The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light;
those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness,
on them has light shone.
Isaiah 9:2 ESV
What or who is that light? It is Jesus Christ. It is truth. It is righteousness and holiness. It is the opposite of darkness, which is evil and wickedness. So, it is purity, honesty, faithfulness, integrity, and uprightness, etc. It is all that is of God and is of his divine nature and of his will for our lives. And, it all comes to us through the life of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world.
For, we all once dwelt in darkness. We were born into this world with sin natures, separate from God, and incapable within ourselves to be acceptable to God and to share in his holiness and righteousness. We had no hope. There was no healing for our sin-sick souls that we could muster up for ourselves. Nothing of this world could satisfy the deep longings of our souls or fill the emptiness – that God-void inside each and every one of us.
But, thanks be to God the Father, he sent His only begotten Son into the world to save sinners like you and me. Glory to God! And, his light did shine on us so that we could see the glory of the Father in his Son. And, he revealed to us his righteousness and holiness. And, his light, too, shone on our sin and it exposed our weakness and our need of Christ to save us from our sins and to deliver us out of our slavery to sin.
The light revealed to us that we were lost in our sins, without hope, and that we were living in addiction to sin and headed for hell. And, it showed us the way to true freedom in Christ Jesus, but not just from the punishment of sin, but freedom from our slavery to sin. Amen! And, the Light taught us that we must die with Christ to sin and live with Christ to his righteousness – all in the working and power of God’s Holy Spirit at work within our lives.
And, the light showed us that we must, thus, forsake our lives of living for self and in sin, and that we must then turn to God to follow our Lord in truth, in righteousness, and in obedience to his commands. And, then we can have the hope of forgiveness of sins, of salvation from our slavery to sin, and the hope and assurance of eternal life with God in heaven (Lu. 9:23-26; Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17; Eph. 4:17-24; Tit. 2:11-14).
You have multiplied the nation;
you have increased its joy;
they rejoice before you
as with joy at the harvest,
as they are glad when they divide the spoil.
For the yoke of his burden,
and the staff for his shoulder,
the rod of his oppressor,
you have broken as on the day of Midian.
Isaiah 9:3-4 ESV
When we accept God’s invitation to receive Jesus Christ into our lives, to be our Savior and Lord (owner-master), and we die with him to sin that we might live to him and to his righteousness, by the Spirit of God, we are set free from our burden (slavery, addiction) to sin. Amen! That is awesome!
And, there is no greater joy than this that Jesus set us free, not just from the punishment of sin, but from our addiction to sin. For, this is why he died, that we might die with him to sin and live with him to righteousness; that we might no longer live for ourselves, but for him who gave his life up for us (1 Pet. 2:24; 2 Co. 5:15; Rom. 6:1-23; Eph. 4:17-24).
But, it doesn’t end there. Now we must walk (in lifestyle, in practice) in agreement with the Spirit of God. Daily we are to die to sin and self. Daily we are to resist the devil, and flee temptation, and draw near to God. And, daily we are to put on the armor of God with which to fight off Satan’s evil attacks against us (Rom. 8:1-17; Lu. 9:23-26; Eph. 6:10-20; Jas. 4:7-10).
For, the Christian life is not based on a one-time decision we made to believe in Jesus. It must be continuous, on-going, and persevering, etc. For, our salvation from sin was not just to get us out of hell and into heaven. It was to give us new lives, new lifestyles, no longer to be lived for self and the flesh, but now to be lived for God and for his glory, praise and honor.
And, the Christian life is to be a life that is dedicated to the Lord and to his service, but not just part time, and not according to what we want or desire. It is to be a life surrendered to Jesus Christ, holding nothing back from God, but giving him our all. And, in that is where you will find true peace, joy and freedom in Christ Jesus, your Lord, when you give him your ALL.
For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and of peace
there will be no end,
on the throne of David and over his kingdom,
to establish it and to uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
from this time forth and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.
Isaiah 9:6-7 ESV
Jesus didn’t die on that cross for us just so we could be delivered from hell and go to heaven when we die, as has already been stated. He died that our lives might be hidden in him, and that he might truly be our Lord, our Sovereign over our lives, and that we might do his bidding. For, truly he is God, and he is the King of kings, and the Lord of lords over all.
And, it isn’t just that he wants to rule over our lives, which he does, but he wants to have an intimate relationship with us, too, like a husband should want to have with his wife, and I am not speaking here of sexual intimacy. For, we can’t have true sexual intimacy in a marriage if we are not truly united in heart and mind with Christ and then with one another in love.
So, the intimacy I am referring to here is of the heart, the mind and the emotion. And, it is based on true agape love which prefers what God prefers, which is what is pure, holy, righteous, honest and faithful, etc. For, if we are still living to please our flesh, and not the Spirit, we are not going to have true intimacy with God or with our spouses or anyone else.
So, if we want to have intimate fellowship with our Lord, and him with us, we need to make him our Sovereign Lord and allow him to rule and to reign over our lives. And, then we need to listen to his counsel, his Word, and abide by it, doing what it says, and not just talking about what it says.
For, in a marriage relationship, which is what we have with Jesus, by faith in him, if all we do is talk “love” but we don’t act in true love, then that isn’t love. Saying “I love you” to God or to spouse needs to be followed up with action. For, the Word of God says that to love God is to obey him, and that if we don’t obey him, then we don’t love him, so true love is putting action to our words. And, it is being honest, pure and faithful, in practice.
So, if we tell our spouse “I love you,” and then we habitually and willfully and even premeditatedly sin against our spouse, and we do not change course, but we keep recycling the same behaviors, then that isn’t love. That is pure selfishness. And, God sees it the same way when we tell him we love him but then we go our own way and we do what we want and we willfully disobey him and turn away from him and we cheat on him and lie about it, too. He doesn’t see that as love (Jn. 14:23-24; 1 Jn. 2:3-6; Jn. 8:31-47).
So, to have true intimacy with God we need to walk in the Light as He is in the Light, and then we will have true fellowship with him and with the body of Christ who are also in true fellowship with him. And, then his blood cleanses us from every sin (1 Jn. 1:5-9; Lu. 9:23-26; Jn. 10:27-30).
Songs in the Night
An Original Work / December 18, 2013
“About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.” Acts 16:25 NIV ‘84
Lord, I praise You forevermore.
You, my Savior, I now adore.
Hope in heaven awaiting me,
Because You died at Calvary.
I have been forgiven,
And I’m bound for heaven.
Jesus set me free from
All my sin, I say.
I will praise Him always!
Lord, I love You for all You’ve done:
Overcame death, my vict’ry won!
Jesus saved me, and now I’m free!
I rejoice in His love for me.
I will walk in vict’ry!
My sin is but hist’ry!
I am free to please Him
With my life today.
I will love Him always!
Lord, I thank You for giving me
A new life bought at Calvary.
Loving Jesus, I meet with Him.
Tender mercies now flow within.
Lord, I am so thankful;
Through my Lord, I’m able
To sit at His table;
Fellowship with Him.
I will thank Him always!