Monday, December 19, 2011


Romans 1:16 - I am not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes.

So, I've been suggesting in my own way the need, the desire, the truth of knowing Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. And what better time of year than Christmas, where 2000 years ago a baby was born in a stable, with lowing cattle and fuzzy sheep. He lay in a feeding trough on straw. A humble birth, to say the least. And He is to become our soon coming King. From humbleness to royalty. A match literally made in heaven.

So, what I've been proclaiming these years of blogging is this very thing: that Jesus is the only Way, Truth and LIFE. We cannot assume that just by knowing about Him or hearing about Him when we attend (if we do) that we really know Him. It takes much more commitment than that or someday when we think we have it made and are on our way to "a better place," we will be wondering who turned the heat up!

If you're a sports fan and in particular football, there's a lot being said these days about Tim Tebow. Yeah, that guy who wears His Christianity openly, like under his eyes and in his actions. He is proclaiming Christ...and outwardly lives it. Everyone will know where he stands with his relationship with Jesus Christ, even if he is criticized...and maybe told to stop. Tebow is all about honoring God.

I'm sure there are many reactions to Tebow's display of Christ. He believes that football is not the center of life, but God is. As it should be. If Jesus is not the center, we have missed the proverbial mark, which defined in biblical terms is SIN! Too extreme? Not according to God.

Here's a Tebow quote that basically says it all:  I don't know what my future holds, but I know who holds my future, and that, folks, is what it's all about. Our future means nothing without a relationship with Jesus Christ. 

This weekend Tebow (as well as Aaron Rodgers) lost his longstanding winning streak. Does it mean God has let him down? Not at all. It’s the reaction to losing that counts. If Tim Tebow continues to praise God, he’s doing God’s will.

In an article by Pastor James Robison he writes: This is why every one of us needs the perfect example of the One who has captured Tim Tebow’s heart and the One he has chosen to follow: Jesus Christ. He alone can lift us beyond our weaknesses and hold us in the loving, forgiving arms we all need.

I may not yet show this side of me outwardly, but know in my heart it's how I feel. God is not done with me. There is a voice inside wanting to be heard and confronted. My blog for now is my voice. But if confronted, I will speak up. 

There is truth in this relationship over religion thing. Through relationships we get to knowing someone. I can't read about Tim Tebow and say I know him personally. You can't just read about Jesus to say you know Him. You need to receive Him into your life and heart and He will make the Words written about Him come to life. 

Webster's defines religion as belief in and worship of God or gods; a specific system of belief, worship. It’s centered around laws, keeping them as best as possible...working at them. And they are impossible to keep in our own strength. Our focus is to be on Jesus Christ and the works He did. In other words putting my faith in His finished works, not obeying a set of rules. Receive Christ and give your life to Him and He will work through you to transform you.

Mark 8:38 - For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels. 

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Ears to Hear

Revelation 13:9-10 - If anyone has an ear, let him hear. He who leads into captivity shall go into captivity; he who kills with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.

“God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains; it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” - C.S. Lewis in “The Problem of Pain.”

I heard this quote on the radio the other day. It's so true.

It's a busy time of year and although I didn't think I was getting wrapped up in the busyness of the season, I really have been. Last minute shopping, parties, dinners, gift wrapping,
Christmas cards, caroling, church activities. Unless the busyness is church related it's easy to forget the important thing this season brings...the celebration of the birth of Christ. 

I'm so thankful we are still able to speak and write about Jesus, although there are some who are working to take that privilege away from us...any mention of Christmas, any semblance of this the most important holiday of the year for many people. Just a bit of melancholy here.

But you know what? What we see occurring, this offense that has arisen, has to happen to bring the final return of Christ, so amid the grumbling and complaining about our having to embrace diversity, being politically correct and not stating the real reason for the season, JESUS, I will rejoice!

Read the quote again, please. I've mentioned I have heard in my spirit the voice of God. It sounds like an audible voice at times but I know it's not. It's just not my voice. It doesn't speak like I do. Sometimes it's a gentle whisper, sometimes a reprimand. Sometimes it's loud enough to cause me to stop dead in my tracks and very seriously consider what was said. Sometimes the voice is the familiar voice of a loved one or friend!

I am aware of many people, as I’m sure you all do, who are experiencing difficult days due to the economy, job loss or illness. relationship issues. As the quote said above, God shouts in our pain. He is so desiring for all people to come to Him, trust and put faith in Him, not the government, not our churches, not our family or friends, but in Him alone. He is using His megaphone voice today to unstop ears, to cause eyes to see and mouths to openly proclaim that He is King of kings and Lord of lords. And He will so seriously use the lowest points in our lives to do this. As He says in Revelation 13:9-10 above, If you have ears to hear, listen to what He is saying. 

We may not have issues like some do. But some day we will. The future of our country and the world looks bleak. Just watch the news! We see the signs now. We have economic problems around the world. It might bounce back for awhile, but I know what Revelation tells us. 

Countries are going bankrupt, needing assistance. There is talk of a one world government, with one global leader. The movement is happening behind the scenes. The book of Revelation tells us what is in store for our future, if we so have ears to hear. God is beginning to raise His voice, using world matters to warn us. He wants our heads out of the sand and focused on Him. We must stop busying ourselves in things that don't matter and focus on the One who does.

The scriptures above are speaking of a time no one wants to be living in. There will be one in that day in power who seems to be the right leader...of the world. He will be charismatic and admired. People remaining at that time on earth will look to him as their savior and he will proclaim himself to be that savior. But he is a liar. And those who profess Christ during this dreadful time will be martyred for their beliefs.

Why am I bringing this up at this joyous time of the year? It's not a doom and gloom issue; its the often overlooked, shoved aside truth of God's Word. It's time to take a close look at why we have Christmas. It's not about Santa Claus or snowmen and reindeer. It's about Jesus Christ. He’s a serious matter. And as you can see on the news there are many who want that taken away. We must persevere in our beliefs and we must be willing to give our lives for this belief (Revelation 13:10). I see lawns here and there strewn with a conglomeration of “Christmas” scenes...the nativity with a snowman and Santa peering at the baby Jesus. It breaks my heart. 

We must truly know this Jesus, this Christ who was born that man might live. I ask you to pay close attention this year to the words of the Christmas carols we are so familiar with. And I'm not talking Jingle Bells, Frosty the Snowman or even White Christmas. I'm talking about Hark, the Herald Angels Sing, O Holy Night, Joy to the World or It Came Upon A Midnight Clear. Look for the meaning behind the words.

Jesus came from His throne, as I stated previously. He came down from heaven to live with us. Emmanuel, God with us, not just at Christmastime. He wishes to be God with us all the time. Those who have ears, hear what His voice is telling us. He longs for relationship not religion. He wants you to call Him your Savior. He came to earth to live and especially die for you. Who else can say they would do that? We can't take what Jesus did for granted and just say casually, thank You. Take it to heart.

We sang a song Wednesday night at church. I forget the song but I remember the words that stood out like I'd never seen them together before. Shepherd King... Jesus came as our Shepherd King. Humble royalty. And wouldn't you know, both shepherds and kings were the first to meet Him! The lowliest to the highest. And all mankind can put themselves between shepherds and kings on the scale of humanity.

Look to Jesus for your wants and needs. Rely not on yourself but on the One who knows you better than you know yourself. We all have specific needs and He knows how to meet every one of them. Praise Him.

I pray you come away this Christmas with the best and most perfect gift, the gift of salvation in Jesus Christ. I pray the seeds of understanding will be rooted and grounded in your spirits. I pray you will hear the voice of God as you contemplate the true meaning of Christmas this year. He is calling. Your salvation through Christ is worth dying for. It will be the only means to heaven and avoiding the ugliness the world holds in store for our future. He holds our peace in His hands. Reach out for it.

I will end with this not-too-well-known verse of It Came Upon A Midnight Clear:

Yet with the woes of sin and strife,
The world hath suffered long;
Beneath the angel-strain have rolled,
Two thousand years of wrong;
And man, at war with man, hears not,
The love song which they bring:
O hush the noise, ye men of strife,
And hear the angels sing.

Hush, and listen for God's voice this Christmas. Become part of the crowd bent on proclaiming till their death that Jesus is Lord, that He is the only Way to salvation and eternal life...and that's why we celebrate His birth.

Revelation 14:12 - This calls for patient endurance on the part of the saints who obey God's commandments and remain faithful to Jesus.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Awesomeness of Humility

Psalm 19:1-2 - The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night reveals knowledge.

I mentioned contemplation several days ago. Contemplation of the true meaning of Christmas, of our Lord and Savior, not the world view of Christmas. It's not about the decorations, it's about our interaction, our relationship with that little baby who will one day be King of the world.

Christmas is about reflecting on what He has done for us. A time to review the days prior to His birth...the miraculousness of His conception, the meaning of it, the humbleness of the birth of so great a figure in this world.

I am drawn once again to the DVD called the Star of Bethlehem (you can see the entire DVD on Youtube! Watch the first 10 minute segment and get hooked...) and again am amazed at the way God aligned everything. No man can explain this miracle away. There most definitely was a Divine hand in it all. If anyone can wrap their head around how even the stars and constellations point to Jesus, maybe, just maybe the idea of a real God desiring of a real relationship with each of us might come about some day. God set them all in place and all the heavens declare the awesome glory of God. His intricate and omniscient wisdom displayed so all can see. Of all creation, though, Jesus is the greatest glory...and the greatest story.

The grandeur and awesomeness of God permeates Scripture. His words point always to His son. From Genesis to Revelation you can be sure that in some way Jesus is seen. It all points to Him because it's all about Him. Period. All about Him. Just like Christmas should be.

Conclusion: He must be Someone of great importance!

Before time began, God knew the beginning from the end. He mapped it out so delicately and with the minutest details, one can only marvel at it all. And He created all that we might see the enormousness of what we cannot understand...that we might believe in Him and trust in His good works done for us. His plan from before the beginning of time was to draw us into relationship with Him and through the birth, life, death and resurrection of His Son, Jesus, has been described in detail in His Book, in His His stars...and the Star of Bethlehem which was studied so long ago by ancient astronomers who sought out the One whom they and heard about. And whom they way of that very star.

If God could draw these three magi, can He not draw others? How can one NOT be drawn to this story of redemption? I know I’m not the only one who wants to know to the very depths of my soul how God designed all this just for me. A personal God. If He did it just for me, He'll do it just for you. Wouldn't everyone want to dig into the recesses of their hearts, souls and minds to understand the awesomeness of the depth of God's glorious plan for ALL mankind? To know so well the plan He has laid out and that is there each and every day for anyone to receive?

If there is even just the littlest bit of curiosity, call out...or whisper...for Him to show you. Ask to know that you know who this Jesus is...for you, for your family, for your friends, for the world. If the desire in your heart is real, He will show you.

Jesus was brought to this earth from His throne in heaven. He left the comfort of it that He might come humbly, live humbly, die humbly...and rise up triumphantly to eternal an example to us what we can have if we just look to Him and trust Him. Why would God the Father create all the world, write His book and send His Son if what Jesus did for us was a lie? 

Confess with your mouth...receive the Spirit of life...become one again with the Father. Turn away from what the world believes is truth and enter into the truth of Jesus Christ. Receive Him. Let this be an even more meaningful season...He truly is the reason for this season. Relationship with Jesus can become a most joyful occasion and you might never look at Christmas again the same way. Our God did awesome things, then humbly came down from heaven for you and for me. Rejoice this Christmas at the things He has done. 

Matthew 2:9-10 - ...and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy.

Friday, December 9, 2011

God Steps In

Micah 6:8 - He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God? 

We all have things in our lives of which we can't make sense. They might be situations of little minor irritations to complete hopelessness. We've done all we can and nothing we do seems to be able to work them out.

Bad things happen to good people. Sometimes it's just what life doles out to us. Sometimes we make consistently poor choices. In either event we might actually come to the end of our rope...or hope.

Christmas is about the perfect gift. It's about the miraculous birth of an even more miraculous boy. His name is Jesus. He is also called Emmanuel or God with us. He came that we would have that hope. He willingly chose to leave His rightful place on the throne in heaven to be born on earth in humble surroundings by humble parents, to live a humble life and die a tragic and humiliating death...for all mankind.

God stepped into our lives then so He could make Himself known, that those who heard Him speak, watched Him heal, or touched His wounded body, could continue to proclaim the awesomeness of this Man.

I heard the verse of a song I know I’ve mentioned once before and was taken once again back to the first time I heard those words, which came directly from Scripture. It’s the above Scripture. He does show us what is good. He shows us our imperfections and inability to succeed apart from Him. We are to walk humbly with Him. I think of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden before the apple incident. They walked and talked with God. Then one little bite of that forbidden fruit and they were separated from His presence. That’s when I believe we began to do things on our own, in our own way, in our own strength. It was more difficult to live without the real presence of God. 

And so life goes on for so many in today’s world. When we allow ourselves to stop dead in our tracks of life and realize we cannot do all things on our own, without Divine help, we can find a Perfect Gift when we finally seek His assistance.

I was watching a Christmas movie the other night...more like listening as I busied myself with a project. A question was asked of someone, What was the first Christmas present? The man answered glibly, A tie? He was asked to continue thinking about it.

Later this man and his wife were devastated by the loss of their small girl. In time it was evident that this man needed more than his work could do to cover up the grief. He needed the One who could replace the sorrow. Long story short, he realized that the first real Christmas gift was a Baby. The Baby Jesus was the first great gift anyone ever needed. Along with His birth came love. He came out of love that He might, through this love, save us from ourselves, seeped in our sin, wandering our own aimless directions into oblivion and into a very certain territory of eternal death.

Jesus paid the price by being born with the very intent of dying for us. He will wash away the sorrow and ugliness of sin. Struggling without His help is why He came. He came to take up our burdens, to give us His strength, to show us a great future, despite hardships and even death, that can be filled with hope. The hope of Jesus Christ, the hope of glory.

When we are at the end of ourselves we are humbled. Jesus is only a prayer away. He steps into our lives if we so choose and He brings with Him hope, peace, love and most of all forgiveness of all the things we did (and will do) apart from Him and against His will.

God stepped into this world for us. He steps into the hearts of all who seek Him. Glory to God in the highest. I heard a woman last night say that when she finally gave her life to Christ her first Christmas as an adult with her sins forgiven, her past life behind and the great future she now knew lay before her, the words to all the well thought out Christmas songs made so much more sense and touched her in a whole new way. That's funny because in one of the songs (Hark, the Herald Angels Sing) that she and a group sang, some of the  words go like this:

Mild He lays His glory by
Born that man no more may die
Born to raise the sons of earth
Born to give them second birth...

Born to give them second birth popped out last night for me, again. Second birth. Born again. We sing these songs multiple times during the Christmas season. He humbly came down from heaven, that glorious place, that He might die for give us a second birth. A spiritual birth. The birth I talk about in my blogs. One that comes when we humbly give ourselves to Him, give all our problems over, decide we cannot make it in this world without Him and then grab hold of this new life in Christ.

All it takes us humbly confessing to Him our need for Him, confessing we've sinned and fall way so short of His glory and asking Him for forgiveness of our sins, our treading this world in our own strength, pride and stubbornness, and allowing Him to step into our lives. We don’t need to go to anyone else. He is a God who hears our prayers. 

God steps in...the old is made new...eternal death is replaced by eternal life. Receive the true meaning of Christmas this year, not a tie, but a baby Boy, Emmanuel, God with us. He is the God who steps into our lives when we humbly come to the end of ourselves.

Psalm 86:5 - For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, and abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You.

Friday, December 2, 2011

The Word is Life

Deuteronomy 29:29 - The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.

In prayer the other morning I was overcome with the words that came to me. 

These words were that His words as written in the Bible are life giving. I’ve known this a long time and probably wrote it before; sometimes He just wants to bring a recollection. His words can speak to any one of us if we take the time to read them. They are like bread and water. They sustain. Jesus is the Bread of life. He is the Fountain of living water. Eat and drink of these words written just for us that we might know Who Jesus really is and can be in our lives.

Taste and see that the Lord is good (Psalm 34:8). His Word should cause us to be hungry for more. We can believe all we want that this earthly life has all we could need, if things are going good for us. But what happens when there's a hiccup in our life that sets us reeling? How's this earthly life doing for us then?

With Jesus by our side we have full assurance that whatever life on this earth doles out, we are safe in His arms. Picture the drawing, if you will, of Jesus carrying the sheep. That sheep could be you or me. We wander aimlessly on this earth and He searches for us until He finds us. He will take us into His arms because we know He is the Good Shepherd.

That sheep was me and countless others who were in a place of restlessness, unhappiness or addiction. We recognized...and that is the key word...that we were lost and in need of saving. When we saw our Shepherd approaching we allowed Him to gently...and it was gently...pick us up and carry us in His arms to safety.

The Bible points to Jesus in every book. You will find Him in Psalm 23 as the Good Shepherd. You will see Him in the sacrifices and feasts, like mentioned the other day.

Every book speaks about the soon coming King. It's all about blood. Sacrifices were made in the Old Testament for forgiveness of by day. Those sins were new every day and needed to be atoned for. Jesus came to be that same sacrifice, but upon His death He took away that constant need to sacrifice. His death was once for all. Nothing else we can do but receive Jesus as our own personal Lord and Savior will allow us access to heaven. No works, no sacrifices. Just as the sins had to be atoned for every day, Jesus' mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3:31-32)...when we have received Him.

He's the Passover lamb, the High Priest, the Cloud and the Fire, Kinsman Redeemer, our Shepherd, the suffering Servant and weeping Prophet, Son of God and Son of Man, the Messiah, the Miracle Worker, the One who sets us free, a Friend, our Great Physician, our Savior and most important, the King of kings and Lord of lords.

Search the Scriptures. Seek the Lord your God. He is everything anyone could need. Let His voice be heard in His Book. The Book is life, the Book is wisdom. The Book is encouragement and admonition. The Book is filled with promises...both good and bad, depending on whether you choose to listen or choose your own way in life.

His Word judges a person's thoughts and intentions. It shows us the right way to walk. It admonishes and praises based on what we do.

Lord, I thank You for Your Word that brings life. I thank You that Your promises are yes and amen. I thank You that You are the great and loving God as well as the judge of all humanity. I thank You that nothing is impossible with You, that You are holy, that You truly care about the people of this earth who have not bowed before You and received You as their Savior. You search to and fro for those who are fully committed to You. And You bless them who are...with blessings that go far beyond our earthly needs.

Your Word is life. It is a lamp unto my feet and a light to my path. Without that light, the Light of the world, we only live in darkness to the things You have for us. Praise You Lord for this awesome Word, for Your testimony in 66 chapters. Soul saving, life giving. That's who You are...the Word that became flesh so You could live and teach us about Yourself, so that You could die for our that we in turn could have life. Praise You! Bless Your holy name. Help us, O God, to hide Your word within our hearts that we might not sin against You.

1Peter 1:24-25 -  All flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, and its flower falls away, but the word of the LORD endures forever.

Thursday, December 1, 2011


 Jeremiah 2:17–19 -
     Have you not brought this on yourself,
     In that you have forsaken the LORD your God
     When He led you in the way?
     ...Your own wickedness will correct you,
     And your backslidings will rebuke you.
     Know therefore and see that it is an evil and bitter thing
     That you have forsaken the LORD your God,
     And the fear of Me is not in you,”
     Says the Lord GOD of hosts.

Pretty harsh words the prophet Jeremiah speaks. I mentioned not too long ago that Jeremiah was named the weeping prophet because his heart was so saddened by Israel's turning away from the God that had provided for them. Bear with me as my thoughts bounce  around!

Our pastor, Rory Grooters, mentioned briefly last night that although we sometimes think we have brought ourselves provision, it is ultimately God who does. It just depends on one's understanding. He is the One who has created us and gifted us. We really cannot take credit for it. But who do we give credit to, ultimately?

Last week we had Black Friday. The phrase itself conjures up, at least in my mind, something akin to a plague. I thought about the thousands of people willing to stand in line in the dead of night for those bargains the day after Thanksgiving. I think about the injuries involved. Total madness!! I think even more about how retailers are profiting even when we think we have gotten a bargain. 

Those thoughts reminded me of the money changers in Christ's day, the bankers of that time. It angered Jesus. He threw them out. He shouted. He called them thieves. These money changers could charge whatever they desired to make a profit. Hmmmm, sounds familiar. When is enough enough?

But it’s not just about the retail business. We have become a society of selfishness. Period. Selfishness is a sin. Period. Me, me, me. Are these purchases needs or wants? I'm just as guilty here, so this time of contemplation is for me as well. I cannot cast the first stone!

When did this time of year change from a time of contemplating Christmas to a shop till you drop mentality? When did Christ get shoved aside for self? Oh, I know some are shopping for that perfect gift for friends and family, but does anyone walk away without that perfect want of their own? I've heard and read that this is always the most stressful time of year with all the galavanting to shop! It should be the most peaceful...contemplating Christ and His glorious birth. It's what we make of it.

When did Christ get removed from Christmas? Today it's no more to some than that holiday we so cringe to hear about. It's not so much about contemplating Christ. I will probably say this every year. So I guess the word holiday is quite appropriate for today. 

A sure sign that the last days are at hand. For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud...(2Timothy 3:2). One day He will return and those who ignored Him will be ignored by Him. We have been fully warned repeatedly throughout the Bible. It's what we choose to want to's all about choice.

What's more important, our spiritual life or this life on earth? Some might say live it up now because a day will come when we cannot. But God/Jesus' view is just the opposite. It's the eternal life we are to live for. Eternal life does not come with selfishness today. It comes with self-sacrifice.

Do we want the earthly things today that rust and moth destroy or do we want those things that will never fade because they are rooted and grounded in Christ? It takes time and effort to know the things of God. It takes a willingness and time to do that so we will not hear: Matthew 7:22-23 - Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

"You and I can open our minds to hear the great and unsearchable things we do not know, things like the Incarnation that we may never fully understand but are always invited to know further. Or we can simply look for all of Christmas to correspond with societal whims and unconscious distractions." - Jill Carattini, managing editor of A Slice of Infinity at Ravi Zacharias international Ministries, Atlanta, Georgia. Yes, we MUST open our minds to seek the true meaning of Christmas, to see Christ in it.

I've been out and about the past couple of days, preparing my own table for a women's event. As I've been chasing I've been questioning my own Christmas motives. We will not be home for Christmas this year so decorating, putting up a tree or all the necessities of Christmas decorations are not a priority. I'm not against any of these things, but my thoughts this year have been, What if we didn't have all this stuff to do Christmas? Would the true meaning be greater or less? Where is Christ in the Christmas tree and ornaments and flashing lights? Can't we celebrate His humble birth without all the glitz and glitter, without being the first on the block to get their house lit up, tree lighted and decorated, the shopping done and the cookies baked? Do we really need all this?? But I still give in a bit...

I know I could handle Christmas without all this. It's about contemplating His birth. It’s about sitting at His feet like Mary while Martha "slaved" in the kitchen. (If you don’t know the story click here for an explanation.) It's about contemplating why it was so important that He be born humbly. It's not about trees, lights, tons of presents. It's about Him.

Maybe I sound like Scrooge this year, but I guarantee I'm not. I DO have gifts to buy or make. I do have baking to do. I will succumb to a handful of decorations, but this year they will be reminders of Christ. Peace, joy, love...keeping Christ in Christmas...I'm even going so far as to get the star of Bethlehem situated on our driveway lamp post today. 

This is just how I feel this year. I want to contemplate even more about Jesus, give out His love this season. I want to thank Him that, as Pastor also prayed last night, He as the Creator became the Created.

Let us not forsake the LORD our God this Christmas season. Let us draw near to Him that He might draw near to families and a nation...that He would not depart from us but He would recognize that we have not forsaken Him. If we have backslidden, there’s still time to turn around. Wickedness, too, can be forgiven. Let’s let go of selves and grab hold of Jesus. It all starts with first our own heart change.

Let us dig deeper into our own knowledge of Him and embrace Him into our lives. Let us truly seek Him for our eternal lives over this earthly life. He came to earth to be the reconciliation between our Heavenly Father and us. He was born with the intent to one day die for our sins. While we celebrate His birth, let us consciously think on why He did this. Let us be thankful He came from Heaven to come to this sin filled earth...just for us.

The LORD watched over His people Israel so long ago until they abandoned Him. Let us not be that same generation today in our inability to look to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, the One for whom this season is all about. He came to earth to lead us to our Heavenly home. Does He do this for you today? Read the following scripture by adding “me” instead of “him” and make it present tense. Is this you? Contemplate...

Deuteronomy 32:10 - He found him in a desert land and in the wasteland, a howling wilderness; He encircled him, He instructed him, He kept him as the apple of His eye...

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Only the Lord

Psalm 9:9 - The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, A refuge in times of trouble. 

I awoke at 2:30 Sunday morning. Thoughts were racing through my head, as usual. 

I’ve mentioned I know two women in the early stages of cancer treatment, but not the early stages of cancer. I was thankful to be able to spend the afternoon with one Saturday as she, another friend and I had lunch together and then went to the local art museum to see a special exhibit by the great impressionists of our time.

She explained all she has been going through and the more she talked, the more I could see an uneasiness. This has been difficult. Her world is nothing but day after day of treatment. She called it “going to work.” She’s been quite the vocalist at the hospital and has even given them things to think on and improve as far as outpatients go. This is her way and I’m glad she has not lost this.

My mind wandered some more. If we don’t have a clear understanding how illness and disease approach us we will always wonder about it. I’ve done it myself. Why does this cancer thing seem to be so in the forefront right now? We can come up with natural ideas on the subject like the way things are today in this society...pollution, pesticides, microwave ovens, whatever it is one wants to blame it on. But it really boils down to the enemy of our soul...the devil himself.

His job is to steal, kill and destroy. And that can start with an illness that instills fear, doubt, depression...all the things that destroy. He steals our lives, our joy. It’s all part of his master plan. 

Do you notice something...all the things our enemy does is the exact opposite of what Jesus has as His Master’s plan? Jesus wants us to have life and to have it more abundantly. He does not steal, kill or destroy. It’s all about eternal life. And the devil wants no part of any of us having this. All he wants is to gather people into eternal death, because that’s what lies ahead for him some day.

God does not cause illness. It comes with the sin territory we live in and our enemy takes advantage of that to bring us down. We do have choices...sometimes we make the wrong choice and bad things happen. Sometimes we don’t...they just happen. And when the discouragement comes, our joy, our comfort, our peace is stolen and sometimes destroyed.

With Jesus, though, that joy, comfort and peace can be brought back. I’ve only seen one person since I’ve known the Lord turn down prayer. Non-believers and believers alike know somehow there is something about prayer, even if it’s been a long time since they themselves have prayed. I think instinctively we turn to God for help in our weakest moments. It may not be a conscious thought of Him; it may be no more than a distant thought of God, somewhere out there. But any thought can be His way of pointing us back to Him. Whether a person continues to seek Him and seek Him with all their heart or not is up to them.

Let me just add here that some may be thinking about a higher power. There is only one such higher power and that's God. A higher power is just another one of the devil's lies. There is only One God who is able to heal spiritually unto eternal life. He's the one I choose to believe in. He's my refuge.

Jesus took all the sin of the world on His back. Imagine the intensity of that if you can. I can’t! There’s a song we sometimes sing that says, I’ll never know just how much it cost, to see my sin upon that cross. We cannot fathom it. But He took that sin, that pain, grief, discouragement and so much more so that we might be strengthened in and through Him when we receive Him into our lives and look at Him as that Savior, that personal God, who never slumbers, never sleeps, but watches over us each night, sings over us and rejoices over us. What love we can’t imagine, especially in our sinful states.

If we allow the discouragement of illness or disease overtake us, we fall into the very willing hands of the devil himself. The same goes for fear. It’s all a mental game he plays with us. And people, he’s winning. Drugs and alcohol; prostitution; crime; abortion. And more. All seeds planted by the one who wants to steer as many people as possible from the good life in Christ. Oh, but I don’t use drugs, I only drink socially, I don’t know or I am not a prostitute, these are all things “those others” do. Excess of anything is an addiction. 

The Spirit of God can live in each of us if we so choose. Choose. Choose. It’s our choice. I cannot make it for anyone. I can pray that the light of Christ would enter in and have that proverbial foot in the door of someone’s life. That foot in the door is good; it leads to better things and greater understanding.

Jesus conquers all things: Joy over sadness; strength over discouragement; faith over fear, worship over worry. The enemy destroys all things. The choice is ours to make. The people of Israel had a choice to make as they made their journey into their Promised Land. Our lives are the same our own Promised Land and eternal life in Christ:

Deuteronomy 30:14-20 - ...See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil, in that I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His judgments, that you may live and multiply; and the LORD your God will bless you in the land which you go to possess. But if your heart turns away so that you do not hear, and are drawn away, and worship other gods and serve them, I announce to you today that you shall surely perish; you shall not prolong your days in the land which you cross over the Jordan to go in and possess. ...I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love the LORD your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them. 

Saturday, November 26, 2011

His Way, The High Way

Nehemiah 8:10 - Do not sorrow, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.

Make sure your security and significance is in Christ and not in your son or daughter [or anyone/anything else]. Your identity is in Christ. Your Savior defines your success. Make sure you go to Christ for a cup of joy. Drink often. The Lord’s joy is limitless. (Taken from reading #82 in the 90-day devotional book, Seeking God in the Psalms.)

I was out for a glorious walk yesterday with a friend. What a beautiful day, probably the last for awhile. What I loved about our walk was the nearly three+ miles of sharing about and with Jesus. We don't yak about the big sale at the store or gossip about this person or that. Jesus is our center...and you just gotta know if He's the center of our talks, He's right there with us! And then the lunch we shared...we shared with Him as well.

The quote above from a Wisdom Hunters devotion tells it like it is. As we walked I brought up the sometimes frustrating feeling I get when people "don't get" the concept of Christ. In my heart I know the joy that comes in a relationship (not religion, not denomination). Jesus wants all men to know Him. That breaks down the denomination barriers. Such an easy concept yet, like the Pharisees, clinging to religious beliefs is the stumbling block to knowing Jesus the way He wants us to. There is the belief there is more than one way or it’s their way or the highway. How about His Way, the high Way?

Yes, it’s frustrating because I was once there, pushing Him away for my belief that I know who Jesus is. Isn’t that enough? I have to remind myself, however, that I came from that side of understanding, or rather not understanding. I didn’t want this relationship, this born again concept thing, shoved down my throat...and I know that’s how others feel. But when He grabs hold of a heart...and truth is revealed, you don’t want to let go. 

When Jesus came to this earth as this baby boy and grew into His ministry, to make Himself known as the Savior of the world, He was not received very kindly either by the religious leaders who also "thought they knew it all." They exchanged the truth (of who He was) for a lie (that it's not about religious rites but a relationship...with Him) (Romans 1:25). They just didn't get it. Their pride in who they thought they were as these leaders got in the way of this humble concept that God sent His only Son to earth to die for all mankind. And the response should be: Just give me Jesus, as Fernando Ortega sings!

If I sound like a broken record, I don’t’s all about Jesus! There IS such joy in knowing Him. We still go through tough times but there's an underlying sense of peace knowing that He is walking beside you to be there at your call or prayer for comfort, peace, guidance or whatever is needed. How hard things can be without this in-depth knowledge of one single Man. It may not seem a difficult life, but there’s so much more on the “other side of knowing.”

We discussed how thankful we are that by having this relationship we can stand secure in knowing no matter what life throws at us. Even with the issue of death, we are secure in Him. He takes our death today on earth and turns it into life. That’s all the hope I need. Heaven awaits those who turn to Him.

His joy is limitless if you make Him the center of your life, if you think/talk about Him all day, spend quiet time with Him, seeing things in life through His eyes, expecting Him to be in and around your circumstances, giving opportunities for you to show off His glory!

Joy starts with thankfulness. It’s biblical! Tough situations of life may be just that, tough, but God...will strengthen and help. Sometimes we allow a burden to capture our hearts and minds. We can't let it go. But when we finally do, when we finally give in to Jesus and say "I’m giving this to You, Lord," because His yoke is heavy but His burden is light, a shift occurs, and joy takes hold again. The burden in our heart lifts knowing that we serve a God who is always in control. A good kind of supernatural joy...

Just take hold of Jesus...

Psalm 30:5 - ...Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning. 

Thursday, November 24, 2011


1Thessalonians 5:18 - In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 

Happy Thanksgiving. This is the time (the week, the day?) of year focus--for some--is on thankfulness. Shouldn't we, though, dedicate all our time to it? It should be a daily thing.

I heard a man on the radio yesterday say before his eyes are even open he realizes he's awake and he's thankful for a new day. He opens his eyes and sees the dawn lighting up the room and he's thankful he is able to see because there are some who cannot. He sits on the edge of his bed and is thankful because some may not have a bed to sleep in. And so the day goes. Stand every morning to thank and praise the LORD, and likewise at evening. - 1Chronicles 23:30. We are to be thankful for all things.

We are to be thankful in good times and bad. Some may find this hard to understand. How can we when our life has been thrown a curve ball? When loss has been dealt us or illness strikes in a way we had not anticipated?

There are two people I know going through the first stages of treatment for cancer. No one would wish this on anyone but it happens, sometimes so very unexpectedly. There's a difference between these two women. Although both I believe are fighting in their own strength, one appears stronger than the other. For one, keeping up the appearance of strength is not so easy. I don't think anyone can enter this sort of battle without some sort of trepidation.


What Jesus tells us in 1 Peter 5:7 is what we are to do when we come to a time in our lives where it is not just another day: Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you. His yoke is easy and His load is light. We are to trust in the Lord and lean not on our own understanding (Matthew 11:30, Proverbs 3:5). These are not just man’s words; these are the words of God. They are there to encourage and strengthen. Often times it is when we reach a point like this in our lives that we turn to God for His refuge; they point us to Him.

We should be thankful everyday we have this Lord and Savior available to us. When we know Him and know His peace, comfort, strength, promises, He will gladly give them to us.

But let me tell you, He is not just loving, He's judgmental. He's jealous after each of us. He wants all to seek Him and be saved. He wants us to trust in Him...and cast our cares at His feet. He judges those who do not look to Him or follow His advice. He's not a dictator. He's like a father who disciplines because He loves, not that He causes illness or loss to come into our lives. But He's there to help pick up the pieces of our lives  and strengthen us in our battles. 

Life is just fuller when we have this Savior as part of our daily lives. Fuller, more meaningful, richer, more satisfying. He is not a crutch, as some would say. He is a stronghold, a tower, a rock. He is always there with words of encouragement, peace, comfort. The world offers much but there will always be something lacking. There is no good thing that we lack when we receive Jesus into our lives.

So let us be thankful not just today, but always. Let us look to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. First and Last. Beginning and End.

Ephesians 5:20 - thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanks Be to God

Psalm 100:4 - Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. 

As we approach Thanksgiving, we are especially reminded where thanks giving should be given. We can start small and be thankful for what we good things we have. Even if we haven't much we should be able to be thankful for something. Think of just one thing.

Take it a step further. We should be thankful as a nation for the freedoms we have thus far. Let's be thankful now before they are taken away. We see in the news there are a whole lot of people who cannot be thankful. What's that all about? How sad. Will that ever change?

Okay, so another level higher. The highest level. Being thankful to God...because it is He who has given us everything we have. If we are not thankful to Him we have turned our backs on the one Who has created all things that we might partake of them.

And if you don’t think we can’t go any higher than thankful that He sent His Son that we might have spiritual freedom...along with eternal life. Galatians 5:1 tells us it is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Free from the yoke of slavery in this world. What greater thanks do we need have?

I searched the scriptures for some additional words on thanksgiving and thanks. For His creation, for the love and provision to His people, and especially for offering His Son Jesus as a sacrifice for our sins and the victory of eternal life through Christ Jesus, His indescribable gift! Nothing speaks louder than the thundering voice of God through His grateful people:

Psalm 26:6-7 - I will go about Your altar, O LORD, that I may proclaim with the voice of thanksgiving and declare all Your wonders.

Psalm 69:30 - I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify Him with thanksgiving. 

Psalm 95:2 - Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms. 

Psalm 116:17 - I will offer to You the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the LORD.

Philippians 4:6 - Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.

Revelation 7:12 - Blessing and glory and wisdom, thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen.

1Chronicles 16:8, 34 - Oh, give thanks to the LORD! Call upon His name; make known His deeds among the peoples! Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.

Psalm 30:4 - Sing praise to the LORD, you saints of His, and give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name. 

Psalm 35:18 - I will give You thanks in the great assembly; I will praise You among many people. 

Psalm 75:1 - We give thanks to You, O God, we give thanks! For Your wondrous works declare that Your name is near. 

Psalm 92:1 - It is good to give thanks to the LORD, and to sing praises to Your name, O Most High.

Psalm 107:8 - Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men!

1Corinthians 15:57 - But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 

2Corinthians 2:14 - Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.

Colossians 3:17 - And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

2Corinthians 9:15 - Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift! 

1Thessalonians 5:18 - …in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 

Revelation 11:17 - We give You thanks, O Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was and who is to come, because You have taken Your great power and reigned. 

And here’s one I pray for all of you for your Thanksgiving day. May He touch your hearts as you enjoy your celebration.

2Corinthians 9:10-11 - Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness, while you are enriched in everything for all liberality, which causes thanksgiving through us to God. 

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Cord of Three Strands

Ephesians 4:4-6 - There is one body and one Spirit--just as you were called to one hope when you were called--one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

Short and sweet today!

I was thinking back on a day many years ago when my husband and I went to the Holy Land Experience in Orlando. Not quite like the real thing, but a delight just the same.

There was a woman flitting here and there. I remember her name...Jeannie. She was of an Asian/Jewish background, converted to Christianity, a receiver of Christ's miraculous mercy and grace and full of the exuberant love for and of Jesus. She went up to people in the streets and before performances asking if people knew that Jesus is returning soon.

After one performance I had to approach her because I felt I'd met her before. Well, close but no cigar when she said her family (who had shunned her for her conversion) lived in a nearby Wisconsin city but one I rarely travel to.

We chatted a few minutes, animated. There was what seemed an instant connection and understanding. Why? We were one in the Spirit of Christ. There was a bond that only Jesus can place within us...that bond is evident when we meet another who has been touched by the love of Christ and drawn to Him. There is a cord that binds us, knits us together. Ecclesiastes 4:12 says a cord of three strands is not easily broken. Jeannie and I were standing unified with that first cord that is Jesus. 

Through the power of the Holy Spirit, by the blood of the Lamb, that thread binds us together if we have received Jesus as our Savior. Just like the moment we receive Him there is an instant connection unlike you've never felt before. Connection that was broken with our heavenly Father is instantly the father who received back his prodigal son and threw a huge party! Even the angels in heaven rejoice when we do this.

This same type of connection can be made  and an animated discussion will occur with absolute strangers because He is the Center of it all. A most incredibly wonderful thing to have happen. Imagine if more people would know this.

Perhaps what made her look so familiar was the face of Jesus. Just thinking....

Psalm 133:1 - Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

What Must I Do?

Romans 10:10 - For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

This thing of confession can touch uncomfortable places in our minds and hearts. But don’t we know that confessing something helps take away the sting. Confessing especially to a particular individual over something one might have thought, said or felt is difficult, but liberating, like a burden has been removed from one’s heart. The air is cleared. But it is up to us to take the step to do this. No one else can remove that burden until we’ve spoken up.

I'm not only talking about our day to day life. I'm also talking about the confession of our faith in Jesus Christ.  It takes confession. It is our own responsibility to do this also. No one else can do it for us. When that confession is made, as I've said many other times in my blogs, a whole new world opens up, a world you cannot describe until it does. This is deeper than just acknowledging who Jesus is. That doesn’t count.

One thing that happens with this confession is the beginning of true knowledge...knowing the truth. Don’t we all want to know the truth that our sins are banished as far as the east is from the west...all because we have confessed Jesus as our Lord and Savior. It’s that simple, yet it must be heart felt.

We do not see a lot of confessing in the world. We see a lot of blaming and finger pointing. Personal responsibility is not always the first choice. Spare the embarrassment of being wrong. Replace it with the staunch belief that we have every right to do what we want, no matter what.

These days  a lot of confessing of Jesus Christ has disappeared too. In some countries one can be killed for this acknowledgment of Christ. In our country this confession is trying to be silenced...because for some the name of Jesus is offensive. These people are like the Pharisees, religious leaders in Jesus’ day.

To the Pharisees He was an offense. They could not see beyond their own beliefs. They were so focused on what they had been taught that they missed the very understanding of His words. His way of dealing with sinners and His words were viewed with disdain because they could not let go of their beliefs for a better way.

Hebrews 8:1 shows us that Jesus is the better way: We have such a High Priest, who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens. Who is higher than a great High Priest and who sits at the right hand of His Heavenly Father? The Pharisees could not see Him this way. He did not look like that to them. They were blind, as I alluded to last week. It was spiritual blindness. They were so zeroed in on their own ideas of who their Messiah would be that they could not see Jesus, right before their eyes, being that Man. If He showed up today how many would recognize Him?

They would not allow themselves to confess He might be that Messiah they were waiting for, even though they knew the scriptures. They waited for a political messiah, one would would come to fight their natural enemies and set them free. They didn't understand the spiritual freedom that comes from their own sinful natures being forgiven...if only they would confess.

Jesus is trying to get our attention in these days. He doesn’t know exactly when His Father will have Him return, but He knows He will...and the signs of the times are very clear that it’s sooner than we might think. The Messiah will come and He will fight the enemy. But like Pogo said: we have seen the enemy and he is us. Some have believed the lies of our greatest enemy, satan (I will not capitalize his name!). The seemingly better way of the world is to sweep Jesus under a rug or attempt to remove any mention of Him. Get rid of the offense.

Every day we see more ugliness rearing it's head in the world...and here in the USA. But apart from what we see happening more quickly each day, there is an excitement and peace because it only means it is ushering in the last days and the return of Jesus. How do I know? "The Bible tells me so."

How can I feel a sense of peace? I know what Christ as done for me and what I’m saved from...the truth. That truth set me free more than twelve years ago. When I confessed Jesus is Lord I was saved. I was saved from the future wrath of the world and God. When I received Christ, acknowledged Him in our church one Sunday morning, and then again when I was water baptized, that was just the beginning of truth. All I once believed, the little falsities I had picked up along the way one by one gave way to truth.

I can't tell you how this happens other than confessing Jesus and receiving Him opens your spirit to receive another blessing, His Spirit, who according to scripture guides us in all truth (John 14:16-17, John 16:13).

God nudges daily. He speaks to people in so many ways. He can reach into the most hardened heart and turn it around, not only because that person has a desire to change but because of His strength through His Spirit. When a person confesses the name of Jesus, the Spirit begins His dwelling place within that person and begins to unravel the absolute truth of Jesus Christ.

This country and people in general cannot live without the power of God at the center of our lives. God is waiting for more eyes to open, more tongues to confess so that His truth will prevail. I think of the Battle Hymn of the Republic line that says, His truth is marching on. Our own preconceived ideas must give way to the truth of who He is.

Lord, I ask that You open the eyes of the blind that they might see You for who You really are. You are the One who saves. You are the One who brings peace and comfort in a messed up world...even in our own little worlds of disappointment, despair, hurt or anger. We don't understand exactly how You do it, but You do. Let the confession of Your name begin to grow. Draw more into Your Kingdom. Open blind eyes, set captives free, bring the peace that passes all understanding. I pray this quite openly in the name of Jesus.

I heard a woman the other day in Bible study say she had heard scriptures many times in the church she grew up in. She thought she understood them. It wasn’t until she received Jesus and confessed Him that those words took on a whole new meaning. Her blind eyes were opened. Like the Pharisees she thought she understood. Confess Jesus that the spiritual eyes of your understanding would be opened. Confess Jesus to be saved. Confess Jesus to be set free. The Pharisees knew all the laws, but they did not know Jesus. Because they rejected Him, His words and works He told them they would remain blind. They said they saw, but they did not.

For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” ...that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:11, 10:9)

Thursday, November 10, 2011


John 9:25 - ...One thing I know: that though I was blind, now I see.

We are delving into chapters 8 and 9 of John next week. Jesus is more assertively telling the people, and being questioned repeatedly by the Pharisees, who He is. There is division. The Pharisees have this preconceived idea who He should be, where He should come from and it upsets them that He is indifferent to their understanding of the laws Moses taught (which especially meant no work on the Sabbath).

He came to show us: He is the light of the world. He can testify about Himself because He knows where He came from and where He will return...He and His Father are one. He comes from above. Sounding a bit like any politician having to dispute accusations, Jesus has to say He does not have a demon in Him and He only does what His Father tells Him to do. He knows His Father. He claims "I am."

You have  to understand that the statement I AM seemed blasphemous to the religious leaders because I AM is speaking of God and who is this Man who claims He is God.

Jesus heals again on the Sabbath when He recovers a blind man's sight. For this He is called a sinner. In the end He says: For judgment I have come into this world, that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may be made blind (John 9:39).

This scripture tells us that those who hear about Him and believe and follow will have their spiritual eyes opened. They once were blind but now they the blind man claimed in front of the Pharisees.

But there's more to this. Those who see, hear or are confronted with Jesus and reject Him, although they see, their spiritual eyes will be blinded to the truth if they reject Him. Isaiah 6:9-10 describes what Isaiah prophesied long before Jesus even was born. It speaks to what will happen to those who take lightly the claims of Jesus, who follow their own ways, who avoid the narrow path He demands:

And He [God] said, "Go, and tell this people: ‘Keep on hearing, but do not understand; keep on seeing, but do not perceive.’  Make the heart of this people dull, and their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and return and be healed." 

In other words, “Do not try to understand or see...see what I (God) will do then.” Sounds like a judgmental and harsh God. He is, as well as He is loving. He loves so much and He tries so hard to get people’s attention. However, He will never force Himself on anyone, but will in time leave them to their own devices...dulling their hearts and ears. He requires righteousness...through Jesus Christ. Reject the Son, reject the Father.

An interesting explanation of the meaning of light of the world: as long as I am in the world. Meaning, as long as He was in the world He was the light; when He departed, He left His Spirit to convict people of their sins and to empower His followers to be the light. 

The Pharisees knew the teachings on light. They understood God is light because light has the extremely delicate, subtle, pure, brilliant quality, Strong’s Bible Concordance tells us. They did not accept Jesus as God. God to them was without sin; they wrongly and foolishly accused Jesus of being a sinner because of some of the things He said and did they did not agree with.

Isaiah 60:19 - the LORD will be to you an everlasting light, and your God your glory.
Exodus 13:21 - And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so as to go by day and night.

He had always been there for them. But not Jesus is claiming the same thing. For some reason they just could not “see” Jesus as that light. Another definition for light of the world is Messiah. Their human perception would not allow them to see Him this way. 

We are all born with spiritual blindness. There are lights shining all throughout this world who proclaim the name of Jesus. These lights will never be put out until He returns. Then there is little hope in receiving Him. Spiritual blindness cannot be irradicated except through Christ alone.

Matthew 13:19 - When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart.