Saturday, January 07, 2006

Christ Overcomes the Darkness

The spiritual battles we face here in America and in the Holy Land of Israel sometimes cannot help but spill over into our lives and attempt to kill, steal and destroy the joy we have in the Lord.

One sermon message that I had previously posted here at the blog called "Christmas Light," goes into the distress, doubt, and depression that can creep into our lives when the dark days come.

"...There is only darkness everywhere." laments the Psalmist in 22:1.

But Jesus overcomes that darkness EVERY time for He has overcome the world. He is true and faithful no matter what happens in our lives.

He encourages us!

He guides us!

When we stay focused on His Word, we experience:

Phil. 4:13 - "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

John 8:12 - "Jesus said, I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in darkness, but will have the Light of life."

Psalm 23:4 - "Even though I go through the deepest darkness, I will not be afraid, Lord, for you are with me."

When Christ takes residence in our hearts:

"...the darkness in our lives disappears and the new light of life in Christ shines in." 1 John 2:8

God can shine the Light of His majesty and pierce the darkness in our past to bring about:

"The light produces in people all that is good and right and true." Ephesians 5:9

The world tells us:

Be somebody. Have something to do.

God tells us:

You are somebody. Do something.

Our life in Christ changes us both on the inside and out. We see things in the light and power of His righteousness and we are given the mercy and grace through Jesus who changes us for the better... forever because of it.

What a great, powerful and awesome Savior we love and serve!


(Today's post is dedicated to my friend Susan Smith in Jerusalem.)


Susan Smith said...

AMEN! Thank you, Christine. I went to your December Archives and reread "Christmas Light".

However, I am not "somebody" and I get into deep spiritual trouble when I begin to think or believe I am somebody. Nothing good dwells in my flesh (see ROM 7:18). I receive nothing unless it is given to me from heaven (see JOH 3:27). I can do nothing of myself (see JOH 5:19). Without Jesus the Messiah, I can do nothing (see JOH 15:5).

A great desire in my life is to daily confess and believe with no doubt in my heart Galatians 2:20. "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." (NIV)

If I am “somebody”, then Christ died for nothing (see GAL 2:21).

We cannot imagine the things God has prepared for us when we love Him (see 1CO 2:9). I never imagined when I moved to Israel in 2002 that the Lord of hosts, the Mighty One of Israel would use some lady on the West Coast of the United States to bless my life and minister to my deepest needs with words only He can provide. Thank you for having ears to hear, for seeking the Lord with all your heart, for being an obedient servant and for being my friend. Much love to my “little” sister in Christ on the West Coast from a thankful servant in Jerusalem. (ss)

Christinewjc said...

Yes Susan, you are correct. Thank you for sharing what you did in order for me to clarify those words. Our flesh counts for nothing. We are only "somebody" when Christ dwells within our hearts. That is what was meant by my pastor when he stated, "You are somebody. Do something."

2 Corinthians 5:20 - Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech [you] by us: we pray [you] in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.

Perhaps the better word to use would have been, "someone." Pastor was talking about our souls when rescued by Christ, not the flesh (nor fleshly desires which is what the world values). Thus, we see Galatians 2:20. "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." (NIV)

Christ ministers to me through your heart too, Susan. Isn't that an amazing thing? No bond is stronger than the one we have with our Savior! Sharing his love with other Christians and preaching his offer of redemption and salvation is the greatest joy on this earth! Those who do not know Christ cannot possibly understand. They ridicule and mock and claim that they don't need him. I have met many people who debate me on message boards and other blogs who do just that. But occasionally, a gospel seed planted by a believer gets through. It may take years, but finding out that Christ has succeeded through "knocking on the door of a nonbelievers heart" and that person is now experiencing Christ going to work within his/her life is an awesome thing!

No one can boast about saving another person. No one can boast about ministering to another person either. For it is Christ in us that enables us to reach others. We must always remember that:

Without Jesus the Messiah, I can do nothing (see JOH 15:5).

Hebrews 13:27 - Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom [be] glory for ever and ever. Amen.

We see this so clearly on Straight Talk radio. Stephen & Irene have a great ministry that is now reaching thousands more because of their new radio show. The guests and their testimonies have shown the evidence of Christ working in their lives. It is not something a person can fake. True believers see through that immediately. Notice how Stephen & Irene always give the glory to God for any and all accomplishments. Despite the personal attacks that they receive on a daily basis because of what the world's fleshly desires would regard as a "politically incorrect" message of hope for the homosexual, they don't let it stop them from sharing the truth amidst much hostile opposition. That is faith in action!

1 Peter 3:16 - Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.

We came from totally different and I. Yet, we have our Savior and Lord and His Word in common now. All of the previous opposition (so to speak) that could have kept us from being friends has fallen by the wayside and we are sisters and friends in Christ. That's the beauty of setting aside the self on the throne of our lives and placing Jesus Christ there. He is a fabulous Lord!

Philippians 1:27 - Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;

Philippians 1:28 - And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God.

In Him and much love to you -

Anna said...

Hi Christine!

Your "do something" resonated with me. Jesus always equipped and sent them out to do something. He instructed the disciples to "go." We do something in response to His command and by His enabling power.

Yup! Christianity is definitely filled with action verbs as opposed to passive verbs.