Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Hope of Following God - The Light

**you can read the first two posts in this series # 1 and# 2.**

So where were we....hmm...let me check. Oh yes, the burden of following God and how in the book of Ephesians Paul tells us that we "were darkness"  There's nothing quite as exciting as someone telling you that you have lived your life as darkness. That's pretty depressing.

But luckily this verse has two parts and the Hope of the following God shows up in the second part of that verse. Here's the verse as a whole:

8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light.

You see the 'emo' first part about darkness. But then Paul contrasts that with the line "but now you are light in the Lord. "

What a transition! At first we are darkness. No matter where you go, darkness is always seen as bad. Horror movies are usually set at night. Little kids (and a lot of adults who don't admit it) are afraid of it.

But Paul says that NOW we are "light in the Lord" We are light. Light is always seen as good. Light takes away the scariness of darkness. Light is good.  We've gone from darkness to light. 

Why does this give us hope when we are burdened by following God?  I'll tell you.

1. It reminds us that we have been saved - whenever I see someone who doesn't know God, I'm burdened for them. When there is a whole lot of people who don't know God, it seems overwhelming. This verse is a constant source of hope because it reminds me that even I was darkness but thanks to God, I am now Light in Him. So often, Christians forget over time that we are a saved people. We forget that we were destined for a life of darkness but God saved us.  When we forget that we tend to stop caring about others who don't know God. Even worse, we begin to judge them. They are somehow worse than us. That's not the case. It's a good reminder of where we came from and how God has brought  BOUGHT us out of that. 

2. If God can save me, He can save them -  Because we are reminded how God has saved us, we can have a renewed hope about what God can do with the people around us. It's like when I watch "The Biggest Loser". They have these stories about people on the show and how they have to overcome these huge personal obstacles in order to lose their weight. But they work hard and lose hundreds of pounds. I watch that and think. Well crap, that guy just worked like crazy to lose 200 pounds, I can put the work in to lose 20. "  Ok so that's not the best analogy but the point is that when we.

3. We are light! -  my love language is Words of Affirmation. That means that the best way that I feel love is when people affirm me through the things that they say to me. So when Paul says that "we are light" I get a little happy inside. I find myself longing for the day that I get to stand before God and hear the phrase "well done my good and faithful servant" Can you imagine the King of all Kings giving you a good job? How amazing is that? Because we follow God we are saved, we are on the right side, and in the end we have a God who is please with us. 

That is the hope of following God.



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