Sunday, June 15, 2014

A Confident Hope Illuminates A Dark Heart

Isn’t it nice when you know you can trust something to work? For instance, when you go to sit down at the table for dinner, you pull out the chair and you sit in it because you’re confident that it’s going to do its job and support you.  You don’t pull out the chair, examine the structure and then sit in it carefully, not sure if it will work or not, do you?  You’re confident that it will do its job.  Let’s have the same confidence that God will do His job.

We wrote last week that hope will get you to the light at the end of the tunnel you’re in.  Feeling hopeless can be crushing emotionally and physically.  If you have ever dealt with depression, you know the feelings of hopelessness and the darkness that it brings.  Some have even craved the darkness over the light, because darkness covers the things we want to hide, while the light exposes them, but the light is where you will find hope to begin anew.

How do you get out of the darkness and into the light?
  • ·         Read Scripture
  • ·         Pray
  • ·         Worship
  • ·         Serve

Notice that none of those four items are self-serving.  It takes discipline to take time out of your day to read scripture and pray.  You might even have to set your alarm clock 30 minutes earlier to find the time, but it will guide you to the light.  These two activities will develop your relationship with God, because this is how you get to know Him.  Listening to a pastor every week is wonderful and beneficial, but that pastor cannot develop YOUR personal relationship with Christ. 

Worship can be done through song, it can be done through speech, or in a myriad of ways, but the common denominator with worship is that you are putting yourself lower than God and acknowledging His mighty presence and power, and praising Him for it!  By getting to know God and understanding that He took our sins and washed them away is powerful.  Worship Him because He loves you! Know that He isn’t mad at you, but instead wants to bless us as joint heirs in His kingdom.  This realization can change your world.

How did that ever happen?  How did we become so fortunate?  At some time, you were drawn to the light.  The initial light might have come from a sermon, a song on the radio, or in an example set by someone.  The light of God wants to draw you in out of the darkness, and He will use whatever He has to in order to get our attention.

We definitely get closer to God through the previous items mentioned, but serving is the fourth leg of the chair.  When you serve other people, God shows you about your own selfishness, materialism and comfort seeking, exposing some of the things that we should work on to become more Christ-like.  A correlation could be made that similar to the eye being the lamp of the body, so is the heart, and serving certainly illuminates the heart.

Michele shares this thought, “Who have I been a light for lately?  I feel I have planted seeds in people, but am I continually shining the light of Jesus so that others may see and want that love relationship with Him?”…

Let’s all strive to shine a confident light that draws others in out of the darkness, and spread some hope around.

Passages to Ponder:
Ephesians 1:18- I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope He has given to those He called- His holy people who are His rich and glorious inheritance.

Philippians 1:9- I pray that your love with overflow more and more, ad that yu will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding.
Luke 11:36- 
If you are filled with light, with no dark corners, then your whole life will be radiant, as though a floodlight were filling you with light.

Contributors:  Karen Bromby, Kathy Derda, Michele Killion and Kim McClure

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