Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Light of Christ

John 3:16-21
The Light of Christ

     “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the judgment, that the light is come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light; for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who practices the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.”

     Walking in the light of Christ! What an amazing contradiction of thoughts we have here. Jesus says that He did not come to judge the world but to save it. As Christians we often wrestle with the concept that we are not to judge our neighbor. Jesus did not come to judge and He is our example. However, His words and example bring a strong conviction and indeed a seemingly harsh judgment at times. As in the case of the rich young ruler. The man asked what he should do to inherit eternal life and Jesus gives him the commandments to follow and the young man says that he has kept them from his youth. Jesus then tells him that he must sell all he has and give it to the poor and come and follow Him. The young man leaves and Jesus does not pursue him with an easier alternative but rather uses him as an example of how hard it is for the rich to enter into Heaven. Judgment has been rendered because the man loved the darkness rather than the light. We must walk in the light and the light at times will feel like judgment both to us and those around us. In fact, the closer we walk according to the Light of Christ the more people will feel as if we are judging them because their deeds are exposed by the light. Those who become convicted by the light and repent will love us and those who become convicted and harden their hearts will hate us.
     I say these things that we might not be intimidated by speaking the truth in love. To speak the truth without love is to judge. To speak the truth with love is to save. The difference is our heart attitude. We must have love. We cannot speak the truth without it. Without love we speak the truth as with a dagger intended to hurt. With love we speak the truth that might hurt for a little while but leads to eternal blessing and peace. We need to understand how blessed we are to be able to walk in the light. It is the greatest gift from God!
     And what does it mean to walk in the light? It means that we have invited Jesus to come into our lives and remove every sin and selfish desire, and to willingly submit to His house-cleaning. It is incredibly hard to truly ask Him to do this because in our hearts we all know that we are holding on to things that He is going to tell us to let go of, and we hope that as long as we don’t look too closely, we will be able to keep them and just tell God when we arrive in Heaven that we weren’t very clear on some of His commandments. Let me give us a wake up call! If we aren’t willing to give things up for Jesus then we will be like the rich young ruler, unable to enter in because of unwillingness to part with our earthly comforts and pleasures. We must lay our lives completely open to Him and let Him remove the things we are holding back from Him, and only then will we truly be able to walk in the light, having nothing left to hide or hold on to. We must give all to Him not just the parts we feel we don’t need for our personal comfort. He asks for all and will not be content with less so I urge us to spend some time fasting and praying that we truly might let go of anything that He still must remove from us. Trust me when I say that once He has removed it He will replace it with something a hundred times better!
     So let me just encourage us to not hide from His Light but rather to come to His Light that our deeds may glorify our Heavenly Father Whom we love so dearly!       God bless!



18 comments:

  1. THOSE WORDS ARE REAL AND CLOSE TO MY HEART.
    THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS YOU TO.
    Lakissia 40 Ft Myers

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  2. HI Seth. I love the way you talk about Jesus. And I love the way you focus on Him being The Light of this world.
    How beautiful it is when we repent from our sins and feel Jesus IN our heart...when we turn from our sins and walk with Him and we know we are now pleasing Him.
    How wonderful it feels when we are with Him in this way.
    Claudette FL

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  3. Seth, I think for me this is your most powerful writing to date! It directly spoke to some things I am currently dealing with in my life--speaking the truth in love. Your words totally helped me grasp a very important truth. I have a friend who I love in Christ who has treated me cruelly on our last two visits. Rather than taking her verbal abuse, I need to confront her in God's love and say, "What is going on inside you, dear? I have treated you with love and kindness, bought you gifts and flowers on the loss of your loved one. Why are you lashing out at me?" That is frightening to me to do, but to tolerate her verbal abuse means I allow her to abuse the light of Christ in me. To not address the situation means I allow her to walk in ignorance and darkness in her heart. What is going on inside her? Is she mad at God for suddeningly taking her loved one? If she is honest with how she feels, God will forgive her. To not address the issue means she will continue to yell at me and think I am the problem by blaming me for the hurt inside her. I did not cause the loss. And neither, of course, did God. We live in a fallen world and God willl comfort our hearts when we are hurting if we come to Him honestly and tell Him we are hurting. We need some of God's Truth in this situation!! Thanks for listening to the voice of God, Seth. This was a brilliant teaching and blessed me enormously!! Lots of love you. your dad, and your dear family, Auntie Sue

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  4. Hi Aunt Sue. Don't know if you will be back in here to read this, but through what your saying about your personal experience and what Seth is saying, you both opened my eyes to how to treat people who may be mean to us,etc.and who may or may not walk in The Light, with Jesus.
    As for your friend who just lost a loved one and taking it out on you, if she "knows" Jesus, I beleive He is working with her. If she doesn't, I beleive she is on her own with no help from God. I beleive God only helps those who turn to Him...and that is the relationship He requires ....as a matter of fact, I think the whole Old Testament is based on that idea..."If only my people would turn to Me". Claudette Fl

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  5. Este la palabra de dios me gusta.
    Alberto

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    1. Transalted by Ana Ft Myers

      Alberto is saying ...God is good.

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  6. Dear Seth,

    I thank you again and again, as I feel I am reminded all the times of who I am as born again in CHRIST. One of my Nurse Colleagues recently planned a girls trip to the casino and invited me. This individual and I work very well together and had asked me to go two other times which I declined. Now she is able to get together a group of other people, with who I also work with. she asked me again on 03/02 and said "we are only going to have fun". I must admit this made me upset. I said to her and two other people nearby who heard. "That's not my lifestyle, and I have chosen something different for myself" I feel sorry for them, and was feeling hurt b/cause they can't see that I don't want to be part of their party crowd, but I do want to be friends with them.

    "Leaving some things behind " in order to sustain our relationship with CHRIST. There are so many things that can become an obstacle, and if we have no knowledge we will continue to hang on to them thinking there are worth it but in the end will only cause us to lose out on that peaceful and blessed relationship with our LORD and SAVIOR.

    When you pray always say a prayer for me, and my colleagues. I will pray for you the same.

    GOD's Blessings.

    Sophia, CT

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    1. Hi Sophia. I understand how you may feel about God's Word and casinos. Since I've been a Christian, 14 yrs, I have been to a casino maybe 3 times. As for me personally, I would go with your friends. I would go in wearing "loud" t-shirt that have Jesus or God messages on them. I would go with people who do not know The Lord, just so that I can do things like say Grace at dinners there...again, getting people to connect with God. I'd try to sit with real addicted gamblers,
      because I feel they know what it is like to loose everything, and may be in a position to reach out to a HELPER (Jesus).
      Also, there is "throwing of lots"(dice) in the bible. Again, this is just me and what I would do. As a matter of fact if I lived close to a casino,
      I think I would be there very often. I would walk with Jesus in there. Definetly. Claudette FL

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  7. Not just reading this passage I"ve learned about serving God, but believer enough to know that there is someone greater than anything that is willing to die in the cross to heal us all, someone very close to me told me let God be the driver and trust me it has worked I've seen so many good things happen, Believe in the lorda and his promise!!!! God bless you all!!

    Ana, cosmetologist and pharmacy technician 42year Fort Myers

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  8. This question is not meant to distract anyone from Seth's message on The Light Of Christ. It's one of my questions I've had for years about "Ecclesiastes" in the bible that I am aching for comments on.

    I see Solomon's mind in this book as mainly pessimistic...like he lost hope. He repeats the words, "Everything is meaningless under the sun", and everything is a "chasing after the wind." I didn't see this in proverbs and dont remember it in his love words in Song of Songs.

    Question - Am I the only one that feels Solomon has changed in attitude in Ecclesiastes???? Do you see him as having lost something...like "hope"...or something like that?

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  9. My sisters in Christ it is a pleasure to read your comment and I know that Jesus is the answer we need no matter what situation comes our way. He will be with us whatever anyone says to so just keep on trusting and praying for our love ones and the Lord is there and hears our patitions. Don't give up because He hasn't giving up on us.

    God Bless you All

    Carmella CT.

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  10. I know it is always a struggle to forget that I am in God's hands and that I should not worry about what I might have or what I don't have.

    Jane - Colorado

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  11. Carl's EmailMarch 4, 2014 at 5:57 PM

    I was asking a retired pastor today about my question above on Ecclesiastes. He emailed me back saying:
    "My feeling about the Book of Ecclesiastes is pretty much what I shared as we talked.... namely, that the Philosopher or Teacher or Preacher, as he calls himself, (depending on which translation you read) Is that he seems to be having a bad day ... or several of them ... and is reflecting of how he is feeling at that time. I don't know that it is intended so much as a Biblical description of how life IS so much as it is an expression of how it SEEMS to the writer at the time. It might be helpful to remember that this was written before the idea of everlasting life came into real Jewish thought in much detail ... that was a recognition that grew out of the growing faith in a loving God and the recognition the if we can have fellowship with God in this life, since God is eternal, then perhaps that relationship partakes of eternity as well. That "perhaps' became more firm over the years and culminated in faith in Christ. In the Old Testament, we get only a few 'hints" at life beyond this one, unlike the expressions in the New Testament. Perhaps one of the messages in this book is that God is with us even when we feel like the writer of this book. I also find more meaning in a passage like Ecclesiastes 9:11 in the face of some of life's tragedies than I do in some expressions like "it is God's will" when those kind of those things happen (Like the Twin Towers on September 11, 2000....).

    Peace,

    Carl

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  12. Hi Sophia.
    I did pray for you and your friends this morning within our 7:00 am prayer meet. I also prayed for Seth and his outreach messages and for Pierre, Tatiana, Pierre's friend, Lakisha, YOU, Aunt Sue and friend who lost loved one,Alberto, Ana, Ana, Carmella,SETH, and Carl(retired pastor).
    I try to pray by name because in the bible it says God knows us BY NAME.
    I hope I did not offend you at all in my "Just Me" comment. It was really meant as a "just me" comment...something I personally would do...and may not be what God would want you personally to do.
    Claudette FL

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  13. Powerful words of understanding and enlightenment. Made me conscious to my own bagage that maybe holding me back from surrendering my whole self to the Lord. I believe this passage was a message sent to me by a divine power to help me move to the next level in Christ. I intend to allow it to sink in my mind & soul.
    Lakiesha M. 26 Ft.Myers

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  14. Whats a powerful msg. I know thats God is the light of my path. nd i just hope u continue to blessed other with your message. and God bless, Betty, 33 Lehigh Acres

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  15. When I read a comment like Lakiesha regarding "surrendering" her life to The Lord, I see that as most beautiful and brings tears to my eyes...

    And when I read comments like Betty...on how powerful Seth's messages are
    ...that too, is very beautiful to me because it means the commenter felt the "Magnificense" of God.

    Claudette FL

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  16. We all should try to walk in the light

    We all need to walk in the light even in hard hard times jesus knows every heart if u are down he will send someone urway to bring u up it is up to you accept it or to turn away

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