Bible Knowledge

Some treat Bible knowledge as if it comes with a light-dimmer switch.

They find something they don’t like and then slowly begin to turn the light down till it’s gone.

The power of the light to “enlighten” remains, but the dark veil of intentional ignorance prevents it from shinning.

Such is the way we will all attempt to soothe our conscience if we’re not careful.

And we have given up the secret things of shame, not walking in false ways, and not making use of the word of God with deceit; but by the revelation of what is true, as before God, we have the approval of every man’s sense of right and wrong. But if our good news is veiled, it is veiled from those who are on the way to destruction: Because the god of this world has made blind the minds of those who have not faith, so that the light of the good news of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, might not be shining on them. For our preaching is not about ourselves, but about Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your servants through Jesus. Seeing that it is God who said, Let light be shining out of the dark, who has put in our hearts the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (2 Corinthians 4:2-6 BBE)

#bible-study, #light

Whereas Moses went up to the mountain to…

Whereas Moses went up to the mountain to receive the Law of Moses, the Lord Jesus came down and brought light and glory to a people in darkness.

Sermon on Luke 2 (2:29-32) by RT

#light, #revelation

Appreciation To My Many Christian Friends

As most of you know, today is another birthday for me. Actually, I’m celebrating the third anniversary of my 22nd year + 1. 🙂

There are many Facebook friends that I wrote personal notes to this morning, thanking them for their well-wishes for me on this day.

A person can never have too many friends. I pray that I’ll be a true and faithful friend in return.

Thank you TFR friends for your friendship as well. You are a bright light in an otherwise dark world. May God richly bless you and your work in the kingdom. I’m reminded of the encouraging words of the apostle Paul:

“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58).

Lovingly,

Mike Riley

#abound, #anniversary, #birthday, #bless, #facebook, #friend, #kingdom, #light, #note, #personal, #steadfast, #today, #well-wishes, #work, #world, #write

Arise and shine

Arise! Shine! For your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. Isaiah 60:1

For several years I read through Oswald Chambers’s devotional book, My Utmost for His Highest, and greatly benefited from it. Times are, however, he goes badly wrong, and his comment on this verse is one example of that. He begins by writing,

We have to take the first step as though there were no God. It is no use to wait for God to help us, He will not; but immediately we arise we find He is there.

Chambers quoted only the first two words of this verse in his devotional thought. The rest of the verse is necessary to understand the imperatives given to Israel. Man is able to arise and shine because the light of God has already come to him and the divine splendor has risen like the sun to illuminate his day.

The first command to arise calls Israel to rouse herself from her stupor. This third section of Isaiah, 56-66, sees beyond the exile to the restoration, to a people returned to a devastated country, a destroyed temple, a world in shambles. To a broken spirit. Their return may be dulled by the reality of their situation.

But, no! Isaiah will not have it. God’s glory is focused on them. It is not time for mourning, but shining. The shining of the city (metaphor for the people) is to serve the nations who come to the light. It is the light of salvation. The people of God are called to shine forth as God’s beacon.

My mind ties this verse together with Matthew 5:16, “In the same way, let your light shine before people, so that they can see your good deeds and give honor to your Father in heaven” (NET).

At the top of the list of good deeds is the proclamation of the gospel, just as Jesus was doing during that moment of teaching on the mount.

The verse has inspired a number of hymns, among them, “All Ye Gentile Lands Awake.” Here’s the first stanza:

All ye Gentile lands awake!
Thou, O Salem, rise and shine!
See the day-spring o’er you break,
Heralding a morn divine,
Telling, God hath called to mind
Those who long in darkness pined.

#gods-glory, #isaiah, #light

When did my moment of mortality come? Wh…

When did my moment of mortality come? While driving a laundry truck many years ago, I stopped at an intersection waiting for the red light to change. When it changed to green, I started to put my foot down on the accelerator, but something in my mind told me to put on the brake instead. I’m thankful that I did, because an 18 wheeler came across that intersection going about 65-70 mph, running the red light. Had I been in the intersection, I would have been killed instantaneously. After carefully looking both to the left and to the right, then safely going through the intersection, I pulled over and stopped in order to calm my nerves down. I then thanked the Lord for saving my life. Guess He had some future plans for me.

#accelerator, #brake, #calm, #driving, #future, #intersection, #laundry, #light, #morality, #nerves, #plan, #save, #truck

An “Aha!” moment

My favorite, “Aha!” moment was when I understood Galatians 3:10-13, courtesy of Professor Ben Gore.

Brother Gore, who was covering prepositions in Greek class at Tennessee Bible College, showed us this passage this way: since all have sinned, all are under the curse of the law. It was like the sword of Damocles was dangling above my head and the curse of death could cause the sword to drop.

But, Christ took my neck out from under the curse and put his neck there. Although I’m the one who deserved to die, he took the punishment for my sins. Even though I’m the sinner, he put himself in jeopardy and died for me. So, Verse 13 literally says, “Christ has redeemed us out from under the curse of the law becoming cursed for us…”

Brother Gore told us about his missionary work in Africa and how one of the nations didn’t have a word for “redeem.” He said one of the people told him the closest idea to it was “he came and put his neck in the noose.” The explanation was that, as you sat captured ready to go into slavery and being tied around the neck, one who loved you could come and take the noose off your neck and put it around his. In that way, people there could understand the idea of the word, “redeem.”

I’ll always be indebted to Brother Gore for that light.

#ah-ha-moments, #jesus-christ, #light

Harsh Words

To me, clearly one of the most challenging things that Jesus said was:

“Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’; and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.’ He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find” (Matthew 10:34-39).

We see the fruits of this everyday. They are not willing to pay the price necessary to submit to God. Their flesh is still predominant.

The most chilling moment for me at the cross was when darkness fell upon the world. I am continually in awe at the depth of the Bible’s teachings on light and darkness.  “The way of the wicked is like darkness; They do not know what makes them stumble” (Proverbs 4:19).

People walk in darkness and do not make sound decisions. It skews their perceptions of the world and they do not attribute the proper value to things. Hence, they cannot leave their overcome their own fleshly desires and come to Christ (James 4:10).

#cross, #darkness, #decisions, #light

A recent quote that made me sit up? Robe…

A recent quote that made me sit up? General Robert E. Lee once stated: “The Bible is a book in comparison with which all others in my eyes are of minor importance, and which in all my perplexities and distresses has never failed to give me light and strength”

The Bible has never failed to give me light and strength either.

General Douglas MacArthur was heard to say to one of his fellows: “Believe me, sir, never a night goes by, be I ever so tired, but I read the Word of God before I go to bed.”

Even though dead, General MacArthur still speaks, providing us a great example!

#bible, #book, #distress, #example, #light, #perplex, #read, #strength

Make all men see

            Modern eye surgery can be a great thing for people with correctable vision problems.

            Many of my friends and relatives who have had surgery for cataracts can see better after surgery than they could before. Several of them don’t even need glasses because the implants they received corrected their vision. One of my relatives who had suffered from severe cataracts said after her surgery it was almost like someone switched on a light.

            In Ephesians 3:8-12, the apostle Paul discussed the great gift he had been given of the revelation of God and the amazing opportunity to preach the unsearchable riches of Christ to Gentiles who had been in spiritual darkness all their lives. In verse 9, Paul said it had been given him the honor “to make all men see…” or as one writer put it, “turn on the light.”

            Do we look at preaching the gospel like that? Isn’t preaching the greatest opportunity to turn on the light of the gospel and help someone see something wonderful? Or, like many folks, have we become so complacent that we no longer consider how fantastic it is to preach the unsearchable riches of Christ?

            Perhaps we should consider the mystery being discussed here is the final solution to the problem of sin and death. When a person sinned, the result was something had to die. In Romans 6:16, the apostle wrote, “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness.”

            But the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross coupled with our obedience to the gospel made us free from sin and servants of righteousness. No longer are we under a system of sin and death. On the contrary, we are now free from sin and have in view everlasting life (Romans 6:22).

            When we preach the gospel to people, it has the power to transform us and change us into something we never were. It has the power to transfer us from darkness into the kingdom of God’s own son (Colossians 1:13). The gospel has the power to transfer us into the light.

            Whenever we think our work in the church is not that important, whenever we are discouraged thinking no one is listening, we should remember what we’re doing preaching the gospel to the lost can change someone eternally.

            Like switching on a light.

#gospel, #light

Ain’t No Sunshine

When Christ is not in our lives, there is darkness and sadness. Even if we think we are showered in sunlight and daisies.  Barry Newton encourages us to find the light of the world.

#darkness, #forthright, #light, #spiritual

If a man has any greatness in him, it co…

If a man has any greatness in him, it comes to light, not in one flamboyant hour, but in the ledger of his daily work.

Beryl Markham, English adventurer and author (1902-1986)

#greatness, #light, #man, #work