A Partnership Well Lit

“This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.” (1 John 1:5-7)

When I was a kid, not that long ago, maybe just a few yesterday’s past, I was afraid of the dark. My bedroom was on the top floor of a three story house in the far corner room filled with my childhood treasures and growing dreams of being a cowboy. But the night would come and the wind flowing through the valley we lived in would cause the old wood frame house to creak and crack making noises that arose the imagination of monsters beneath the bed or lurking in the closet. Oh how I hated the call to have to go to the outhouse where the wildest of animals hunted the little ones such as me. I don’t know if I grew braver as I grew older, or maybe I just came to realize the silliness of dangers that my imagination created or maybe I just took comfort from the night light that my parents placed in my room.

As I grew into my teenage years I began to enjoy the freedoms of independence that my parents afforded to me. Especially Friday nights when I could hang with the older kids and get involved in the activities of the night. I became Tom instead of Tommy, I became myself rather than the child of my parents. I became involved with kids doing things my parents would never have approved of. They were so old fashioned. Back then the thought never crossed my mind that they too had experienced the things I was doing and knew the outcome that would befall me. I liked the cover of the darkness. Where once I was afraid of the dark now it had become my security.

When you travel in the dark unrestrained by the moral code that your parents had taught it is only a matter of time before the blue lights in the rear view produce the red flags of the ones who have authority over you. If you are smart you will get back in line and live in the way that you know is right. If you are foolish, as yours truly, you will find your way into the false cover of the night until you finally stumble into the pit and find there is no way for you to get out. If you are fortunate you will compose your thoughts and search for the night light that your parents placed in your room. I found that light. I had to search for it as I had buried it beneath a mountain of stuff that I had collected over the years. I had piled all that useless stuff on top of the light but that night light was not the light I found, it was the Bible my Father had bought me. It had a book mark in it and I went there first and read. “In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man.” (John 1:4, 9)

There are many in the world who like me loved the darkness and would much rather be in that darkness than in the full light. I am not so much talking about running around in the night as much as I am saying that people love to be deceptive. Many people apply deceptive measures in their dealings with their family, with other people, in their work practices, and in their play. We hear news of it all the time and we see it. The morals of our society have fallen so far down that these people no longer need to hide their evil practices in the darkness, yet it is still darkness. They are people who have forsaken the mores that our society was built upon. The foundation of our U. S. Constitution was framed by the principles found in the Scriptures. We have turned away from God and taken Him out of our open and free society. He is the light, He is the truth and we have by our on acts or apathy have placed our culture into the darkness of the ruler of this world. I ask, who is the father of our society now? “You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. “But because I speak the truth, you do not believe Me.” (John 8:44-45)

Jesus is the One who gives us life, He is the Word of God, (John 1:1) and Jesus is the truth and His truth gives us life. As Peter testified, “Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life.” (John 6:68) Since the fall in the Garden man has loved the darkness rather than the light. Man has basically felt that he is in control and can work out the solutions to all the problems of life. What power does man have to overcome the Devil? The Devil is a superior being to man, he is a fallen angel, and we have no power over him save the protection of God. What power does man have over himself? There are the exceptional few who accomplish much good but their vision is worldly and what seems right to them will lead to their own destruction. (Proverbs 16:25) Why would I follow a man who has only worldly vision when I can follow the Lord Jesus whose vision is eternal? There is only one God and there is only one light and that true light leads to eternal life. “Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.” (John 8:12)

There is an old story of a man who was hungry and was looking for someone to feed him. This hungry man was walking along the riverside when he saw another man fishing who had a string of caught fish. He approached the man and asked him for a fish that he could eat. The man who was fishing refused the request of the hungry man. The fisherman explained that if he gave the hungry man a fish he would only have a meal for the day. The hungry man with a look of desperation said to the fisherman what am I supposed to do? The fisherman said pick up this other fishing pole and I will teach you to fish and you shall eat every day.

Our walk of faith with Jesus is a partnership. He has given us life and body and we give it back to Him that He can live through us abundantly. We seek Him daily and follow Him in obedience and He will provide our needs. We follow Jesus, He does not push us, we chose to go where He goes, do what He does, and speak what He says. He has prepared the path before us and if we follow Him our path will lead us to the destination of our hope, the Heavenly Kingdom. This is a true and rewarding fellowship. It is not a walk in the darkness filled with confusion and stumbling. His words are the light that guides our way. “Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.” (Psalm 119:105) We are never alone as He will never forsake us and His body the Church is always in support of us. “What we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ.” (1 John 1:3)

The Word of Jesus guides my path but what He has done for me out of His love for me has assured the victory that I have through Him. In that while I was still in love with the darkness of my life he set me free out of His love. “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8) All that I have crammed into my little head since the day that I was hiding beneath the covers in my darkened room in the spooky night has brought me nothing as great as the freedom I have through Jesus Christ. The only way that I will be with the Father who has created me and living in the home I was created to life in is the acceptance of the truth that Jesus died for me. “For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.” (1 Corinthians 2:2) He has bought me with the price of His blood. He is the only one worthy and able to forgive the sins I have committed and He is the only one who can cast stones. Jesus paid the price that all can be redeemed from this world. “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace” (Ephesians 1:7)

We must keep our light shining brightly as upon a hill that all may see. There is someone searching out there in the dark for that light. I was one day and so where you and someone is counting on us to carry that light to them. Then we too, through the power of our Lord, can open the eyes of the blind, cause the lame to walk, and heal the sickness in their spirit. What then is a key to keeping our light well lit? Our love for the Lord and our love for each other. “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality.” (Romans 12:10-13)

Thomas N Kirkpatrick

Pleasant Manor May 30, 2015

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