"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change." (James 1:17, ESV)
In the beginning, God created light. He then prepared a home for us to live in. When God created man, he gave us free will wherein genuine love could exist. (Forced love is not genuine.) At first, Adam and Eve enjoyed sweet fellowship with God in the light. But then, they believed the devil’s lies that led them to doubt God. As they fell into the shadow of sin, they began to fear God, therefore, distancing themselves from our Creator.
We also fall into the shadow of sin, giving the accuser—the devil—mountains of undeniable evidence which he records and attempts to use as a testimony for our prosecution. But this is the point in our stories where the greatest, most incomprehensible twist takes place . . . Upon hearing the testimony of the devil, the Holy Spirit becomes our advocate, responding to the accuser by agreeing that yes, we are guilty but that Jesus is worthy, and through his blood—his sacrifice—our record is scrubbed clean. Wow, God’s love for us is so inconceivably immense that he withholds what we deserve: prosecution and eternity without Him. Instead, He gives us what we do not deserve: forgiveness.
Have you ever thought about God absorbing our mess as his way of becoming close to us?
Finding Our Way Home
For thousands of years, God’s promises revealed a way we could navigate back to his loving arms. And with Jesus Christ’s birth, life, and sacrifice fulfilling the prophesies in scripture, God gave us the new light he had promised.
Now, I don’t know about you, but I have a hard time navigating through darkness without light. Isn’t it fitting that God provided light in the beginning and then gave us new light through Jesus Christ our Savior so that we could be forgiven and spend eternity with him in Heaven?
“I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness.” (John 12:46)
Beware of Deception
Since Jesus' sacrifice lights our way home to Heaven, the devil continually tries to alter the purpose of free will to lead us astray. After all, if we choose not to embrace God’s light, and decide we don’t want to love him, follow him, and live in his loving presence forever, and instead choose to quiver over the mountain of evidence against us, hiding in the shadows of shame, doubt, fear, insecurity, and hate, the devil will have achieved his goal: keeping our souls out of Heaven. Beware the devil’s continual deception that we can try to repair our past wrongdoings on our own by embracing mankind’s changing laws to decide what is right or wrong, by comparing our sins to other’s sins, or by attempting our own acts of atonement. (After all, a stellar resume cannot buy a ticket to Heaven.)
Multiply God's Light
"But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin." (1 John 1:7, ESV)
I am truly grateful that we can choose to wholeheartedly accept God’s sacrifice to wash us clean of sin. When we accept God’s mercy and grace, our souls can overflow with love and spill that love into other’s lives.
As you pack up your Christmas decorations, rejoice in Jesus’ birth, for he continues to be a light in the darkness.
"In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven." (Matthew 5:16, ESV)
Let us continue to celebrate God’s light and radiate it into other’s lives daily.
From our family to yours . . . I pray you will not pack up your spirit of celebration with the decorations, but rather, continue to celebrate God’s love for all people as you serve others throughout 2023!
And always remember: “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:5 ESV)
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