Thursday, October 6, 2016

When the Light of God's Truth Shines on the Darkness in My Own Heart

I read through John 3 several times. It just wasn't sticking this morning. "Lord, what is wrong with me? I can't focus. This passage isn't speaking to me at all. It's the very words of Jesus. I should love this."

I read it again.

Jesus was speaking to Nicodemus. (Leanna paraphrase here) "It's the ones who don't believe Me who will be judged. Now, let me explain about the judgment. I brought the light of God to the world, but men love darkness instead of light."

All we have to do is look around us and that's obvious. We (as a world) love the things of darkness more than we love the light of God. 

The reason for that, Jesus said, is that the light of God shines on our evil deeds and exposes them for what they are. I can agree with that, especially when it applies to someone else. 

The very next thing Jesus said caused an alarm to go off in my brain. "He who practices truth comes to the light." 

If Jesus is the truth, and Scripture tells us that He is, doing what He said to do brings us closer to Him. 

Obedience moves us toward Christ. Rebellion moves us further away.

I read that and thought, "I feel far away from you this morning, Lord."

Rebellion move us father away from Jesus. Those words began to echo in my heart. Then, I knew. 

"Okay, Lord. Where have I not obeyed?"

He shined light directly on my sin. It was an ouch moment. I have an acquaintance who's moody. I never know what response to expect. Friendly and cheerful or grumpy and snappish. 

I find the unpredictability very unpleasant, and I had begun to grumble to the Lord about it. That grumbling had led me to embrace a judgmental, critical spirit.

A judgmental, critical spirit will spread through your heart like wildfire, and the spreading had already begun. I was on the brink of being a grumpy, complaining, critical person myself. If the truth be told, I was already there in my heart, and it was alienating me from Christ.

I sighed and apologized to the Lord, then asked for forgiveness. Most days, I wonder if I'll ever learn to act like Jesus consistently. "What now, Lord?"

"Love your neighbor as yourself."

In this situation, loving my neighbor as myself begins when I quit complaining to the Lord about the moodiness and stop rehearsing the offenses in my mind. 

It means that I overlook the behavior and look for the pain behind it. 

That I'm kind in the face of unkindness. 

Loving in the face of rejection. 

Patient in the face of impatience.

The light of God shone on the darkness in my own heart, and showed me the very sin that had pushed me farther away from my Lord. Repentance brought me closer.

It's not obedience that's caused the distance between us and God. It's the darkness in our hearts. 

Maybe you, too, feel far away from God. Today, let's take a step closer to our Lord by asking Him to shine His light of truth in our hearts and show us the sin that needs to go. 

When He does, let's not waste time by justifying our sin. Let's just agree with God, ask for forgiveness, and choose light instead of darkness. Truth instead of lies. Christ instead of the world.

Want to move closer to God? Repent and obey.

"He who practices truth comes to the light..." John 3:21 nasb
In case you missed the story of Sam's project, here's the link: Sam's Project: Rubber Boots for Barefoot Rwandan Children
If you'd like to give to help buy boots for the barefoot school children of Rwandan, you can go directly to the project page here: Help Sam's Kids

In case you missed yesterday's post, here's the link: Beautiful and Broken
#sin #truth