// the great light \\

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A TOUCH OF PRESENCE LARGE

Mt 4:16

      The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light,

      And upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death

      Light has dawned.

When Jesus was brought to the Temple to be dedicated to the Lord an old Prophet Simeon, came by the Spirit and prophesied over Jesus that He would be a light to the Gentiles.

Lk 2:32

      A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles,

      And the glory of Your people Israel.

IN DARKNESS;

PEOPLE STOP

When people are in darkness, they stop moving, or move very slowly, very cautiously, however, after a while they stop, then they sit, going nowhere. There are several things that are essential to our well being. One of them is to know we are moving forward, to know we are making progress. To feel like we are going nowhere, completely frustrates how we are built.

People sit down also because they’ve lost the energy to walk or even stand, to make decisions or to hold ground against the pressure.

When we’re in the darkness of condemnation and guilt we lose energy. We are drained of enthusiasm and motivation when the darkness of discouragement or despair comes over our minds.

We have the choice, to fix our eyes upon the darkness or to fix them on the light.

Isaiah told us darkness would cover the Earth

Isa 60:2

      For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth,

      And deep darkness the people;

      But the Lord will arise over you,

      And His glory will be seen upon you.

However, he also told us to not let the darkness overwhelm us but to realise that the Light has come and that we should therefore no longer remain sitting, but stand and arise;

Isa 60:1

      Arise, shine;

      For your light has come!

      And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you.

In the dark we;

IMAGINE THE WORST

When we’re in darkness we imagine the worst. Something moving nearby is a threat, we imagine it’s a snake, or a spider. If someone touches us we jump with fear. Crime increases when night falls. Most crimes are committed in darkness, not in bright light.

FEEL HOPELESS

People sit in darkness when they’re guilty and feel condemned under the darkness of no hope.

People sit in darkness when they don’t know where they’re going or what to do.

FEEL COLD

Without light there’s often also no heat. When the sun rises the cool night turns to a warm day. Light and heat are often together. Plants grow in the sunlight but die without it. Health comes with sunlight. An old Italian proverb – ‘Where the Sun goes, the physician need not’.

To these people a great light rises, even those sitting in the region of death and in the shadow of death,.

Jesus is not just like the sun, nor is he just like a candle, or a light bulb. He is the great light.

CHRIST IS THE LIGHT, THE HOPE OF THE WORLD.

The reason Christ is a great light is because above all these things He is the HOPE of the world.

When we talk of light shining on our future, it definitely refers to hope beaming into our lives.

See you in church

PART 3 ~ ABIDE IN ME

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7 “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.

If you successfully resist all the temptations to the thousands of other distractions that remove you from meditating in the Word of God and spending time in prayer, then you will be abiding in Christ. If His Words, as distinct from all the other words that can abide in you, then your prayers, your declarations, your commands will be done.

8 “By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.

No farmer is honoured by a poor crop. Our father’s honour is in our hands to ensure he is glorified by much fruitfulness. By what? By answered prayer. How is prayer answered? By abiding in Jesus and His Word abiding in us. This is how we prove to be His disciples, because we bear much fruit because of answered prayer, which in turn glorifies the Vine-dresser, the Father.

9    “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love

The Father loved Jesus by:
1. Publicly endorsing him at Jordan,
2. Equipping him with power and authority so he could heal, deliver and rule over circumstances.
3. Being close to Him,
4. Protecting Him,
5. Speaking with him every day.

Regularly Jesus revealed to His disciples that the way the Father dealt with him was the way he dealt with the disciples. Everything the Father does for us is not just for us, but for us to bring to those we are called to lead, Jesus loved his disciples as he had been loved. He invites them to ‘be with him’, ‘to come to where he lived’, ‘involving them in his deepest agonies’, telling them what the Father had told him.

As parents we begin a legacy of family culture. How we treat our children will be transferred into the next generation. How we love is a result of how we were loved and how those we love will love others. This is easily seen in the negative in so many situations. We must draw a line in the sand if we have been on the receiving end of a lineage of abuse or violence. We declare it ends here and we begin an entirely new heritage  for those who will come after us. We love as we have been loved. Someone has to take the first step. ŒWe love Him, because He first loved us!

See you in church friends

// PRE-DESTINATION \\

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Eph 1:5 having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,

Every single person ever born and ever will be born has been predestined to be adopted by God, to be born of God, according to His good pleasure. He takes no pleasure in anyone perishing. It is neither His will, nor His pleasure for anyone that He predestined to be His child, to perish. And He has predestined everyone to be His child.

2 Pet 3:9 The Lord is … not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

For this Scripture to mesh with the abundance of Scripture proclaiming that ‘whoever will may come’, and ‘whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved’, it is obvious that even though God has predestined our adoption He has never overridden our choice as to whether or not that will actually happen.

It’s always been His plan, but whether or not it becomes our plan as well is left to our choice. Also it is incumbent (far too soft a word), upon us who have received this predestined adoption, to bring as many others as we can into the same state, through every means possible.

Some of our friends have imagined that Paul is saying that our acceptance of Christ was predestined, and, unfortunately, those who don’t accept Christ, was also predestined. This violation of Scripture voices arrogance from the ‘chosen’ and charges God, who is Love, with the severest of discriminations. The weak believer will wonder if they are part of the chosen few. The non-believer can only conclude God is diabolically prejudicial.

Ultimately, there can be no Day Of Judgement if we had no choice in the matter of our salvation. God would be evil to judge us for things He was fully aware that He made us do. To force someone to do something and then to judge them for that action is inconsistent with any notion of justice. His plans for people are His predestination. All of us have the chance to receive His magnificent plan for our lives and begin living it out.

I know there are always those who ask, ‘what about those who have never heard, to have the opportunity to choose?’ A more pertinent question may be ‘what are we doing who have the Word of Life?’ Should we not be sharing Christ, building the church, sending preachers, supporting broadcasts, television and radio, so that people who have never heard do have the opportunity to hear and believe.

See you in church (with a friend)