God of Peace

www.bible.com/1713/php.4.9.csb

Need some peace today? With the tumult and discontent so evident today, it’s far easier to be worried than peaceful. Worry about our culture, our political process, protection from the evil that men do can consume and overwhelm us. Not to mention that money is right, work is scarce, and there is always a need for more. Lord what is this world coming to?

But God is a God of peace. In Him is ultimate peace, safety and security from all alarms. There is confidence in Him that things will be okay. There is no worry in Him, but blessed assurance. In Him is the peace that we have longed for, and unconsciously seek when we cry out for a break. But how can we receive this peace?

Paul offers this: put into practice what you have seen and heard him do. Paul preached and taught, and lived with the assurance of God in him. He faced down his enemies with truth and love. He fiercely loved his friends, and even confronted them when they were wrong, but never stopped loving them. Paul imitated Christ. And that what he encourages us to do. Follow Jesus, and you will know this peace.

I’ve seen men and women on death’s doorstep rejoicing in the Lord. I’ve seen folks in extremity of circumstance smiling, because they’ve met this God of peace, and He so fills them that they do not fear anymore. Do you want to meet Him?

Heavenly Father, in the faces of the forlorn, I have seen anger, worry and concern replaced by the great peace You offer when given the chance to turn their pain in Your peace. It is an awesome sight. I pray for that peace in my own life. You are the great and mighty God, and to You I have given my life and soul’s direction. Guide me this day into following the Son, so that I may be more like Him. In His Name I pray, Amen.

I Still Love You

www.bible.com/1713/isa.54.10.csb

Have you ever felt like God has abandoned you? Maybe you’ve been going through a tough time and you’ve cried out to God over and over again, only to feel like your prayers are just hitting the ceiling. Maybe you’ve cried out to God again and again but nothing has changed. You’ve tried to be “prayed up” and holy, looked for every flaw in every corner of your being trying to figure out why God doesn’t answer. It’s very easy to come feeling that God just doesn’t love you anymore.

This 54th chapter of Isaiah addresses this issue. God through Isaiah is speaking to Judah, the last remnants of the people of the promised land. The Assyrians had destroyed and carried off their brothers of Israel to the north, and Judah alone was left in the world, God’s only people left on earth. They were the only ones who worshipped the True God, and yet even this God seemed like he had abandoned them.

“For the LORD has called you, like a wife deserted and wounded in spirit, a wife of one’s youth when she is rejected,” says your God. “I deserted you for a brief moment, but I will take you back with great compassion.””
(Isa 54:6-7)

In the next verse, God explains Himself to them:

“In a surge of anger I hid My face from you for a moment, but I will have compassion on you with everlasting love,” says the LORD your Redeemer. “For this is like the days of Noah to Me: when I swore that the waters of Noah would never flood the earth again, so I have sworn that I will not be angry with you or rebuke you.””
(Isa 54:8-9)

God did not have to do or say anything. God is completely justified in all that He does. Yet, he wanted Judah to know why he had abandoned them for a little while. He wanted them to know that He was angry with them, and that He “hid” from them for a while. I would suspect He hid from them for their protection, rather than out of any fear on His part. God’s absolute righteousness was offended and angered by their actions. He “hid” Himself so that He would not reflexively destroy them. How do you discipline those you love? When your children go astray, do you lash out in anger, or do you temper your response by first leaving the room until you compose yourself? That would be an analogy of what God does here. Because of their sin, and His absolutely justified response in wiping them out, God “takes five”, removes Himself from them for a moment, and then returns in His compassion. He recalls to them what happens when His anger is allowed to work — the Flood. There was a time when God released His justice upon the world (in the days of Noah) and destroyed every human being on it, save eight aboard the Ark. That’s God’s anger. Maybe we ought to be grateful that God “takes five” from time to time.

It’s like an old joke I heard once about fathers and their children. When Mom comes home to find out what misadventures dad had had with the kids, he says, “at least they didn’t die!” I think we can get a bit narrow-minded in our understanding of God’s blessings. We look at all the things we don’t have. We mourn that our lives just aren’t as good as others. And we complain about it. Sometimes our prayers are hitting the ceiling because God has hidden His face from us, perhaps fuming that we haven’t acknowledged a single gift He HAS given us, let alone the eternal gift of life everlasting, which we have never and cannot ever earn for our ourselves. Yes, often we sound like ungrateful punks to the Lord, who don’t appreciate the things we have, complaining like the Israelites in the desert: “Well yeah you miraculously freed us from the most powerful nation on this planet, but where’s my lunch?” We complain about not getting everything we think we deserve when we have been freed from the most powerful enemy on this earth, death and Hell. What is your freedom worth to you? The Israelites, though free from any oppression in the wilderness, and on their way to the Promised Land, reminisced about how good they had it back in Egypt under slavery, with plenty to eat.

Yeah, we have cancer. Yeah, our heart is a mess. Yeah, our kids are causing all kinds of heart-ache, but it sure beats Hell. Yes, I am beset on every side with stress and conflict. Yes my world is falling apart, but Hell is worse, and I’ve been saved from that. I wonder sometimes if we are subjected to some of there horrible circumstances just to remind us of what we are being saved from. We don’t know what Hell is like, but whatever we are going through now, we know Hell must be worse, and for the Christian, this is the worst Hell we will every experience.

Lord, I know I must sound very ungrateful at times, selfish, unconcerned with all the GOOD You have given to me. I know that when I complain, I still have many blessings that I didn’t earn, nor deserve. I cannot thank You enough for my salvation in Jesus, and when it comes down to it, that’s the only thing that matters. Please fill me again with the joy of my Lord. Please pour into me the joy of my salvation, drowning out all the cares of this world, so that I may see You afresh. Thank You Jesus for giving Your life for mine. In Your Name I pray, Amen.

Hidden

www.bible.com/1713/psa.119.11.csb

There are things we like to keep concealed, not available for public viewing. Surprisingly, despite the best efforts of social media to extract from us our most closely held secrets, even the people who let it all hang out on the Facebooks the weblogs are still not the same people behind the screens. I think in part it has to do with the way our brains work.

There is a me who is revealed through my personality and my speech and interaction with others. This is generally a me who works to exist alongside others, work with others, and tries to present a genial person to the world. This is the personality I’ve found to work the best in social environments. Then there is a me that is revealed in writing, whose voice tends to be more direct, to the point of an issue, who rushes to get to a point even though there are necessary evidences that ought to be presented along the way. It is my writing brain that perhaps is more revealing of who I am than the person I present otherwise. And so things slip out more easily through my fingers than through my lips.

I think this is why Facebook rants tend to be so vitriolic. Stuff you would never say out loud tends to slip right out with SEND or POST. A “slip of the tongue” is much easier in writing than in face to face conversation. This is what people keep hidden, their hidden sorrows, hidden desires, hidden lusts kept away from the rest of the world, with only brief glimpses through speech they can’t actually “hear” when when they say it.

Let me share this little passage with you:

Brood of vipers! How can you speak good things when you are evil? For the mouth speaks from the overflow of the heart. A good man produces good things from his storeroom of good, and an evil man produces evil things from his storeroom of evil. I tell you that on the day of judgment people will have to account for every careless word they speak. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”
(Mat 12:34-37)

O wicked man that I am. Who will save me from this body of death? Ah, but there is an answer, isn’t there? It’s in the verse that started this monologue from the Psalms. Where is the one place you can hide God’s word that will do the most good? That will transform the heart? That will bring purity to the heart of a man? (Jeremiah 17:9, “the heart is more deceitful than anything else, and incurable — who can understand it?”) What can cleanse the wickedness of the human heart? The Word of God. The one place where you hide the Word of God is the one place that needs it the most.

How can I hide the word of God in my heart? Read it. Put the word through your eyes into your mind where it will be digested by the heart in thinking about it. Allow yourself to memorize key passages like the ones above to let those verse percolate through your thinking and shape your thoughts. Consider the word and let it shape you, mold you, and transform you, so that “as a man thinks, so is he.” (Proverbs 23:7)

Lord, help me transform my heart. I know my heart is filthy and needs a good wash. Once you did that for me when I was baptized. You cleansed my heart fully. And now as you once told Peter, he was is is washed is clean, and needs only to wash his feet. Lord I feel my time in this world has soiled my feet again, and I need to bathe in the purity of the Lord Jesus. Lord hear my prayer, help me be pure again before You. In Your holy Name I pray, Amen.

Worthy

www.bible.com/1713/rev.4.11.csb

I can’t tell you how true this is. I really can’t, because to tell it to you would imply I could understand it, communicate it, and you could understand it too. I don’t think either of us is capable of this kind of understanding. For to understand the worthiness of God would also be to understand His eternal and infinite nature. My human mind just isn’t up to the task. But I can easily say “You are worthy!” and fully believe and trust every word of it. For God is worthy.

The writer names three things that God is worthy of 1) glory, 2) honor, and 3) power. This statement by the way is communicated to the Lord via the 24 elders that surround the throne. That offers a little context here, as the source of God’s praise and glory here does not come from an earthly source, but from these creatures in Heaven who in all likelihood represent the Church and Israel. In context, before they offer this word of praise, these 24 elders cast the crowns from their heads before the throne, an act of utter submission and humility before the One who sits on the throne. If there are any who understand among the human race what these three things are, I would hope it would be these glorified men before the throne of God. This raises the stakes of understanding, as they have a deeper understanding of the very things we are discussing.

So whatever glory these elders have received (they are wearing crowns and have received some glory to be able to sit in the presence of the throne), the One who sits on the is worthy of more glory. Whatever honor these men have received for the same, the One who sits on the throne is worthy of more honor. Whatever power these men have to sit at foot at the throne, the One who sits on the is worthy of more. For all the glory, honor and power they have been given, it is nothing compared to the One who sits on the throne, the Eternal One, the All-Powerful One. Even these men in their glorified state know that they are not the One.

If these glorified Elders can acknowledge the glory, honor, and power of the One, what are we doing? We have no glory, no honor, and certainly no power, yet we grasp at it ourselves, claiming some kind of divine favor because God loves us. Compared to Him, we are microbes, and that’s being generous. The only grace, glory, honor, and power we have is what He has given to us, to use for His glory. There can be no pride in the presence of a Christian. It is anathema to God, for whom all credit for all things is due. He is the Creator. He made all things. He deserves all the praise, because all things owe Him their existence. He ALONE is worthy. We are privileged, PRIVILEGED, to receive any grace whatsoever.

I am sorry, we must start here, with who God is, Hie eternal nature, His worthiness, His absolute sovereignty over the universe, before we can being to understand Jesus, and what it meant for Jesus to become a man, lay His life down for us, bearing upon Himself the weight of man’s sin before this Almighty God. As worthy and amazing as God is, the Lamb is given this honor:

“When He [the Lamb] took the scroll, the four living creatures and the 24 elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and gold bowls filled with incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song: ‘You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because You were slaughtered, and You redeemed people for God by Your blood from every tribe and language and people and nation.'”
(Rev 5:8-9)

That’s Jesus. That’s the Jesus who came from the worthy God and demonstrated that worthiness before us. Jesus showed us what God’s worthiness means. He is worthy of glory, honor and power, not just because he sits on a distant throne and surveys the universe He created. That alone would have been enough, more than enough. But He also sent His Son, His equal, His second Person of a Divine triunity we still do not understand, both God but also Man. This One showed us what God’s worthiness means. He would give it all up, all the glory, honor, and power, to live as one of us, to tell us about Himself, and ultimately to die in our place. He would take all of the offenses against HImself that all of us have or will ever commit, and took the penalty upon Himself. He is both a just God, and a God willing to pay the price for His own justice.

All for you.

Who is worthy? He is.

Lord Jesus, Son of God, the Lamb who bears the sins of the world, oh my God, may I never forget all that You are. I am ever in Your debt, because I can never repay what I owe you. All that I have is Yours, for it was Yours from the beginning. May I be of service to You today, casting aside my foolish pride, so that You may count me as one of Yours. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.

To All Generations

www.bible.com/1713/eph.3.20-21.csb

Who do you think Paul is talking about here? Is he talking about Jesus? You might think so, but Jesus is mentioned secondarily in this passage. He isn’t primary. To find the subject of this passage, you have to go all the way back to verse fourteen, where Paul writes, “I kneel before the Father.” Interesting huh? Context!

Now, does it change how we read this text? Well, not a lot. But it does show us a bit about how Paul thought of God. You see, of all the terms Paul could have used here, his favorite is “Father” when referring to God. This of course is in reference to Jesus, the Son. But Father is also important to us as believers in Christ, since we are also “sons” of God through faith. While there is one Son, the Son, we are also “sons” and “children” of God. And it is pretty remarkable.

I want you to notice something else about this verse. He is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think. I know that when I pray to God, and petition Him for certain outcomes, my imagination can only go so far. I can imagine a healing or a relief from stress or something minor like that. But God has infinite creativity. He is able to “do” beyond anything that we can “ask or think.” God “does” more before breakfast than I could ever imagine thinking. So in our limited capacity, we can ask, we can hope, and we can imagine, but God can DO. And His work surpasses anything that we could come up with.

I can remember when I was between churches and just bumming out, feeling sorry for myself about what God’s purpose and role for me was. Never in a million years would I ever have imagine looking in the want ads in the newspaper for a ministry position, but God did. My wife happened to see it first, showed me the classified, and thus began a four year ministry at Browns Corner Chapel outside Scipio, IN. I would have never imagined it, but God did, and God arranged circumstances to get me started there. God is like that.

The last piece I wanted to focus on is from my title above. Don’t let anyone tell you that the Bible is an old dusty book that belongs to history. There are books like that, but this isn’t one of them. This book, though it describes historical events and was written nearly 2000 years ago, is fresh every day. It wasn’t just written to the first generation, but to every generation. Jesus is just as alive and real today as He was for your grandparents and your ancestors. You can have as close a relationship with Jesus as the Apostle Paul, or even as Peter did, if you want it. Do you?

Lord Jesus, Heavenly Father, sweet Holy Spirit, I cannot help but be awed by what I see and hear. Your word continues to stand today as the best source of authority, Your message of hope that I will ever read. I cannot but be in awe and wonder by how Your old book still speaks. I am grateful that even such a one as I, far removed from the events of the Bible, can still read and be blessed, as if I too were participating in the events as they unfold. I too can experience the presence of God in my life just as the early disciples did, because You are just as real today as 2000 years ago. Lord, however I may serve You today, let me serve. In Your Name I pray, Amen.

You Are God’s Temple

www.bible.com/1713/1co.3.16.csb

Every once in a while, I run into an individual who quotes this verse to support their position against smoking, or taking drugs, or alcohol. The rationale is that since our body is a Temple, then we need to treat it as a holy place, hence none of these intoxicating substances are allowed, since they are considered “unholy”. Well, that’s not exactly correct.

You see, Paul isn’t about about individual bodies here. You might get that if you were looking at the English. You might think that Paul is addressing each individual as a Temple of God, but that’s not so. If you peel back the thin veneer of English and look at the Greek, you might see that the term “you” used in this sentence is a plural you. It is as we say here in the South, a “y’all” which I have to admit is probably one of the smartest additions in the English language in this region, since the singular “you” and the plural “you” both sound the same to ear.

How does that change our understanding? Instead of each individual person being a Temple (and as such to treated as a holy place) it instead puts the onus upon the group as a whole. Collectively, we are the Temple, as the Church. This isn’t a text that is appropriate to use against drugs and smoking (there are better texts for that). This is a text to reinforce that the Church is the place of God’s presence on Earth, and we ought to treat it as such.

Let us no more squabble or argue as God’s Church. His Presence is here among us. His Holy Spirit fills us and indwells us. We ought to respect that fact. We ought to acknowledge that we do not rule here. Boards do not rule here. Little old ladies with crooked fingers do not rule here. God rules here. We are the Temple, as we ought to better resemble our namesake, not in buildings and gold and finery, but in beauty, love and peace, compassion, welcome, sacrifice, and holiness. We are God’s Temple. We need to start acting like it.

Lord, forgive me where I’ve forgotten just how important we are to Your plan to bring the gospel to this world. Let us be filled again with Your Presence, to remember again our purpose and direction You have called us to. Let us be Your Temple again. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

My Weaknesses

www.bible.com/1713/2co.12.9.csb

I’ve never seen myself as a physically strong person. I’ve always been about average, enough to help move furniture when needed or lift the end of a couch to sweep under it, but never like, I don’t know, an Arnold Schwarzenegger or Andre the Giant kind of strength (kind of dating myself here). But then, I’ve only rarely been confronted with weakness to really know what it is.

Since I’ve been working as a hospital Chaplain, I’ve seen dozens of people who fit the description of this verse. I’ve have seen God’s power made perfect in weakness. And this is not because very ill people suddenly demonstrated great feats of strength. No I am talking about people who were dying from cancer, or riddled with a physical disability praising the Lord, so filled with God’s presence as to be animated solely by that strength. I’ve seen such great smiles erupt over the faces of gravely ill people because we were talking about Jesus. There is a power that defies any explanation, and I’ve seen it displayed in those who ought not to have it, but God makes the difference.

It is this extremity of situation that confirms for me the presence of Almighty God. God has been faithful in the past. He has healed and He has delivered. Has God changed? Has God faltered or failed? NO. God’s promises today are just as sure as they were before.

And this is the hope I have today, and the hope that I extend to those whose faith is failing them. Has God healed you, delivered you, shown you His power in the past? Has God been faithful?

It intrigued me when reading through the Bible how often God mentions Sinai and the delivery through the Red Sea, the plagues of Egypt and Israel’s deliverance from bondage. He proclaims it through His prophets many times, to generation removes from those events by centuries. And yet the reminders come. Do you remember when God rescued you from Egypt? Do you remember when God delivered you all through the Red Sea, as if to say, “you would not be here today if I had not been faithful in the past,” all of these reminders that God has been faithful, and to therefore trust Him in the present.

What occasions in your life can only be explained by God’s intervention? Have you even been in a desperate situation, prayed over it, and then find yourself delivered? Have you had that kind of experience? We ought to remember these events to remind us that God is faithful, even to us today.

I know I’ve probably share this before, but I too have been in a desperate situation, more than one. I remember being stranded on a mountain face in Tennessee with my father, praying throughout a cold February night that I would do anything God wanted me to do if only He would get us through the night. Guess what. He did.

I remember praying desperately with my wife one night when we were both on the brink, childless, living out of an apartment, exhausted, depressed, with no prospects, no church, and no hope. And yet within six months, we had a new Church ministry, a new baby on the way, a new job situation, and a new home. These are things that had no idea would come my way at the time we prayed, so I can only attribute them to God’s intervention. And it is these I remember when I come upon hard times, and doubt my faith, and God’s faithfulness. God speaks to me in ways I cannot foresee, but He always speaks in a way that I uniquely understand to be His voice and His work. (Let me be clear: I don’t hear a “voice”, but that God responds to my prayers in ways that I know speak directly to me. But like the examples above, in life events and circumstances that are so obviously God, God is “speaking”.)

I don’t know what you are going through today, but remember, God’s power is perfected through our weakness. That weakness may be simply submitting to His purpose. It may be a surrender because you don’t know what you are about anymore, that you don’t know what God is doing in your life. But when you bow before Him in prayer, acknowledge that He was the One in charge all along, you will find His power.

Dear God, I’ve messed up. It seems everything I try to affect for my own good just falls apart. I don’t know how to do life anymore. Lord may I submit today to Your will. I remember all the times in my own life when I’ve been powerless, and turned to You, and You saved me. You have always had purpose for me. May I remember that even now. You are Awesome. I am not. You are God. I am not. May my life be surrendered to You, because Your ideas are so much better than my own. Lord I don’t ask for blessing, I just want Your presence. I don’t want gifts, I want You. Lord please forgive me for the mess I’ve made, and help me to grow before You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Raising Godly Kids

www.bible.com/1713/pro.22.6.csb

If there is a secret to it, I’m afraid I will not find it here. As I’ve mentioned before, most translations will not translate this verse correctly, but the CSB nails it. Showing a child the way he should go will not guarantee that he will never stray. Sorry parents. It takes a little more effort than that. This verse actually says that every child has their own way, and it is up to you to discover it, because they will not depart from their way even when they are adults.

So what is this way this verse talks about? You might notice that your children are different, and interact with the world differently. Some kids respond to authority well. Others do not. Some kids develop a strong sense of justice. Others don’t care. As a parent, it is your duty to both discover this bent, but also to develop it. Stubborn kids will be stubborn adults. This is hard to deal with when they are young, but taught well, and with good life lessons, that stubbornness becomes determination. Adherence to authority as children become adults who will follow every authority. So those children need to be taught about the highest authority, God Himself, to learn to apply God’s authority in this world. You will find them strong defenders of what’s right and wrong in this world.

Other children are harder to figure out. You work with them, spend time with them to discover their bent, and as they grow, you have the great privilege to shape and transform them into citizens and believers in Jesus Christ, Lord willing.

Lord help me each and every day to learn from my kids, and teach them the right path, so that in their own way, they discover who You are. Thank You Jesus. In Your Name I pray, Amen.

Source of Life

www.bible.com/1713/pro.4.23.csb

Being a Proverb, this verse tends to stand its own without reference to context. As such, it exists as a piece of collected wisdom. Considering its source, its probably something that Solomon himself observed and wanted to pass on. It is an important component of our understanding of the human being.

What is the heart? Anatomically, the answer is simple. It is the organ we have so-named because it is the body’s primary blood pump. If the heart fails, we call it “cardiac arrest” and this can often result in death. So the heart is essential for the function of the human body. But is Solomon advocating for proper cardiac care here? A heart-healthy diet? Solomon being who he is, that would not surprised me, being how prescient he is. But I also don’t think that’s what he’s talking about here.

The heart is also considered in Biblical terminology the place of the soul, as distinct from the mind. In my work as a Chaplain, I’ve discovered that people have three distinct layers to their person, as illustrated below:

As you might notice, some things transcend layers. Some things are firmly rooted within their layers. But the innermost layer, as Solomon describes, is the heart. It is the source of life and the source of your being. Diseases which affect the body, or even the mind do not cause eternal damage. But a disease of the heart lasts forever. If your conscience is “seared” or burned through where you don’t care if you sin anymore, is eternal damnation, even for the former believer. The heart needs to be guarded the most closely, the most carefully. And in this we have a ready defense.

You might remember the passage in Ephesians 6 about the armor of God. tucked within verse 14 is this phrase, “righteousness like armor on your chest.” What is it that protects the heart? It is righteousness, namely the kind of righteousness (and holiness) that God affords. We have been made righteous in Christ, exchanging our pitiful rags for His holiness. Since this is the armor of God, it is God’s righteousness that guards our hearts. When you allow the darts of unrighteousness in, behind the armor, your damage your heart. You cannot sin without consequence. Even “small” sins cause heart damage. While there is healing in Jesus, and grace from the cross, sin has consequences. Your witness and your capacity for service may be greatly diminished if you continue in sin. Sin carves out little bits for itself, reducing your capacity to serve the Lord. The Lord can do much with a little, but the less you sin, the more He has to work with.

This heart, this redeemed soul you possess if yours to do with as you will. But the Lord has claimed it as His own when He sanctified you by His blood. The Lord took ownership of your soul and even staked His claim by moving in, for we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, who works with our own hearts to make us holy. If you continue to sin, you drive out His presence, for God cannot tolerate the presence of sin.

Lord, help me today to guard my heart against all the million little things that threaten it, all the tiny temptations and zillion darts that assault me constantly. Lord I want to serve You more. I want to be as much as I can be in Your presence, so that I can be even more effective at working out Your will in this world. Help me to put that guard over my heart so that I may not sin against You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

The Darkness

www.bible.com/1713/jhn.1.5.csb

Have you seen the darkness? Sometimes when I look into someone’s eyes, I can see it. It’s frightening. I’ve talked with people who’ve been through abuse at the hands of family members, others who’ve contemplated suicide with a certain cold lucidity. Still others whose use of illicit drugs has become normal, even “beneficial” to them. Then there are those who hear voices from the darkness, voices that tell them to kill themselves or others. To hear them tell their stories is chilling. Often the voices begin to be heard after some tragic or critical event in their past or upbringing, often as a coping mechanism dealing with some past trauma. But it is darkness all the same.

Reading this verse is hopeful. I am encouraged that even in the midst of the darkness as I’ve listed above, there is still hope, because the light is GREATER than the darkness. Those who live in darkness have seen a great light. His name is Jesus, who while on this earth illustrated His victory over the world of demons and darkness by liberating many from demonic possession and opening the eyes of the blind.

Consider that for a moment. Jesus opened the eyes of the blind. Why do you think that particular miracle was repeated so often? It wasn’t just because Jesus was compassionate on those who could not see, but over and again we see Jesus healing blind people to illustrate His power over darkness. He could literally liberate someone who lived in darkness and show them light, color, and the face of their loved ones.

I needed this today, because having seen the face of darkness, I need to know that Jesus is greater than the darkness. His light will not be consumed by darkness, but will overcome it. Jesus is stronger. Just remember that the next time you are overwhelmed.

Thank You Lord. You give me hope in the darkness. Though it may surround me and threaten me, I know that You are GREATER. There is no darkness that can overcome You. Help me now, even in this world overwhelmed by darkness, to know Your light. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.