Archive for July, 2013

LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE(Pt.4)

“The Lord is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked advance against me to devour me, it is my enemies and my foes who will stumble and fall. Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then I will be confident. One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple”(Psalm 27:1-4 NIV).

King David had much to rejoice over during his lifetime.  His many victories were attributed to the Lord God alone. The LORD was his Light so he did not stumble in the presence of his enemies. The LORD was his Salvation therefore he never lost a battle against his foes! (What other military leader could make such a boast?).

LIGHT Versus DARKNESS

David’s life also testifies to us of the constant awareness that the Kingdom of darkness makes relentless assaults against the Kingdom of light. He mentions his enemies in all their variety.  David records “fear… my foes… my enemies” and even “armies”. And, if that was not enough he mentions the experience of feeling abandoned with “oppressors and false witnesses breathing out violence” against him(See Psalm 27:9-12).

The devil never takes a holiday. His cruelty knows no end. He hates God and His people with a perfect hatred. To entertain the enemy’s thoughts or to toy with temptation is to take a poisonous snake into one’s breast or to set your own house on fire. Deeds of darkness never turn to deeds of light.

LIGHT TRUMPS DARKNESS

It takes God’s light to overcome Satan’s darkness. It takes God’s truth to overcome ignorance, deception and bondage. It takes God’s love to triumph over hate, prejudice and evil. None of these qualities come forth but when faced with real darkness. It is brought forth not by sentimentality but by God-given courage in the time of wickedness, cruelty and injustice.   As Martin Luther King, Jr. once observed, ”Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that.  Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.”

David found the key to overcome every work of darkness…He hid in the Light of God presence.  “One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple. For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent and set me high upon a rock. I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord”(Psalm 27:4, 5, 13, 14 NIV).

© Copyright July 2013, Walter Fletcher,Jr. All rights are reserved. This article may be copied without charge provided that it is not altered in any way from its original content. Please address all correspondence to: Walterfletcherjr@gmail.com.

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LET THERE BE LIGHT(Pt.3)

“The light of the righteous shines brightly”(Proverbs 13:9a NIV).

“The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!” (Matthew 6:22, 23 NIV)

Jesus (Yeshua) gives a very striking insight as to the function of the eye. It will allow the entrance of more light or the eye will refract the light resulting in greater darkness. Two alternatives within the body: full of light or full of darkness. Which will it be?

A RIGHT DIAGNOSIS

In order to correct an eye disease or disorder we must have an eye examine to accurately diagnose the condition and prescribe the proper lenses or treatment.  Likewise the New Testament gives some conditions of the eye that must be cured in order to see clearly in the realm of the spirit. The first condition is blindness. When no light is emitted into the eye it results in no vision. Many physical healings are recorded in the Old Testament (Hebrew Scriptures) but the only one NOT recorded is “the opening of blind eyes”. The healing of the blind was a sign specifically given by Jesus(Yeshua) who announced “I am the Light of the world. He who walks with Me shall not walk in darkness but shall have the light of life”(John 8:12). Then there is the problem of blurred vision. There was a man that Jesus touched once who was blind but could not see things as they really were. He had blurred vision, seeing “people…like trees walking around”(Mark 8:42).  We can often see people “bigger than life” due to their public persona. They could be politicians or Movie & Media people and yes…even Religious personalities given Rock-Star status.  When this happens we are suffering from blurred vision. But there is hope! Jesus touched the man a second time and he saw clearly. Let us not be afraid or too ashamed to return to the Master for a “second” touch.  Unless we hunger and thirst for more of His Spirit’s touch we will not Him in the splendor of His fullness. We must come to see “Jesus Only”.

Again, there are those who suffer from “Double-Vision”. Jesus said, ”No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money”(Matthew 6:24 NIV). Money(or Mammon) is synonymous with wealth, earthly treasure, or riches. Where you place your treasure is where your focus, attention, and trust will be. It will either be a single-eyed trust in the Lord or a divided loyalty. Only one vision will remain. The things of this world are doomed to perish.

Finally, there is what is called the “Evil Eye”.  Paul confronts the Galatian believers and suggest that they had been “bewitched”.  They had eagerly started out in faith, experiencing the joy and freedom of the finished work of Christ.  But not long after their new found life in the Spirit, some religious zealots following on the heels of Paul’s ministry sought to undermine their freedom in Christ. They told them that religious performance would “perfect” the work Christ had begun in them. The apostle Paul challenges the believers to “Stand firm in the freedom that Christ had given” and don’t get caught up in carnal, religious works(See Galatians 5:1).  You cannot play “CAN YOU TOP THAT?” with Jesus.  Paul taught that “In HIM you are complete”(Colossians 2:10).

 Jesus (Yeshua) taught that for the body to be full of light it must have a healthy eye. A healthy eye has 20/20 Vision. This means singleness of vision.

RESTORED VISION

How can you have restored  vision? Turn to the Lord Who is the great physician and HE will heal your sight. “The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, the LORD hath made them both”(Proverbs 20:12) A seeking heart will receive A single eye once again. Only a true lover has “dove eyes”(See S.O.S.1:15). Seek first the Kingdom of heaven(Mathew 6:33)and Christ will give us light.

Pursue Him and He will become your Light. Stay focused on Jesus. Don’t lose sight of Him no matter which way life may turn you. “These are they that follow the Lamb wherever He goes”(Revelation 14:14b). “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith”(Hebrews 12:2).

(c) Copyright July 2013, Walter Fletcher Jr. All rights are reserved. This article may be copied and shared free of charge provided that it is not altered in any way from its original content. Please address all correspondence to: WalterFletcherjr@gmail.com

LET THERE BE LIGHT(Pt.2)

 “Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, Lord” (Psalm 89:15 NIV).

When Jesus stood up against the adulterous women’s accusers (See John 8),freeing her from certain “death by stoning”, He was not giving her a “pass” to continue her former lifestyle. He was giving her a new lease on life. He commanded her to “Go and sin no more”(John 8:11). Thus proving that His mission in coming into the World was not to condemn but to save (See John 3:17). He is the Light that is at the end of every “Dead end” road where there seems to be no way out of life’s darkness. He declared, “I am the light of the world, He who walks with Me shall not walk in darkness but shall have the light of life”(John 8:12).

John uses in his Gospel “darkness” as a spiritual metaphor for bondage to sin. Darkness is blindness, the absence of light.  Again, darkness stands for ignorance, the lack of the knowledge of God and His ways. The prophet Hosea declared, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge”(Hosea 4:6).  But ignorance is no excuse for God’s people.  I am reminded of the sobering words of my friend and mentor, Leonard Ravenhill, who wrote, “Sodom had no Bible”!

SUBSTITUTING THE LIGHT

Today’s darkness is due to the fact that we have substituted the light. The prophet upbraids Israel, God’s people, with these words,”And when they say to you, Seek those who are mediums and wizards, who whisper and mutter, should not a people seek their God? Should they seek the dead on behalf of the living? To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them. They will pass through it hard-pressed and hungry; and it shall happen, when they are hungry, that they will be enraged and curse their king and their God, and look upward. Then they will look to the earth, and see trouble and darkness, gloom of anguish; and they will be driven into darkness” (Isaiah 8:19-22 NKJV).

LIFTED BY THE LIGHT

In the midst of darkness and gloom, God also gives a message of hope and a promise to His people if they will listen to His Word and turn to Him. “Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress. In the past he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future he will honor Galilee of the nations, by the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan— The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned. You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy; they rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest, as warriors rejoice when dividing the plunder” (Isaiah 9:1-3 NIV).

This scripture found it’s fulfillment in the coming of Jesus Christ into the world and is true for us today. “This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. 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, purifies us from all sin” (1 John 1:5-7 NIV).

 

(c) Copyright 7/2013, Walter Fletcher Jr. All rights are reserved. This article may be copied and shared free of charged provided that it is not sold or altered in any way from its original content. Please address all correspondence to: Walterfletcherjr@gmail.com

LET THERE BE LIGHT(Pt.1)

 “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day. (Genesis 1:1-5 NIV)

As we are witnesses to the most decadent culture perhaps in human history we must ask, “What has caused such an acceleration of darkness?” As a culture we have become dark in our thinking and therefore dark in our living. As human beings we have almost lost the capacity to blush at the darkness around us. Why so? Could it be that the record of the Bible is proving its truthfulness in spite of it being ignored? “This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God. (John 3:19-21 NIV)

GOD AS CREATOR

The Bible opens with a naked statement, “In the beginning God created…”(Genesis 1:1). The alternative to God as Creator is that human beings become their own creator and make up a script that suits their own selfish end. Someone said, “God created Man in His image and Man, in turn, returned the compliment”; meaning that human beings have produced a god fashioned in their own likeness. The prophet announced the word of the LORD to His people Israel, “I have this against you…You thought I was such a one as you”. They had become so out of touch with reality, not seeing God for Who He really was…They invented a god of their convenience. “For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened”(Romans 1:21 NIV).

WHAT ARE THE ALTERNATIVES?

What are the alternatives to the lack of a revelation of God as Creator? Without God as Creator there can be no God as Redeemer. Without God as the Creator of Light we are left with “Darkness, emptiness and chaos”. Life becomes an existence of hopelessness and despair. Further, the psalmist explains that “The fool says in his heart “There is no God.” They are corrupt; their deeds are vile; There is no one who does good. The Lord looks down from heaven on all mankind to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God. All have turned away, all have become corrupt; There is no one who does good, not even one. Do all these evildoers know nothing? They devour my people as though eating bread; They never call on the Lord”(Psalm 14:1-4 NIV). Without the God of Light as Creator there can be no separation of “light from the darkness”. Nor can there be any separation of “the day from the night”. And consequently,if there is no separation…Darkness rules(by default)for the absence of Light.

SHINE AS LIGHTS

We must with grateful hearts acknowledge the light of His presence even in the midst of a world full of darkness. God never leaves Himself without witnesses to the Light. Hence we understand that even when Egypt was a world power, God sent Joseph ahead of the darkness of a coming famine to preserve life. He foreshadowed Jesus Christ sent into a world of darkness and death as the Light of Life for all who would trust in Him (See John 1:1-4,11-12). Recall also how God sent Daniel (And a new generation of god-fearing friends)into captivity of a dark Babylonian system. Daniel proved (Under five regime changes!) that God rules over the darkness as well as the madness of human governments (Read Daniel 6:25-26). What was Daniel secret? He refused to place his light under a bushel basket. Although he could not choose the environment of the culture, he could personally chose not to dim the light. We too must choose, knowing that “Light has come into the world” and “the darkness cannot…will not over power it (See John 1:5). By Daniel’s choice to be light in the midst of a dark and corrupt world meant that he able to rule in the midst of the night. He understood that although he was in the midst of darkness he did not have to be a part of it. God’s creative order will be His redemptive order in the end, “The evening and the morning” of a New Day. Through Jesus Christ, He will finish everything in Light. “Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you. “I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty”(2 Corinthians 6:17-18 NIV).

 

(c) Copyright 7/2013, Walter Fletcher Jr. All rights reserved. This article may be copied and shared provided that it is not sold or altered from it original content. Please address all correspondence to: Walterfletcherjr@gmail.com