Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Light in the Dark

"Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God." John 3:18-21 NIV

We were spring cleaning our house before we left to go help out my parents for a few weeks. We made our way through the kitchen and dining room getting down and dirty, scrubbing places that may have never been scrubbed. Then my husband pulled out the stove. Now behind the stove is a very dark place, it never sees the light of day or the brightness of the electric lamp in the ceiling.

When the rest of the kitchen is clean, you don't think about what it looks like back there, afterall its dark and no one sees it, but it's still there. When we pulled out the stove we found mouse dropping, cat toys (we don't even have a cat), dust, dirt, food remnants, oven mitts (that I had forgotten fell back there). It was gross! If i looked back there with no light, I would never have known all this was back there and I couldn't have cleaned it. I needed the light to shine back there and show me how dirty it was.

In John 3, after probably one of the most memorized verses (John 3:16) Jesus explains how light affects darkness. Sin, doing evil, is compared to darkness. Jesus tells us that those who do not know God are in darkness. They are sinning and they like it, afterall don't forget that sin feels good when we do it, hence the struggle. People who are without Jesus don't want to be exposed to the light, to see why what they are dong is wrong. After all there is no sin to a nonbeliever.

Jesus then tells us what the light will do for those who love the light. It exposes, yes our sin, but also how God has come into our lives and transformed it and molded it to be more like him. To those who believe the light of the truth is good, it helps us grow and become more Christ-like.

Sometimes in our walks we meet people who are in the dark, they don't know Christ, they don't know that they are in sin. We are to be Christ's light to them. Now this doesn't mean exposing them and judging them and calling them out on sin that they do not even know the concept of. Sometimes just loving them and being their friend at first is enough. It has been my experience that doing this has one of tow outcomes.

1) The friend looks at my life and realizes something is different and starts to question, this is where some really good conversation and opportunities to share the gospel come from.

2) The person shys away or rejects the friendship- I think that this relates back to the passage in John. Sometimes seeing what we do in our lives-whether it be that we don't live with our boyfriends or we give money to the church and stick to a budget, or we don't go out get drunk-they feel like perhaps their choices are being put i
n the spotlight, light is being shone upon them. Now I don't mean this is done by us intentionally, but just us living out our lives . This can be hard, but so far I've found to just be sensitive and pursue their friendship in love so that the person is not defensive and to pray that the Holy Spirit would soften their heart toward the truth. Then once we build a relationship, they may become comfortable enough with us that we can reach out with the gospel in love.

I pray that if you are experiencing the second, that you would be strengthened and that God would work in the heart of these kinds of friends.

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