Month: October 2014

Light of Life Series Pt. 18: Children of Light

“For at one time you were darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord. Walk as children of Light (for the fruit of Light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord.” Ephesians 5:8-10

This is incredible, check it out!

The Greek word study on biblehub.com offers this insight for the word children.  It means “anyone living in full dependence on the heavenly Father, i.e. fully (willingly) relying upon the Lord in glad submission. This prompts God to transform them into His likeness.”

So the phrase children of Light means those who “depend upon it, possessed by a desire or affection for it, or addicted to it.”  Signifying “both those who are illumined by the Light and loving the Light.” (See here.)  Don’t you love it?

Illumined by God’s Light and loving the Light… if there’s anything in this life we can be addicted to, it’s God’s Light!

Then look at the word fruit.  It’s used in a beautiful way.  It means “the Lord living His life through ours – to yield what is eternal.”  (See here.)   

I love it!

So, although at one time we were darkness, we are now Light, having been rescued by our Father and transferred into the Kingdom of His beloved Son (if you missed yesterday’s post, see here.)  As we live fully and willingly surrendered to our Father, He is free to transform us into His likeness– living His life through ours– which brings about that which is eternal. 

Spiritual fruit.

And that spiritual produce is found in all that is good, right, and true.

Beloved, walk as children of Light!

Light of Light Series Pt. 18

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Light of Life Series Pt. 17: Saints in Light (Pt.2)

Today we will focus on the second half of the verse.

Ready?

Let’s look at the word delivered in this part of the verse: “He has delivered us from the domain of darkness…”

The word translated here as deliver means “I rescue, deliver (from danger or destruction).”  It comes from a Greek word that means to “draw to oneself” – properly, draw (pull) to oneself; to rescue (“snatch up”); to draw or rescue a person to and for the deliverer.”   It implies removing someone in the midst (presence) of danger or oppression, i.e. delivered “right out of” and to (for) the rescuer.]” (See here.)

Drawn to Oneself.  To and for the Deliverer.

Does that not take your breath away?  And what are we rescued from?

The crushing obscurity of being unknown, unnoticed, unimportant.  The oppressive authority of sin and its consequent misery.  The life-draining hopelessness of never knowing God’s Light.  The dangerous end for an unrescued soul.

And we aren’t rescued to be left alone without a place to belong.  We are rescued to belong to Someone!

Does this not play out like the greatest Hero movie ever known to mankind?  Can you imagine the battle in the heavenlies?  Heart-stopping.  Pulse racing.  Adrenaline surging rescue.  Only better because it’s real.  It’s real!  The Hero of our story is the Creator Himself, the Sovereign King of eternity, the Self-Existent Yahweh who lives in unapproachable light!  And He pulls us to Himself, snatching us from danger, for Himself to cherish forever.

What are we that He would even take the time to rescue us from danger, let alone come Himself to pay that price?

Once rescued, we are adopted as children of the Most High King, princes and princesses in the eternal Kingdom of Light. We have been set free from the power of sin and darkness, and our Father has brought us into the Kingdom of His beloved Son, Jesus Christ, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

Best.  Story.  Ever.

Oh, beloved, it’s real.  And it’s ours!

Light of Life Series Pt. 17

Light of Life Series Pt. 17: Saints in Light (Pt.1)

Ok, scholars.  Let’s dig on this one.  There are some great insights from the richness of the language here!  And yes, there is so much depth and beauty in this verse, this will be a two-parter… so you won’t want to miss the next one!

Let’s start with the word saints used in our verse for today.

It comes from the Greek word hágios which means set apart by (or for) God, holy, sacred.  It means different, unlike, other.

And I just learned this, check it out–  hágios is the word that was used to describe first century temples.  They were considered hágios (holy) because they were different from regular buildings.

And this is the word chosen to represent believers.  But I love the reason!

Hágios or holy has the technical meaning of “different from the world because like the Lord.”  But here’s my favorite part: hágios implies something “set apart” and therefore “different (distinguished/distinct)” – i.e. “other,” because special to the Lord.  (See here.)

Do you see that?

Beloved, in Christ you are already saints!  You are holy, set apart, and special to the Lord!

So, if we unpacked each word and its meaning with today’s beautiful and encouraging verse, it would sound something like this:

Give thanks to the Father… wait let’s stop there for a minute.  This is beautiful…

The word used here is patḗr and means “one who imparts life and is committed to it; a progenitor (parent, ancestor), bringing into being to pass on the potential for likeness.”  (See here.)

The Sovereign, indescribable, eternal Yahweh wants to pass on His likeness to us.  And He not only imparts His life to us, but is also committed to seeing us grow up in Him!  Can you even wrap your mind around that?  I know I can’t… it’s too big for my small, finite mind to grasp the extent of our Eternal Father’s love.

Oh! Give thanks to the Father who has enabled us (who in Christ has made us sufficient, made us fit to obtain) a share (a portion assigned to us) in the eternal salvation of the holy– those who are set apart by and for Christ, those who are different from the world because they are like the Lord.  We are holy saints, “other” because we are special to the Father.  And we– yes you– get to inherit the Kingdom of Light.  We get to know and be in the presence of the manifestation (clear evidence, proof, presentation) of God’s self-existent life.

There’s more great stuff tomorrow… stay tuned!Light of Life Series Pt. 17

Light of Life Series Pt. 16: Brilliant Light

Do you want to be filled with delight over your King?

Let’s look at part of Ezekiel’s vision of God and His glory.  It is from Ezekiel 1:26-28 (HCSB).

“The shape of a throne with the appearance of sapphire stone was above the expanse.  There was a form with the appearance of a human on the throne high above.  From what seemed to be His waist up, I saw a gleam like amber, with what looked like fire enclosing it all around. From what seemed to be His waist down, I also saw what looked like fire. There was a brilliant light all around Him.  The appearance of the brilliant light all around was like that of a rainbow in a cloud on a rainy day.  This was the appearance of the form of the Lord’s glory. When I saw it, I fell facedown and heard a voice speaking.” (Italics and bold are mine.)

Ezekiel did the best he could to describe to his readers what he was seeing, but the closest he could come to it was the likeness of what he saw and how things seemed.  

Your King and His glory are indescribable!

Words fail human ability to express the awe-inspiring image of God’s glory.  And our verses today?  They come at the end of an entire chapter spent telling us what it was like even approaching the throne of God!

And at the end of what Ezekiel tells us, we are left with these images: the form of God’s glory on His throne is like gleaming amber, fire, and brilliant light.

Daniel said, “There is a God in heaven (Daniel 2:28)!”  Isaiah said “saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of His robe filled the temple (Isaiah 6:1).” And John said, “At once I was in the Spirit, and behold, a throne stood in heaven, with One seated on the throne (Revelation 4:2).”

Dear ones, no matter what is going on in your life, rest today knowing that there is a God in Heaven and He is on His throne… in glory too fantastic to describe!

The song for today is by Aaron Shust.  Click here –> God of Brilliant Lights.
Light of Life Series Pt. 16

Light of Life Pt. 15: Walk in the Light

“Walk in the light…”

The word walk here doesn’t mean to just move one foot in front of the other and move forward.  It’s actually way cooler.  But you probably already knew that.  

Here’s what it means:  I conduct my life,  live;  behave,  conduct ourselves,  be occupied with.

And the word used for light here also has meanings such as divine truth, spiritual purity, and saving wisdom.

To “walk in the light” means we are to be filled with Yahweh’s divine truth, spiritual purity, and saving wisdom… and to live out that filling in our behavior.

Occupied with God’s Light.  Don’t you just love that?

Oswald Chambers said, The love of God working in me causes me to hate, with the Holy Spirit’s hatred for sin, anything that is not in keeping with God’s holiness. To ‘walk in the light’ means that everything that is of the darkness actually drives me closer to the center of the light.”

May we draw closer to the center of Christ’s light.

May we conduct our lives with divine truth and spiritual purity.

May we be occupied with God’s holiness and saving wisdom.

Light of Life Series Pt. 15

Light of Life Series Pt. 14: The Light of Dawn

When God makes His Light shine in our hearts (if you missed it, see Light with Purpose), something changes.  We are no longer walking in darkness, but in the Light of relationship with the Almighty!

Check out the verse for today.

Now let’s start with the word righteous.  The Hebrew word used here means “right standing with God, blameless, innocent.”

No matter where you’ve been in your life, if you are in Christ, you have “the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe.”  (See Romans 3:22 and Philippians 3:9)  

Jesus, you take my breath away… how is it that we get to have the righteousness of God?!

(We need to use the Psalmist’s term Selah here… “pause and think of that.”)

Now check out the Hebrew word used for path.  It means way, path, course.  But the term also means “a well-trodden road.”  That phrase indicates a well-known, much traveled, abiding familiarity of that path.

Isn’t that beautiful?

The well-trodden path of those who walk with God is like the light of the sunrise, growing brighter and brighter until the fullness of day.

May our lights shine on those sitting in darkness and lead them to Christ, the Light of Life!

colorful sunset

Light of Life Series Pt. 13: Joyful Worship

I came a cross a beautiful verse today.

Psalm 89:15 in the ESV says this, “Blessed are the people who know the festal shout, who walk, O LORD, in the light of Your face.”

GOD’S WORD Translation says, “Blessed are the people who know how to praise You.  They walk in the light of Your presence, O LORD.”

The VOICE translates it like this, “How happy are those who have learned how to praise You; those who journey through life by the light of Your face.”

In Hebrew, the word for happiness or blessedness is used in this verse as an interjection: how happy!

The word used for know also means acknowledge, experience, clearly understand, to know assuredly, well aware…

How happy are those who know and experience the shouts of praise for You, LORD!  How happy are those who journey through life in the Light of Yahweh’s presence!

Click –> here for a song by  Rend Collective. I think you’ll love it!

“You’re the joy, joy, joy lighting my soul…
In the shadows,
In the sorrows,
In the desert,
When the pain hits,
You are constant,
Ever-Present,
You’re the song of my heart…”

Light of Life Series Pt. 13

Light of Life Series Pt. 12: The Great Day

“But for you who fear My Name, the sun of Righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings.  You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall.”

It’s easy to like this verse.  It’s poetic– warm, healing sunlight; leaping about with joy and freedom like a calf out of its confinement.  It’s a happy scene.

But it’s more than a peaceful, happy scene.  It’s deep.  It’s prophetic.  It’s ours.

For the sake of those who may not be as excited about ancient word studies, I will move quickly through this one to get to my point.  I don’t want to lose anyone!

English word and Hebrew meaning (oh, please don’t skim through too quickly, I don’t want you to miss it!):

fear= reverence, fear (worshipful fear)

sun = to be brilliant; sun; daylight; a simile of splendor

Righteousness= of God

rise= to rise, come forth; irradiate (to shoot forth beams)

healing= with spiritual implication (specifically in this verse)

wings= extremity, covering, edges, wingspan; extremity of garment (corner, loose flowing end); overspreading; uttermost part

Let’s put it together:

But for you who revere and worship My Name, the brilliance and splendor of My Righteousness will come forth with healing– sometimes physical, always spiritual– and My Son Jesus is “able to save to the uttermost” those who come to Me through Him (see Hebrews 7:25).

Isn’t that beautiful?

Now let’s take a look at what I see as prophetic foreshadowing in this verse.  Think about when the woman found healing by touching the fringe– the extremity of garment (corner, loose flowing end)– of Jesus’ garment.  See Luke 8:43-48 and Mark 5:24-34.  Isn’t that an amazing picture God connects with these verses?!

I also see an undeniable relationship between this verse talking about how the “sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings” and Jesus rising, or coming forth from the dead with spiritual healing for all mankind, for all time… saving to the uttermost!

So, go, dear ones.  Leap for joy, like calves released from their stall. 🙂

Light of Life Series Pt. 12

Light of Life Series Pt. 11: Broad Daylight

You know one of the really amazing things about the Bible?

We can understand so much of what it says just by reading the words and taking them at face value.

“Your Word is a lamp to my feet
    and a light to my path.”

It doesn’t take much work to put it into context.  It’s simple.  We get it.  It’s a lovely metaphor of truth.

But then our Heavenly Father takes us on a treasure hunt and invites us to dig deeper, and the Holy Spirit illuminates truths we didn’t even know to look for!

I’ve had this verse memorized since I was a small child. It’s part of my heritage, my culture, my spiritual DNA.  We even sang a song about it.  A lot.

And this is how it was always described: life may be dark, the path dangerous, but if we carry God’s Word in our hearts, our lives, then just like a lamp or a flashlight will give light to the path in front of us, each step will be lit just enough for the next step after that.

I always thought of a primitive candle, or a flashlight at best, and imagined how very little of the path would be lit up.  Only enough for the step in front of me.  And the next.  And the next.  Nothing beyond that.  Not seeing anything around me.  Darkness everywhere but on the very path directly in front of my feet… just enough to keep me from stumbling.  Just enough to know where the next step should be.

But what if it means more than that?

Now I’m getting excited… are you ready?  Get your spiritual shovels, dear ones, you won’t want to miss this!

Let’s start with “Your word.”  The Hebrew term for this phrase comes from the transliteration dabar, which means speechword and has a long list of meanings relating to communication.  For the sake of time, I will focus on just these few: advice, commands, counsel, instruction, promise, speech, songs, thoughts, words, book, etc.  And when used in this verse, it refers to the Word of God, Divine communication.

“…a lamp to my feet…”

Lamp is just that, a light.  But the word for feet is another part of the treasure.  It comes from the Hebrew word regel which means feet, footsteps, journey, be able to endure.

“… and a light…”

Here we go, this is the most exhilarating part to me!  The word used here means: light, broad, dawn, daylight, lightening, sun, sunlight, sunshine.  It is also used to refer to: light of lamp, light of life, light of prosperity (see here), light of instruction, light of face (specifically, God’s face, His shining, enlightening, favoring face); light and salvation; light to guide; everlasting Light of Zion.  Also “luminary (in every sense, including lightning, happiness, etc (see here).”

Oh. My. Goodness.  Do you see it, too?

God’s Word, His communication with us, isn’t just a candle or even a flashlight.  It’s broad daylight!  Lighting up the darkness around us.  Clear as day.  He is our bright Light guiding us, saving us, and even bringing us happiness!

Next time you read Psalm 119:105, perhaps you will want to remember it like this:

Yahweh, Your advice and commands, Your counsel and instruction, Your promises to me and Your thoughts about me, the songs You sing over me, the words You speak into my heart and wrote in Your Book, these keep me going on my journey.  Because of You, my endurance is sure.  Your Divine communication to me is like broad daylight, bright as the sun, warm and inviting as the sunshine.  Or like lightening in the dark which lights up the sky as if it were day… electrical, transforming, spectacular, powerful.  You confirm Your Word of promise by doing all of this, and so much more.  And I am filled with irrepressible joy which comes from knowing Your favor and protection of my soul… to finish that which you began in me (see Philippians 1:6).

Light of Life Series Pt 11