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The spiritual discipline of reading Scripture, or doing devotions, is a major influence on how we grow. 2 Timothy tells us that Scripture is profitable for teaching, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness.
As Christians, we want to emulate Jesus, but why is it that so often we don’t act the way he would? The solution to this problem is in our identity and our training. Peter tells us that we have been given a new identity by the righteousness of Jesus Christ. Because of our new identity, we are encouraged to practice new habits.
Exodus 3:13-15 Acts 2:1-4 2 Corinthians 4:5-7 Ephesians 5:1-13 Ephesians 5:13-21 Numbers 6:24
It’s Christmas Eve. We celebrate the coming of the Light of the World in Jesus.
Jesus is the light of the world. As His followers, we are also called salt and light. Just as the children’s song says, we need to let our light shine in the darkness of this world.
The light of God’s word brings safety. it can keep us from falling, but it also tells us how to get back up if we do fall. It also gives guidance, enabling us to navigate this world. It also provides illumination as the Holy Spirit reveals wisdom in a way that is unique to each of us.
Light brings a feeling of warmth. Even when it is cold outside, the sight of the sun can bring a feeling of warmth with it. Jesus is the Light of the world. He does not reflect the light like the moon does. He is the source of light like the sun!
When the days are short, and it is the darkest time of the year, we do something interesting: we light everything up! God also brought light into the darkness in creation. He brought light forth simply by His word. The word of God is powerful, and the scale of His creation is immense. But He still wants to be involved in the smallest details in each of our lives. He wants to be able to exercise His creating power in our lives.
Quite often we get the feeling of joy and gratitude in reverse order. We think that if we are feeling joy that it will make us grateful. This is backwards. We need to be grateful first, no matter the circumstances, and the feelings of joy will follow.
Humans tend to notice the bad over the good. We tend to focus on the negative far more than the positive. We have all experience one negative word drowning out many positive words. Why is that? And how can we change our hearts so the negative doesn’t outweigh the positive as much?
As Christians, we also have the opportunity to go public before authority figures. It is important to remember that authorities have been placed in the positions they have by God. We must therefore show proper honor and respect, regardless of whether we feel they deserve it or not.
There is a great temptation, because it is so easy, to design our lives so we have as little contact as possible with those who do not share our faith. As Christians, we often need to make a conscious effort to bring those who would not call themselves Christians into our sphere of influence. This week gives us some tips on how to do just that.