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Be in the Light

Ephesians 5 has been working on me this week in a big way… I have had to break off pieces to digest…
1-3 Be imitators of God as dear children… remember as children dressing up and wanting to be like mommy and daddy? Have you seen your child copy your moves? They learn how to live, not from our words, but from our example. And God sent us an example to imitate: Jesus Christ. How do we see Him walk? Imitating our beloved Abba: loving; providing forgiveness, release from our sin bondage; helping the hopeless, loving the unlovely, healing the sicks, walking in wisdom, focused on the Father and His beloved, not His own trials and problems… in love, an offering and a sweet smelling sacrifice. Sweet smelling sacrifice: burnt meat? Apparently God is not impressed with our perfume. I wonder, does sweetness in His nose smell like our sweat when we put our back to it to help others? Does it look like offering a rest and sustenance to weary travelers? To the hungry? What does that sweet aroma, that spiritual service, smell like in our life?

AS children of light: I know that the verse says in goodness, righteousness, and truth, finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. But that children of light part has been working on me… I remember being a child in a small community and playing hide n seek in the dark… and kick the can. It’s a lot harder to hide in the light. But isn’t that the point? If we are children of light, we shouldn’t NEED to hide… if we live in goodness, righteousness, and truth… those are qualities we don’t need to hide. If/when we fall, that too is seen… as is what we do next. Do we pretend it didn’t happen? Do we pick ourselves up brush off, and try to do better next time.  Hmmm. But there’s that verse about being surrounded by a bunch of witnesses… what do we do when we fall?

Reminds me of the 2016 Olympics… New Zealand’s runner, Hamblin, tripped and fell, causing the U.S. Runner, D’Agostino, to also fall. D’Agostino checked on Hamblin, and the two limped in together. Last place… but they are the only event I remember about the 2016 olympics. D’Agostino could have made accusations and criticized Hamblin for making her trip, but instead she reached out a hand and helped her up. Sometimes it’s not the medal that matters, but running our race with heart.

Skipping ahead: For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), 10 finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. 

Light in the Lord… that part reminded me of a recent event where I was asked to do something… I was exhausted physically the day of… I took a breath and said, “Abba, I’ve got nothing… I NEED YOU, I need you to do this thing through me.” And, He did. Because He is good and faithful, and He is my strength when I am weak…

But what about when I am strong? That is the part of this that I have been meditating on… we are not the light, He is the light and we are light in Him… I was thinking about the lighthouse… If the lens is cloudy, or there is an obstacle in the way, it barely emits a light, or the light is diffused. On the other hand, a Fresnel lens takes the light, and (the simplified blonde version) magnifies and focuses the light. We can choose to reflect and magnify the light that is Jesus, or we can be an obstacle, trying to focus the light on our own stuff and effectively block light from shining.

The part that made me chuckle a bit was the next part: 11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather [c]expose them. 

Have you ever been in a situation where there was a lot of stuff going on and you held your tongue and said nothing? Then afterward someone would say something to the effect of, “You’re so judgmental!” What? I didn’t say a word!
No, but the very presence of Christ in us often illuminates things that people would rather keep hidden in the darkness. So very often we don’t have to speak, the Holy Spirit speaks directly to the hearts what needs to be said. In fact, in many circumstances it can be better for us to shut up and let Him speak… Yeah, sometimes silence speaks louder than words.

As I meditate again (this has been a 3 day journey)
“Awake, you who sleep,
Arise from the dead,
And Christ will give you light.”

Walk in Wisdom

Awake… yes, we get lulled into complacency. We become so wrapped up in surviving that we neglect living. Wake up! Arise! That journey in the wisdom and the light of Christ is so amazing… yet again and again I fight that spiritual lethargy… God, I have so much to do today! Yes, let’s do it together!

The demands of the world can be so loud. Mike and I watched a Ray Vanderlaan dvd… He talks about Qumran… a community that separated themselves from an evil generation to live dedicated to the word of God.

Imagine wanting to be so pure, so devoted to God that you gave up all conveniences, all comforts to be undistracted from walking with God. Dedicated to following God, not because it would save them, but because God saved, God redeemed them.

Idyllic… sigh… but how do others come to know Christ if we live apart physically from the world? If I light a candle in the daylight, it’s reach is not near as great as if I light it in the darkness.

Where is that balance? Is where we live wrong, or are we living wrong where we are? Or are we living in the light regards of where we live? Is there a way to more appropriate magnify and focus that light of Christ in the darkness to keep fellow travelers from crashing into the rocks?

I observed recently a conversation between generations… the millennial and the baby boomer can take the same sentence and have a completely different meaning. Our context is based on our life experiences, and each generation has a different experience. While the Bible is living and applicable throughout the generations, some of the deeper meanings have been lost as we don’t understand the context. This is why we study together to gain that richer knowledge and understanding. This is where it helps to understand the cultural context… and this is why I never tire of studying God’s beautiful word… it is a treasure hunt, and so often I am awed at the treasure within. It is ancient, but never grows old.

Romans:12 Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and [acceptable and perfect.

Deeper Still:

Hebrews 12:1

The Race of Faith ] Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,

Ephesians 5 New King James Version (NKJV)

Walk in Love

Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.

But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. For [a]this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them.

Walk in Light

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the [b]Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), 10 finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. 11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather [c]expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. 13 But all things that are [d]exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. 14 Therefore He says:

“Awake, you who sleep,
Arise from the dead,
And Christ will give you light.”

Walk in Wisdom

15 See then that you walk [e]circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, 16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

17 Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, 20 giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another in the fear of God.