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<< Encouragement for Today

Encouragement for Today - December 20, 2005

  • 2005 Dec 20
  • COMMENTS

 

12/20/05

Encouragement for Today

(Principle #1)

 

“Let There Be L.I.G.H.T.” 

Van Walton, Director of Spanish Ministries, Proverbs 31 Speaker Team Member

 

Key Verse:

2 Peter 1:19, “Because of that, we have even greater confidence in the message proclaimed by the prophets. Pay close attention to what they wrote, for their words are like a light shining in a dark place – until the day Christ appears and his brilliant light shines in your hearts.” (NLT)

 

Devotion:

When the war broke out in Iraq, Americans watched firsthand observing our soldiers in combat because of the journalists who were imbedded in the military.  We witnessed military duty inside tanks while they rolled down dusty highways. We watched in suspense as soldiers scouted out abandoned neighborhoods, stealthily creeping into dark hallways. We heard broken communication between English and Arabic while looking into the frustrated faces of those who sought to communicate. The imbedded journalists put themselves in harm’s way.  They added new dimension to the news, making it more believable.   It seems that the imbedded reporter was a new type of soldier, one with an honored title much like general, major or lieutenant.

 

Imbedded journalists changed the way we saw the war. They reported from within our armed forces where they observed the battle, exposed the enemy’s tactics, gave true accounts of the military’s progress, and interviewed the commanders.  They sought to understand the victory plan.  I have to say that this new strategy worked with me. Whenever I heard the word, “imbedded” on the news, I stopped all activity to get firsthand stories. Not only was my attention peaked, I developed a sense of awe and esteem for the imbedded journalists.  Whoever developed this idea had a great strategy.

 

However brilliant the plans were to locate correspondents in the center of the battle, this wasn’t an original plan!

 

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. And the earth was formless and void and darkness was over the surface of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. Then God said, ‘Let there be light’, and there was light.” (Genesis 1:1-3, NIV)

 

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being by him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it” (John 1:1-4, NIV).

From the beginning of creation when Eve first sinned, God, in His tender love, set about with a victory plan to free His children from their bondage.  The Father’s strategy included imbedding His Word in every heart. He did this by commissioning parents to teach their children. In Deuteronomy 11:18-19, God commanded, “You shall therefore impress these words of mine on your heart and on your soul…You shall teach them to your sons, talking of them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road and when you lie down and when you rise up… so that your days and the days of your sons may be multiplied on the land which the LORD swore to your fathers to give them, as long as the heavens remain above the earth.”  “These words of mine” were not only God’s Ten Commandments, they are the Good News that Jesus brought to earth when He came that first Christmas: headline news that is worthy of reading over and over: 

   THE BATTLE IS WON!

 

The ultimate battle for the souls of all reached a new level

when God sent His Word to earth and imbedded His Message

in the hearts of common men and women. They became

soldiers of the cross, believing in the significance of Jesus’

sacrificial life. He spoke to Hebrews, Romans, Jews, Gentiles,

priests and governors. The Son of God was right here,

imbedded, not in an army tank, nor in an urban battle zone,

but on a cross and in the hearts of those who believed. He

died, was buried in a grave, he rose from the dead, and after

giving His report, He joined the Father in heaven. Even though

His work was finished 2000 years ago, He lives imbedded in

our hearts. There He will remain until He removes His own from

the battle zone and takes them to a place of everlasting protection,

a place He prepares even as this news is being delivered.    

 

 

God said, “Let there be light.” God’s plan to bring liberty to His creation through His Son, unfolded throughout eternity and became a reality at Christmas. The sinful state of humanity required release from captivity. God’s war plan included His original idea, that of imbedding news in the midst of combat, placing the Good News in the center of the greatest war ever recorded – the spiritual battle for life. His was, and is, “Operation L.I.G.H.T.” – Liberty Imbedded in God’s Holy Treasure.

 

Did you know that God says you are His treasure? In Deuteronomy 26:18, He refers to His children as His treasured possession. He not only values you, but He has high expectations for you. He sees you as holy! Ephesians 1:4 and 1 Peter 1:15-16 challenge the believer to be holy.

 

If you and your household are God’s holy treasure, then God is your Protector, and He has a message for you. Jesus is the embedded journalist in our daily skirmishes. He walks beside you and me pointing out the conflict. He directs us to the Word of God, pouring Scripture over our hearts so we can see our encounters for what they are. As we become wise to the ways of this world, we, in turn, lead our children to Truth. God’s Truth reveals our enemy, describing him and naming him so we won’t be surprised by his attacks. Our familiarity with the Bible gives us strength and power to arm ourselves against our foe.  Access to past records of God’s victories gives confidence when we read, “He has brought me to his banquet hall, and his banner over me is love” (Song of Solomon 2:4).  I know the victory plan. It is love. It is love in the form of the Word become flesh – Jesus, the Light of the world.

 

Do you have a battle plan for your family?  It is never too late to invite Jesus into your home and introduce Him to your children.

 

My Prayer for Today:

Jesus, You are the Light of the world. I invite You to light up every aspect of my life. Expose my sin, deliver me from the evil one, always remind me of God’s plan for my life, and keep me ever focused on You, the mighty Victor.  I ask these things in Your Name, Amen.

 

Application Steps: 

During this season of LIGHT invite the Light of the world, Jesus Christ to be the central focus in your home.

 

Jesus is the Light of the world. Use your concordance or an internet Bible study tool to find every reference in the Bible to ‘light’. Share these verses each evening as you enjoy the sparkling lights that decorate your home.

 

Reflection Points:         

Is Jesus’ presence welcome in your home?

 

How does your family practice the presence of God’s Son in your midst?

 

Are you aware that God’s children face daily spiritual battles, trials and tribulations that can only be conquered through an understanding of Jesus’ Word and God’s plan for His Son to reign in our lives?

 

Is Christ imbedded in your home giving you a report of His Father’s plan for your family? 

                    

Power Verses:

Psalm 27:1, “The LORD is my light and my salvation – so why should I be afraid? The LORD protects me from danger-- so why should I tremble?”  (NLT)

Luke 2:32,He is a light to reveal God to the nations, and he is the glory of your people Israel!" (NLT)

Acts 13:47,For so the Lord has commanded us, saying, ‘I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.'" (ESV)

2 Corinthians 4:7, “But this precious treasure--this light and power that now shine within us--is held in perishable containers, that is, in our weak bodies. So everyone can see that our glorious power is from God and is not our own.” (NLT)

1 John 1:5, “This is the message he has given us to announce to you: God is light and there is no darkness in him at all.” (NASB)

 

Additional Resources:

Celebrating a Christ-Centered Christmas, by Sharon Jaynes

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/newresources_christCenteredChristmas.htm

 

The Christmas Story: Experiencing the Most Wonderful Story Ever Told, by G.A. Myers

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/newresources_christmasStory.htm

 

Radically Obedient, Radically Blessed, by Lysa TerKeurst

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/newresources_radicallyObedient.htm

 

 

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