2008-06-26 - Piercing the Darkness
2 Peter 1:19 And so we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts. (NASB)
Ever been on a cave tour? Usually at one point during the tour the guide will ask everyone to stand still and be ready for the lights to be turned off. At 40 or 50 feet below ground the darkness is impressively profound. I raised my hand in front of my face and there would have been no way for me to know it was there other than it was my muscles moving my hand into position.
This world is a spiritually dark place to be sure. Truth is relative and everything politically correct will tell you what you must do or say to be right. There are some positive things that have come from this movement, but the idea that there is a way to always be correct in our human strength is not one of them. Believing that we can be good would be self-deception. Making someone else believe it would be dragging them down with us. Jesus clearly stated that there is no one good.
Matt 19:17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. (KJV)
We are told that the commandments are not able to be kept in our mortal ability (Matt 5:28-32). The world believes and continues to craft the standards so that mankind can be "good". Jesus railed against the Jewish leadership that was busy making money through the vendors in the temple's outer courtyard. He called them a brood of vipers and uttered seven condemnations against them. Again the rules were being clearly defined down to the minute levels that allowed a person to know they were good. Spitting on the Sabbath was not allowed because it might move some of the ground it struck and that would be digging a furrow, and therefore would be work. I somehow doubt that would be tolerated today. Darkness is tolerated because the truth is too hard to hear and even harder to follow.
God knows the hidden man of the heart. He knows our intentions and our motivations clearly. There is no hiding, and there will be no explaining things away when He asks us why we have done what we have done. Mercifully Jesus has provided His perfect mercy and grace. Through God's provision we can be made washed clean once and for all time. We can be sealed as His son or daughter. Having that light in our hearts usually generates a desire to know more about this new life.
The guide on the cave tour might turn on his flashlight while the other lights remain out. The resulting beam of light is a piercing, seemingly solid core of light that rips through the dark cavern. This is very much like the light of truth that God pours into our hearts when "day dawns". Once we understand this wonderful light in the dark place that was our old heart, we become mirrors of the light Jesus has shown to us that takes the light to other dark corners and hallways of this world. In order to best spread this light, we should understand it or we a poor mirror. If you're afraid you won't understand the Bible, try taking notes during Sunday service. Writing reinforces what we hear. It makes us focus on what is being said. Will you get everything out of each passage? Jesus will still be teaching us in eternity, so probably not or there would be nothing left to teach us. It's like walking on the beach and picking up sea shells. There are more in the ocean, but there are lots of good ones that are easy to get started collecting.
Learn to pierce the darkness.