Turn towards the light.

February 2, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness. Whoever loves his brother lives in the light, and there is nothing in him to make him stumble. But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness; he does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded him.
(1 John 2:9-11 (NIV))

It is so easy to be blinded in this life. We still may be capable of seeing with our physical eyes, but we are not capable of discerning with our sprit. Sometimes it is those who have perfect physical vision who see things poorly, for they let their physical eyes divert their spirit towards the things of the flesh.

Just what is darkness?

Is it the lack of light that we all have come to understand, or is there something much deeper and complex in its nature? According to this passage, light has something to do with love and darkness has something to do with hate. Isn’t that interesting, because if you hate you become blinded to anything but your hatred. You live in darkness with respect to being able to see anything of value in the object of your hatred. Soon, this blindness spreads to everything that you touch. It spreads and soon takes control of every aspect of your life.

Light can overcome darkness.

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
(John 8:12 (NIV))

Do you long to see?

Turn towards the light.

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Are we so stuck in our ways?

December 8, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

After he took him aside, away from the crowd, Jesus put his fingers into the man’s ears. Then he spit and touched the man’s tongue. He looked up to heaven and with a deep sigh said to him, “Ephphatha!” (which means, “Be opened!”). At this, the man’s ears were opened, his tongue was loosened and he began to speak plainly.
(Mark 7:33-35 (NIV))

Have you ever stopped to realize that sometimes the things that actually get us to pay attention, to open our eyes and ears, are the very things that may seem absurd to us?

Think about that in relation to this passage.

How many of us would draw back if someone put their fingers in our ears and then spit and touched our tongue? Would we be willing to allow the actions to continue? If you are like me, then the actions would have been observed reluctantly and cautiously, or they would have been stopped.

Why? Simply because it goes against conventional wisdom and ettiqutte. We have “knowledge” of what is supposed to happen and how it is to happen. If something falls outside of this “knowledge,” then we are prone to not accept it.

Now, let’s put a spin on this concept. Let’s test our faith.

What if Jesus asked you to go to the ends of the earth to spread His Gospel? Does this fall within your “knowledge” of what is supposed to happen? Turn the tables on who is asking whom. Picture yourself in a situation in which you could be the recipient of a large amount of money. It is not too difficult to imagine yourself asking God for it to come to be true. You may find yourself making all types of promises to God simply because it is in your interest and your “knowledge” of how things should work.

Are our eyes and ears any more open than the man we are told of in Mark? Are we willing to step outside of our conventional “knowledge” when we are confronted with what God has in store for us? Are we willing to look at things that are absurd in our eyes with the eyes of Jesus? Are we willing to take that proverbial step outside of our comfort zone in order to meet Jesus upon the road that He leads us?

Think about that.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the LORD.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
(Isaiah 55:8-9 (NIV))

Are we so stuck in our ways that we miss what God is willing to do, and is doing, in our lives?

Copyright 1998 – 2011 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Do your eyes shine?

January 13, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are good, your whole body also is full of light. But when they are bad, your body also is full of darkness. See to it, then, that the light within you is not darkness. Therefore, if your whole body is full of light, and no part of it dark, it will be completely lighted, as when the light of a lamp shines on you.
(Luke 11:34-36 (NIV))

It is said that the eyes are the window to the soul. Some believe that if you stare into someone’s eyes, you can see right into their soul. Have you ever noticed that if someone stares into your eyes, it leaves you feeling very uncomfortable? Perhaps there is more to this saying than we care to admit.

If the eyes are the lamp of your body and the window to our soul, then perhaps we should strongly consider that a window works in both directions. It allows the passage of light in and out. If a window is in a dark house and it is light outside, then the light is allowed into the dark house. If this same window is in a house that is light inside and night has surrounded it in darkness, the window allows light from inside to shine outward.

Our light must be strong. It must be stronger than the darkness, or the darkness will overcome the light. Jesus said that He was the Light of the world. If we have Jesus within us and allow His Light to shine through us, then His Light will shine through our eyes and into the darkness of the world. If we do not have the Light of Jesus within us, then the darkness has already overcome us, we just do not know it, yet.

Do your eyes outwardly shine the Light of Jesus or do they only reflect the darkness of the world?

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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