August 18, 2016
Are you afraid of the dark? You should be. I’m not talking about what happens when the sun goes down or when a light switch is turned off. I’m talking about the darkness of sin and the satanic evil around us. Satan has no love for you and only wants your destruction. “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” 1 Peter 5:8. Oh yes, the devil looks for every opportunity to stumble you and keep you from living in the joy of the Lord, but he is no match for Jesus. Christians may have to fight daily battles, but Jesus fought the war and won victory for us. We need to make the choice to walk in the light or stumble in darkness. Too often we ignore the power within us and try to fight these battles on our own. Christians are sealed with the Holy Spirit and He lives within each of us. “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world.” 1 John 4:4. Study your Bible to understand the power of God, and learn to follow His lead. Let God’s word light your path and the darkness will flee.
King David knew the truth of God’s power and he relied on God’s strength many times during his lifetime. “[[A Psalm of David.]] The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” Psalm 27:1. David lived many centuries before Jesus walked the streets of Jerusalem, but he knew where his salvation and strength came from. Because he trusted the LORD he was able to courageously face Goliath and win the victory, he was able to walk through the valley of the shadow of death fearing no evil, and he faithfully reigned as God’s chosen king over Israel. Every one of the Psalms, whether written by David or someone else, points us to God. “… Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Psalms 119:105. God’s word is a light for Christians. It will light up the path of righteousness and show us that narrow road that leads to life. Many Christians today neglect to study the Bible and their life is mostly filled with unhappiness, turmoil, and darkness. It’s easy to fall into sin when you don’t use God’s word as the lamp that lights your path.
In times past it wasn’t as easy to study God’s word. David couldn’t just pick up a Bible from his coffee table, or even download an app on his phone. He didn’t even have the entire Bible available like we have today. When he was a young man sitting in the field watching over the sheep he had no way to flip through the pages of the Torah and learn of God. Yet, David knew God and loved Him. Why is it that so many Christians neglect or ignore God’s word? Could it be that if they study the Bible they may be convicted of sin? Do they love sin more than they love God? “He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.” 1 John 3:8. That makes you think, doesn’t it? If you love your sin so much, maybe you really haven’t truly accepted Christ and are still owned by the devil. While we live on this side of Heaven we will always struggle against sin and the powers of darkness, but if you love God you’ll desire to please Him. His word is your guide. “This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: but if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” 1 John 1:5-7. Fellowship with other Christians is important, but fellowship with God is essential. If you’re walking in darkness then you’re not in fellowship with Jesus or with other Christians. It’s easy to get out of the habit of reading your Bible, and when your path isn’t lit by God’s word you walk in darkness and it’s easy to embrace sin.
Jesus chose to enter His creation and restore fellowship between God and man. That fellowship had been lost when Adam sinned and what a mess that made. Satan thought he had won but God had a perfect plan. First He judged the sin of that day and all but eight people perished in the flood. Then, when the time was right, He chose the Israelites to receive the Law and to be the ones to bring the Messiah into the fallen world. “For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” John 1:17. Today we have the blessing of God’s grace through faith in the shed blood of Jesus Christ as the only atonement for our sin. By accepting that sacrifice we move from the darkness of the Satan-owned world into the Light of salvation. “In him was life; and the life was thelight of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.” John 1:4-5. Don’t ever take the Sacrifice of Jesus on the cross for granted. The free gift of salvation that’s available to us came at a great cost to Him. Pride caused Satan to rebel against God, which brought about the fall of man. It was God’s pure love for us that caused Him to enter His creation and purchase our redemption on the cross. Study God’s word and allow it to light your path and you’ll come to be very thankful for God’s love for you. The Old Testament is full of prophecy foretelling the suffering that Jesus would face, but His love for you and me compelled Him to go to the cross. Show your gratitude by choosing to live in the light of His love.
Christians are a special group of people. “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.” 1 Peter 2:9-10. No matter where we live, when we are in Christ we are a part of that peculiar group of people, which means we are a purchased possession of His…He bought us with His blood. He called us out of the darkness of this world. He sacrificed His life for us. Through Him we have obtained mercy instead of condemnation. If you claim to have accepted His blood sacrifice for redemption, then live unashamed for Him. Walk with Him in the light instead of following Satan along the paths of darkness. “For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:” Ephesians 5:8. Following Christ is a choice and it comes with responsibility. When you choose to follow Him, persecution will quite often come your way. If keeping friends, listening to ungodly music, or watching a rerun of some worldly television show is more important than following Christ, then you’re making wrong choices. By choosing worldly ways you’re choosing to walk in darkness instead of allowing God’s light to guide you. Life on this earth is temporary, but your choices here and now will determine your eternal location. Ask Christ into your life, then allow His word to light your path. “Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: in whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:” Colossians 1:13-14. He loves you. He died for you. Be a living sacrifice for Him.
When people around you know you’re a Christian they’ll watch you closely. Some will try to make you stumble and others will just laugh. Don’t be ashamed of following Christ and living that faith rather than stumbling around in darkness. When a Christian fails people see the failure and are sure to point it out. You will stumble less if you separate yourself from the darkness around you and live in the light of Christ. “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16. Let everything you do glorify God. If you walk in His light, you just might make a difference in the life of someone close to you.
I challenge everyone who reads this commentary to take a few minutes each day to read your Bible. Download a Bible app onto your phone and read Scripture while you’re sitting at a bus stop or waiting to see a doctor. Wake up a little earlier in the morning and read a few verses, then apply them to your life. You might be surprised at how your life will be changed for the better. Your actions will be guided by God’s word and you’ll become that light shining in a dark place.
“… Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Psalms 119:105. Choose to let God’s word light your path.
God bless you all,
Ron Graham’s previous commentaries archived at http://www.raptureready.com/featured/graham/graham.html
All original scripture is “theopneustos” God breathed.