Wednesday, December 14, 2016

December 14, 2016 ... Lighting Our Lives

Berry Patch Devotions in 2016 - Day 349

Devotional Song:  … GO TO THIS LINK …  Please take the time to take in a YouTube video of images and lyrics from Matt Redman singing … Light of the World … joyfully singing of the light of the world shining forth from the hearts of Christians who’ve come out of the darkness into Christ’s light of truth/love.

Highlight Verse: 1st John 2:8b-10 [NKJV] … USE THIS LINK
… The question as a test of our salvation is … “Is the light of truth/love burning in us?” 
Highlight Passage [context]: 1st John 2:3-11 … USE THIS LINK
… John teaches on a test of knowing God and being born again.

Reference Passage #1 [NKJV] : … John 13:34-35 … USE THIS LINK
… Christ’s law of love, which burns as a light of faith in the hearts of all true born-again believers.

Reference Passage #2 [NKJV] : ... 1st John 1:5 … 
5 This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. 
… Pop Quiz: Does God’s light burn and shine within us? If so, we are assured of our salvation.

My Devotional Journal: Today's ODB author, Jennifer Benson Schuldt, uses a personalized word picture to teach about the light of love which shines forth from the hearts of all truly born-again Christians. The ODB author writes: It was a dark morning. Low, steel-colored clouds filled the sky, and the atmosphere was so dim that I needed to turn on the lights in order to read a book. I had just settled in when the room suddenly filled with light. I looked up and saw that the wind was pushing the clouds to the east, clearing the sky and revealing the sun [see photo]. 
As I went to the window to get a better look at the drama, a [biblical passage] came to mind: “The darkness is passing and the true light is already shining” (1 John 2:8). 

Today’s highlight and reference Scriptures come from the Apostle John’s writings; and John wrote his first letter to burdened/suffering Christians in his day to help them have deep/abiding assurance of their salvation (see 1John 5:13 in your own study). Well, ... one of God’s tests of our salvation thru John concerns how well Christ’s law of love (see John 13:34-35) shines forth in our lives, dispelling the darkness of hatred which we see so much of in this ever-darkening world.

John wasn’t writing that we Christians wouldn’t ever sin with prideful or sinful anger in our hearts toward others. No, he was teaching that Christians couldn’t hold that darkness in our hearts continually because Christ’s love will ultimately shine forth and help us to dispel the hatred and show forth His light of love.

 And as I read this ODB today, I had to ask myself, … “Am I shining the light of Christ, by dispelling any hatred in my heart and moving toward repentance and reconciliation in my remorse for any sinful anger.” I think we all need to take that test today; and see whether the light of Christ shines forth to dispel any darkness in our souls.

My Prayer Today: Heavenly Father, … show me, Lord, if I have any darkness in my heart and shine Your light forth - thru me - to let others see Your love dispelling the darkness. ... Amen

Blogger Note:  Everyday during this year, my daily devotional blogs are influenced by the reading and study of the online devotional blog entitled Our Daily Bread, distributed online via email by RBC Ministries.  If you GO TO THIS LINK on the date of my blog, you can read/study the ODB blogs; or you can subscribe to the blog via email at that site.

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