Regrets, deep mourning…?

Ezekiel 19

“Moreover take up a lamentation for the princes of Israel, 2 and say:

​‘​What is your mother? A lioness:

​​She lay down among the lions;

​​Among the young lions she nourished her cubs.

3 ​​She brought up one of her cubs,

​​And he became a young lion;

​​He learned to catch prey,

​​And he devoured men.

4 ​​The nations also heard of him;

​​He was trapped in their pit,

​​And they brought him with chains to the land of Egypt.

5 ​‘​When she saw that she waited, that her hope was lost,

​​She took another of her cubs and made him a young lion.

6 ​​He roved among the lions,

​​And became a young lion;

​​He learned to catch prey;

​​He devoured men.

7 ​​He knew their desolate places, [fn1]

​​And laid waste their cities;

​​The land with its fullness was desolated

​​By the noise of his roaring.

8 ​​Then the nations set against him from the provinces on every side,

​​And spread their net over him;

​​He was trapped in their pit.

9 ​​They put him in a cage with chains,

​​And brought him to the king of Babylon;

​​They brought him in nets,

​​That his voice should no longer be heard on the mountains of Israel.

10 ​‘​Your mother was like a vine in your bloodline, [fn2]

​​Planted by the waters,

​​Fruitful and full of branches

​​Because of many waters.

11 ​​She had strong branches for scepters of rulers.

​​She towered in stature above the thick branches,

​​And was seen in her height amid the dense foliage.

12 ​​But she was plucked up in fury,

​​She was cast down to the ground,

​​And the east wind dried her fruit.

​​Her strong branches were broken and withered;

​​The fire consumed them.

13 ​​And now she is planted in the wilderness,

​​In a dry and thirsty land.

14 ​​Fire has come out from a rod of her branches

​​And devoured her fruit,

​​So that she has no strong branch— a scepter for ruling.’ ”

This is a lamentation, and has become a lamentation.

Pasted from <http://www.blueletterbible.org/tools/printerFriendly.cfm?b=Eze&c=19&v=1&t=NKJVP>

Several points are made in the lament.  One, the lions (leaders) did no good.  Their fruit was destruction.

 

Second, the vine came from within and had fruit, but was high-minded, lifting itself above the rest of the foliage (pride).  Both were brought down.

taken from Creative Jewish Mom

taken from Creative Jewish Mom

taken from Creative Jewish Mom

And finally, the agent of defeat came from within.  A rod from the vine spread the fire that consumed it and there was no fruit left, no branches for a scepter for ruling(no more leaders).  This was a people who had once followed the Lord’s commands.  This was a people who had once expressed their love for him in song and dancing.  This was a people who placed their faith and trust in the Sovereign Lord and were blessed abundantly for it.  These same ones became a people who began to place their trust in themselves because of their blessings.  The deception of the enemy of the soul is clearly presented.  When we are blessed we need to be sure to continue to thank the one who blesses us.  We cannot give in to the temptation to begin to believe that our blessings are our own doing.  Ezekiel gives us a warning and quite the picture of what happens when a people take their prosperity and blessings sent through their relationship with the Creator and turn it around saying it is their own doing, their own strength, their own intellect.  All things come from the Lord.  He is worthy of our praise.

The Lord says:

“…Why will you die…for I take no pleasure in the death of anyone.  Repent and Live! …”

But when the voice of God is ignored or rejected he laments:

“…This is a lament and will be used as a lament. …”

The lament gives reason for and result of consequences that come when the Sovereign Lord is rejected.

Faith pleases God.  Faith that says: “I believe God.”  When we take him at his word and see the coming judgment placed alongside the life and freedom in Christ, the decision is not difficult.  When we see…

“Seeing is believing…”

In the lament we see the penalty for sin administered.  There is death, destruction, and imprisonment.  Darkness mingled with sorrow.  When the light of faith shines bright, we see the darkness  dispelled; what was destroyed  rebuilt, and what was in bondage  set free.

 “Repent and live!”  Words of the Sovereign Lord.

rejoice and not weep

Ezekiel 12:1-20

Now the word of the LORD came to me, saying: “Son of man, you dwell in the midst of a rebellious house, which has eyes to see but does not see, and ears to hear but does not hear; for they are a rebellious house.

“Therefore, son of man, prepare your belongings for captivity, and go into captivity by day in their sight. You shall go from your place into captivity to another place in their sight. It may be that they will consider, though they are a rebellious house. By day you shall bring out your belongings in their sight, as though going into captivity; and at evening you shall go in their sight, like those who go into captivity. Dig through the wall in their sight, and carry your belongings out through it. In their sight you shall bear them on your shoulders and carry them out at twilight; you shall cover your face, so that you cannot see the ground, for I have made you a sign to the house of Israel.”

So I did as I was commanded. I brought out my belongings by day, as though going into captivity, and at evening I dug through the wall with my hand. I brought them out at twilight, and I bore them on my shoulder in their sight.

And in the morning the word of the LORD came to me, saying, “Son of man, has not the house of Israel, the rebellious house, said to you, ‘What are you doing?’ Say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “This burden concerns the prince in Jerusalem and all the house of Israel who are among them.” ’ Say, ‘I am a sign to you. As I have done, so shall it be done to them; they shall be carried away into captivity.’  And the prince who is among them shall bear his belongings on his shoulder at twilight and go out. They shall dig through the wall to carry them out through it. He shall cover his face, so that he cannot see the ground with his eyes.  I will also spread My net over him, and he shall be caught in My snare. I will bring him to Babylon, to the land of the Chaldeans; yet he shall not see it, though he shall die there.  I will scatter to every wind all who are around him to help him, and all his troops; and I will draw out the sword after them.

“Then they shall know that I am the LORD, when I scatter them among the nations and disperse them throughout the countries.  But I will spare a few of their men from the sword, from famine, and from pestilence, that they may declare all their abominations among the Gentiles wherever they go. Then they shall know that I am the LORD.”

Moreover the word of the LORD came to me, saying, “Son of man, eat your bread with quaking, and drink your water with trembling and anxiety. And say to the people of the land, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and to the land of Israel: “They shall eat their bread with anxiety, and drink their water with dread, so that her land may be emptied of all who are in it, because of the violence of all those who dwell in it. Then the cities that are inhabited shall be laid waste, and the land shall become desolate; and you shall know that I am the LORD.”

Pasted from <http://www.blueletterbible.org/tools/printerFriendly.cfm?b=Eze&c=12&t=nkjvp>

An object lesson on consequences for sin in the land is described in this passage.  Object lessons are not new, hmm?  The purpose is to attempt to reach those who are no longer following the commands of the Lord.  It is an attempt to extend mercy and reach out through the pain of rejected love.  The Lord tells Ezekiel:

“…It may be that they will consider, though they are a rebellious house.…”

He states:

“… you dwell in the midst of a rebellious house, …” 

Not much different today.  How long will the Lord be patient with this nation?  As long as there are those who follow his word and his teaching?  The phrase:

“…has eyes to see but does not see, and ears to hear but does not hear;…”

is repeatedly emphasized in scripture.  Jesus used this same phrase often.  True is it not?  We see, often it is in plain sight but we miss it; whatever the ‘it’ is. Another similarity with today is the violence in the land.  The Lord tells Ezekiel to:

“…eat your bread with quaking, and drink your water with trembling and anxiety. …”

and

“…“They shall eat their bread with anxiety, and drink their water with dread, …”

Be sure there are many today who eat in anxiety and drink in despair for the towns are laid waste, not only in other areas of the world but also right here in our country.  Visit any inner city to see this truth, or many downtown areas of our nation. He says:

“…the cities that are inhabited shall be laid waste,…” and

“… because of the violence of all those who dwell in it….”

We have ample evidence of the violence done by those who dwell in these areas and the violence is spreading.

The Lord told Ezekiel:

“…I have made you a sign to the house of Israel.”…”

and the same can be true today of all believers.  We are the sign to those unbelievers apart from God and to believers who no longer follow the commands of the Lord but have turned away even though they have knowledge of the Lord.  Jesus said we are salt and light to an unbelieving world. This passage continues to state:

“…they shall know that I am the LORD…”

We can know him through Christ and rejoice or we can know him outside of Christ and weep.  But it is oft stated that we will know that he is Lord.

Our take away is this:  These may be ancient words but they are still accurate and true for today.  Mankind has not changed.  Neither has God.  His hand of mercy is still extended to all who will ‘see’ and ‘hear’.  Let’s be sure to be an object lesson to those around us.  Let’s be sure to share Christ so that there may be more who can rejoice and not weep.

Speaking truth to another in love…

Speaking truth to another in love…

Monday, June 18, 2012

6:05 AM

This is often an area that produces a dilemma.  We are aware of something in another that is bringing harm to them and because we love them we want to fix it or make it better.  Scripture is useful for instruction and rebuke.  We are instructed however to act in love at all times.

If I see in another that which is producing harm in them, I can, in love, speak to that condition.  With the fruit of the spirit of love and kindness, I can speak.  If it is received, well and good.  If it is not, I do not take offense or feel the need to make it happen.  I do not possess that ability it is God’s doing.  What I perceive, they must also perceive to make change.  If they do not, that is their loss not mine and I am free of obligation for it never was mine.  Change is of the spirit and it is the work of God.  We are light and salt.  We show the truth, shed light on it.  The light from a lamp illuminates and that is it, no more.  Salt gives back, enhances flavor and preserves from decay.  It must be received and used to have effect.  If not, the lack of change is not the fault of the salt.

Justified by faith…

Romans 3:21-31

But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed,  to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? No, but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law.  Or is He the God of the Jews only? Is He not also the God of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also, since there is one God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law.

The law, the prophets were witnesses to the righteousness of God.  What set the Jewish people apart from the rest was the covenant reached between God and Abraham, with the sign of circumcision to seal it.  That covenant promised that mankind would be redeemed back to a right relationship with God.  It promised redemption from the sin that had entered our world.  It has been established that we are all sinners, regardless of whether we are from the Jew or from the Gentile and God of the Jew is God of all he has created.  In that place we all need redemption.  The law defines sin, circumcision is the sign that God has promised redemption and it would come through the Jewish people.  However, we are all still left with a need for redemption from sin until we accept, through faith, the promise fulfilled in Jesus Christ.  All of mankind, all of God’s creation, requires redemption to enter once again into a right relationship with Him.  He has provided that as promised through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Justified through faith is the summative statement for this passage.   We are cleansed from the curse of sin and given the righteousness of God to life eternal that begins now.  We are empowered with the ability to live the righteous life through the gift of salvation and the Holy Spirit. JustifiedJust as if we had not sinned.   All of this is based on faith, and it is the application of faith that makes it possible.  Faith began with the law and the promise in circumcision and continues with belief that Jesus is the Christ.  So with the coming of Jesus, the law and the promise were validated and now the new covenant with God is possible.  We can be justified through faith, through believing what God has said, has done, what God is saying, is doing, and what he will say and will do.  Are we thankful?  Are we exercising faith and believing?  Can that be seen in our lives?  Take away; Lets be grateful for the fulfilled promise, exercise our faith and receive the righteousness of God.  In this we cannot boast for it is not of our doing, he did it for us.  So then let’s boast in Him.  Isn’t He great?  Doesn’t He deserve our thanks and praise?  He could have just walked away and left us in our sin, in darkness.  He didn’t.  He loved us enough to redeem us and bring us to light, out of sin.  “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”  but are “justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,” and  “man is justified by faith“. 

Share the light…

Acts 13:42-52

So when the Jews went out of the synagogue,  the Gentiles begged that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath.  Now when the congregation had broken up, many of the Jews and devout proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas, who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God.

On the next Sabbath almost the whole city came together to hear the word of God.  But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy; and contradicting and blaspheming, they opposed the things spoken by Paul.  Then Paul and Barnabas grew bold and said, “It was necessary that the word of God should be spoken to you first; but since you reject it, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, behold, we turn to the Gentiles.  For so the Lord has commanded us:

‘I have set you as a light to the Gentiles,

That you should be for salvation to the ends of the earth.’”

 Now when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and glorified the word of the Lord. And as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed.

And the word of the Lord was being spread throughout all the region. But the Jews stirred up the devout and prominent women and the chief men of the city, raised up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them from their region. But they shook off the dust from their feet against them, and came to Iconium. And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.

 “I have made/set you as a light…that you should/may bring salvation…”  We must share what we are given.  There are those he has “appointed to eternal life who will receive…” .  They cannot receive unless they hear, they cannot hear unless someone tells them.  We can tell all who cross our paths and those who will, will receive.  Then they are blessed and so are we.  “I will also give You as a light to the Gentiles, That You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth.’ ”  – Isaiah 49:6  We are the light as we share, eternal life begins now.

The light that blinds…

Acts 9:1-9

Then Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.

As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?”

And he said, “Who are You, Lord?”

Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.  It is hard for you to kick against the goads.”

So he, trembling and astonished, said, “Lord, what do You want me to do?”

Then the Lord said to him, “Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”

And the men who journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice but seeing no one. Then Saul arose from the ground, and when his eyes were opened he saw no one. But they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. And he was three days without sight, and neither ate nor drank.

 Is it significant that he was blind for three days?  Christ went to the cross, died and was buried and three days later rose again.  Saul’s intent  to destroy the name of Jesus, brought him face to face with Jesus. In that confrontation, he believed and called Jesus, Lord.  Saul was not a stranger to God, he felt he was doing the will of God, until he met Jesus face-to-face.  Saul was not lacking in zeal and love for God, but it was founded in the teachings of men.  The unbeliever may already possess the seeds of belief and just need to be introduced to Jesus.  We are the ones who can introduce them to him as we share.  Share in what we know, share by how we live, share as we demonstrate that same love for our brothers and sister that Jesus shows for us.  It becomes a light that blinds and shows others the Lord we love and follow.  Jesus came to Saul and he comes today to those around us.  Be ready to introduce him today through our words and deeds.  Be a light that blinds to the wisdom of the world and brings to the wisdom of God.

Die and live…

John 12:20-36

Now there were certain Greeks among those who came up to worship at the feast. Then they came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida of Galilee, and asked him, saying, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.”

Philip came and told Andrew, and in turn Andrew and Philip told Jesus.

But Jesus answered them, saying, “The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified.  Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain.  He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.

“Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour. Father, glorify Your name.”

Then a voice came from heaven, saying, “I have both glorified it and will glorify it again.”

Therefore the people who stood by and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, “An angel has spoken to Him.”

Jesus answered and said, “This voice did not come because of Me, but for your sake. Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out. And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.” This He said, signifying by what death He would die.

The people answered Him, “We have heard from the law that the Christ remains forever; and how can You say, ‘The Son of Man must be lifted up’? Who is this Son of Man?”

Then Jesus said to them, “A little while longer the light is with you. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you; he who walks in darkness does not know where he is going.  While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.” These things Jesus spoke, and departed,and was hidden from them. 

“We wish to see Jesus.”  “If I am lifted up…I will draw all peoples to myself.”  A request from outside God’s people, and Jesus’ response to draw all people to himself.  The expansion of the kingdom  is seen in the wheat kernel.  Jesus came to earth, to die, to live again giving light to a dark world.  The death of the fallen seed, gave life and produced many more.  And the life continues…Jesus death and resurrection brought light and life,  gave the ability to others to become sons of light.  Continue in the light.  Keep it bright and burning, not only for us to know and see but for those around us to know and see. Darkness creates confusion, lack of direction, loss of orientation and knowledge.  We can walk when we have light; without light we have fear.  God’s Word is a light to our path, a lamp to our feet.  We hide His words in our heart that we might not sin against God. 

Light within and before

It is you we adore

Light shining bright

Dispel the dark of night

Light we trust and know

Guide us as we go

Forward in your love

Flowing through us from above

Gather together in one …the force that changes

John 11:45-57

Then many of the Jews who had come to Mary, and had seen the things Jesus did, believed in Him. But some of them went away to the Pharisees and told them the things Jesus did. Then the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered a council and said, “What shall we do? For this Man works many signs.  If we let Him alone like this, everyone will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and nation.”

 And one of them, Caiaphas, being high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all,  nor do you consider that it is expedient for us  that one man should die for the people, and not that the whole nation should perish.”  Now this he did not say on his own authority; but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation, and not for that nation only, but also that He would gather together in one the children of God who were scattered abroad.

Then, from that day on, they plotted to put Him to death.  Therefore Jesus no longer walked openly among the Jews, but went from there into the country near the wilderness, to a city called Ephraim, and there remained with His disciples.

And the Passover of the Jews was near, and many went from the country up to Jerusalem before the Passover, to purify themselves.  Then they sought Jesus, and spoke among themselves as they stood in the temple, “What do you think—that He will not come to the feast?” Now both the chief priests and the Pharisees had given a command, that if anyone knew where He was, he should report it, that they might seize Him.

 God moved, He spoke and it came through the opposition!  God cannot be limited; not by our attempts to box him into a form that resembles us.  We were made in His image not the other way around.  We expect good things to come from good people and bad things to come from bad people but sometimes it isn’t so.  God moved upon the face of the earth and all responded.  All forces both those with the potential for good and those with the potential for destruction.  He is not limited even to those who are willing.  He can and often did and does use the unwilling, often without their knowledge.  We who listen for His voice, who look with eyes that are open, and a mind that is renewed can be made aware of His moving on the face of the earth even today. 

God’s Word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path.  We hide His words in our heart  to avoid sinning against Him.  Living by faith as Jesus taught doesn’t  always mean shouting it out to all around us.  Sometimes we, like Christ, might need to go away , to a desert to listen and be taught without interference and distraction.  Living is not a synonym for ‘in your face’ tactics.  It implies a quieter message, a more genuine testimony of the presence of God in our lives.

Those opposing Jesus, prophesied of his eminent death and its purpose; the reuniting of God’s people into one force.  This force moved on the face of the earth and changed it forever.  As we move in God’s plans, according to His will, we will be a part of this move upon the face of the earth; and it will be seen as one force…used by and for God’s purpose.

Through the night, white stuff has fallen erasing the paths and roadways from view.  The plows move about, scraping the ribbons of roadway clear of the sticky white snow and revealing a once hidden pathway to the traveler.  God’s Word can scrape the sticky white stuff the enemy would throw on the ribbons of life’s paths away and the traveler in life can once more move freely about fulfilling God’s will and purpose.

Share the light…

John 9:1-12

Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, saying, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him.  I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

When He had said these things, He spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva; and He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay. And He said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which is translated, Sent). So he went and washed, and came back seeing.

Therefore the neighbors and those who previously had seen that he was blind said, “Is not this he who sat and begged?”

Some said, “This is he.” Others said, “He is like him.”

He said, “I am he.”

Therefore they said to him, “How were your eyes opened?”

He answered and said, “A Man called Jesus made clay and anointed my eyes and said to me, ‘Go to the pool of Siloam and wash.’ So I went and washed, and I received sight.”

Then they said to him, “Where is He?”

He said, “I do not know.”

 Obedience brought healing.  Repeat:  obedience brings healing.  This man did as he was told and he was blessed for that.  The work of God was displayed in his life.  His eyes were opened that he might see and others around him were affected by that blessing as well.  Our eyes can be opened, God’s work can be displayed in our life as we are blessed for being obedient.  The eyes of the spirit can receive sight to see and understand the message sent to us by God for salvation from the wages of sin in our lives.  Jesus was the touch.  Jesus states he is the light of the world and God’s work must be done in the light.  “while it is day…”as long as we have access to Christ we will work the work he gives us.  He informs us that night is coming when we can’t.  He is the light by which we work, he is the light that gives the day in which to work. That work is living the life he gives, sharing the life he gives, passing on the blessing that he gives, being a part of the light that he is, so that  spiritual eyes around us that are blind may be opened to see his glory and receive his blessing as well.

Dispel the darkness…let there be light

John 12-30

Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”

The Pharisees therefore said to Him, “You bear witness of Yourself; Your witness is not true.”

Jesus answered and said to them, “Even if I bear witness of Myself, My witness is true, for I know where I came from and where I am going; but you do not know where I come from and where I am going. You judge according to the flesh; I judge no one. And yet if I do judge, My judgment is true; for I am not alone, but I am with the Father who sent Me. It is also written in your law that the testimony of two men is true. I am One who bears witness of Myself, and the Father who sent Me bears witness of Me.”

 Then they said to Him, “Where is Your Father?”

Jesus answered, “You know neither Me nor My Father. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also.”

These words Jesus spoke in the treasury, as He taught in the temple; and no one laid hands on Him, for His hour had not yet come.

 Then Jesus said to them again, “I am going away, and you will seek Me, and will die in your sin. Where I go you cannot come.”

So the Jews said, “Will He kill Himself, because He says, ‘Where I go you cannot come’?”

And He said to them, “You are from beneath; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world.  Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.”

Then they said to Him, “Who are You?”

And Jesus said to them, “Just what I have been saying to you from the beginning. I have many things to say and to judge concerning you, but He who sent Me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I heard from Him.”

 They did not understand that He spoke to them of the Father.

Then Jesus said to them, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and that I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things. And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him.”  As He spoke these words, many believed in Him.

 Who is this Jesus?  What does he do? Where did he come from?  What is his purpose?  These are the questions; the answers are here.  He says he is light and those who follow him will not walk in darkness. There is the darkness of the night with lack of light, darkness of a closed room in which no light can be found, darkness of a closed mind in which no understanding can be found, darkness of the soul with lack of light that comes from love.  For each condition, Jesus says he is light.  He says belief in him brings light and that light brings life.  God led the Israelites in the wilderness with a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night.  His light led them and they followed. They demonstrated trust when they followed.  Light begins with trust.  We trust light will come when we flip the switch.  Light implies clear knowledge and understanding when in the light.  We can see where to walk when the light is on.

 When Jesus’ testimony is challenged for validity, he tells us he is not alone, the Father is with him. His origin is from above while ours is from below.  He was sent to us from the Father, we are the Father’s creation from the earth.  We are in need of release from the darkness our sins place us in.  Belief in Christ grants us that release. As Jesus states he does what the Father tells him, so we tell what he has told us. As Jesus states his purpose is to be lifted up for us in obedience to the Father’s will, so our purpose is to do as Jesus commands and share what we know and trust with others.  Not to manipulate but that they may also walk in light rather than darkness.  The sharing is an act of love with concern for the other, that and no more.