternity future. As humans, we cannot have a correct concept of eternity, not having been existent before we were born.

We cannot have a correct concept of light, either. God created the heaven and the earth, and there was darkness. He created light. It’s not that God created light for Himself, because He is light. No, God created light for us.

Maybe, when Adam and Eve were created, and perfect in the Garden, maybe they could see God’s light. Maybe their bodies were shimmering with light. Maybe that’s why, when they sinned, they were able to see that they were naked: their own light had darkened, and they were ashamed. And their eyes were darkened, and they couldn’t see God’s light any more.

God knew from eternity past that He would create us, and that we would sin. He knew that we would not be able to see His light, that we would need the light that He created for us.

He knew what we would need to live on earth, while we waited for eternity with Him. He provided everything.

All of creation cries out with God’s handiwork. All of this He did for us, an outpouring of His tenderloving care for us. It’s not just the light that He prepared. He also prepared a way for us to see His light again:

John 8.12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

Jesus is our light (because He is God, and God is light) and our salvation.

Today may we celebrate the light God gives us through His Son, Jesus Christ. May we celebrate His light we have in our hearts through the indwelling Holy Spirit. Above all, may we celebrate God, Himself, Who is worthy of all praise and adoration!

Promises and Peace in and of the Trinity

I love how God reveals Himself to us. We are but poor, frail humans, with limited understanding. But God is abundant and gracious in His teachings, parables, examples, and love.

I was thinking about Jesus as He hung on the cross, with the two thieves next to Him. One of the thieves reviled Him; but the other thief asked Jesus to remember him. Jesus replied, “Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23.43) I’ve often wondered how that worked. I know that Jesus speaks only truth. I also know Jesus died that day, went to hell to pay for my sins, and rose again the third day. How could He be in paradise that day, but also go to hell? Of course, it’s because Jesus is God. God is always in paradise; and Jesus is God. The repentant thief could join God in paradise because he accepted that God had sent a Saviour in Jesus, and that He paid the price for his sins.

Like in Matthew 18.20: For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. Jesus spoke to them while in His physical body. When we pray in His name, He is not here physically, but His Spirit is here. Jesus and the Spirit and God are all the same. Here they are / here He is.

In John 8.56, Jesus told the Jews “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.” The Jews didn’t get it: Jesus was too young to have known Abraham. But Abraham knew Jesus, and rejoiced for the day He would come because Abraham knew God. Jesus was right there: John 8.58: Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. Jesus has been God, has been with God (and with the Holy Spirit) for eternity past, and will be for eternity future.

I get immeasurable comfort and peace from God, from knowing God, from reading His Word. And that’s what God wants for us – it’s why He offers it to us. Do you, too, delight to abide in the truth of God’s presence, His Word, His Trinity?

A few more Trinity verses (of the many that God gives us):

Hebrews 9.14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

Ephesians 2.18 (speaking of Christ) For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.

John 14.16 (Jesus is speaking) And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;

John 14.26 (Jesus is speaking) But the Helper, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and remind you of all that I said to you.

John 15.26 (Jesus is speaking) But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:

Matthew 28.18, 19 (Jesus, after His resurrection) And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

2 Corinthians 13.14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.

1 John 3.21-24 Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God, and we will receive from Him whatever we ask, because we keep His commandments and do what is pleasing in His sight. And this is His commandment: that we should believe in the name of His Son, Jesus Christ, and we should love one another just as He commanded us. Whoever keeps His commandments remains in God, and God in him. And by this we know that He remains in us: by the Spirit He has given us.

1 John 4.2 By this you will know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God

Zechariah Chapter 7

I am in Zechariah as I continue my reading through the minor prophets.  I am daily amazed and blessed at what God gives us through all the books of His Word – and at what He gives me, personally.

In Zechariah chapter 7, God reminds His people of their hard, selfish hearts, the reason they were carried away captive. Even in their captivity, as they walked through the rituals, their hearts were not bowed in humble adoration before their great God. He renews His call to heed His prophets, to walk in His ways with His heart (v 9, 10). But they would not hear.

It is the same with us, with all people: we cannot have a heart for God unless we have God’s heart – His Holy Spirit within us to love as He loves.

1 John 4.19 We love Him, because He first loved us.

The Wind Bloweth

John 3.8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

When we think of the Holy Spirit being like the wind, we like to think of that wind as a balmy breeze that kisses our shoulders. And maybe sometimes He is.

But winds can also be hurricanes, tornadoes, straight-line winds, and derechos. Those are destructive winds.

Sometimes God must destroy things in our lives. Sometimes His Spirit works through health; or other people; or nature. Whatever the conduit, God works in our lives to conform us to the image of His son, Jesus. And when He needs to whittle away something we love, it hurts.

Things we love: our private time, working on our projects, television, money, power, gossip, choosing our own schedule, our families, our pets, choosing our own friends; sometimes we love the wrong things; sometimes we love the right things / people, but we turn them into an idol that we love more than God. (Please note, I am not in any way implying that when loved ones die, it is because we idolized them or loved in the wrong way. God has reasons I cannot imagine – Isaiah 55.9, but they are all because He loves us.)

Those things we love or idolize have got to go, and it hurts when God hints at putting those things to death. It hurts even more when He brings about circumstances (winds) that push us into a corner and make us choose.

It’s better to put things to death of our own accord. Sometimes Love Looks Like Death. It is an act of worship and love when we sacrifice our worldly loves for whatever else God has in mind for us.

Job 1.18, 19 While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, Thy sons and thy daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother’s house:  And, behold, there came a great wind from the wilderness, and smote the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young men, and they are dead; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.

Job’s children were killed by a wind. I can’t even imagine how that hurt [just the day before, he had offered burnt offerings to God for each of them, in case “my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts(v5)].

Job’s response is written for us in verses 20 – 22:

Job 1.20 – 22 Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped, And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD. In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.

God has a kingdom for us, and it is a kingdom worth dying for, that He may live within us. May we take Job’s example to heart. Let it hurt. Grieve. Worship God.

Job 13.15, 16 Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him. He also shall be my salvation: for an hypocrite shall not come before him.