One of my habitual spiritual practices is to listen and read along with the Daily Audio Bible podcast. On most days (like today!) I will take a photo of the sunrise and include a scripture that stands out to me from the readings of that day.
Right now I’m also focusing on writing this “Season of Light” devotional series, so there’s a good deal of experimentation as I research and gather information, as well as inspiration, fromÂ many disparate sources.Â
Today’s DAB reading included this passage from the book of Matthew:
16Â the people living in darkness
Â Â Â Â have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of the shadow of death
Â Â Â Â a light has dawned.â€
Here Matthew is quoting the prophecies of Isaiah Chapter 9 as he’s beginning to describe the ministry of Jesus, which we will look into it with great depth in the coming days.
My thought for today though is this idea of “people living in darkness”.Â We’re talking about a society created through an accumulation of lifestyles that results in a culture of death.
It’s the same for us today as it was in the tine of Jesus, as it was in the time of Isaiah. When we live detached from the light of God, we become spiritually and morally dead. The problem is, we’re living in the dark. We may even be spiritually dead, and not even know it.
Oh, what to do? This is the sense of longing and yearning that we would have experienced through the Advent season. The good news of Christmas is, of course, that “a Savior has been born for the salvation of all nations”. And Jesus is our deliver from darkness, and our source joy!
But it’s very interesting what the first message of Jesus is. (I’m getting a little bit ahead of myself here, but it’s relevant.)
From that time on Jesus began to preach, â€œRepent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.â€ Matthew 4:17
The Voice Translation describes “repent”this way: “change your inner selfâ€”your old way of thinking, regret past sins, live your life in a way that proves repentance; seek Godâ€™s purpose for your life”.
From what I’ve experienced, and I believe this is true for most of us – repentance is not a one time decision, but an on-going process of mindful life choices. And the lessons of “how to walk in the light” that I don’t grasp, or fail to understand, or just don’t want to do – I get the opportunity to learn again. Or maybe even over and over, again and again.
How about you?
I once heard Francis Frangipane say something like “if God gives you a test and you don’t pass it, don’t worry – you’ll get a retest. Because He wants to make sure you can pass the test.” That’s how I remember that particular teaching point, but I’ll have to research and see what he actually did say.
to be continued ….
About Season Of Light
I am writing a devotional series called â€œSeason of Lightâ€ (#SeasonOfLife) during the beginning of 2016, focusing on the 40 day season of Epiphany (from January 6 â€“ February 10). Weâ€™ll explore the major biblical themes ofÂ the beginning of Jesus ministry, and Iâ€™ll comment as the Holy Spirit inspires. This is for the purpose of growing in our relationship with the Lord. My desire â€“ my hope and prayer for you â€“ is that yourÂ heart may expand and your spirit grow brighter as we seek to be filled with the knowledge and presence of God. So, I invite you to join me on the â€œSeason of Lightâ€ journey!
Often Iâ€™ll be inspired by a scripture from the Daily Audio Bible readings and use that as a writing prompt. Hereâ€™s theÂ DAB readings for January 4: