Christian Training Center InternationalPosts

How do we see Jesus clearly? How do we get the light of life?

How do we see Jesus clearly? How do we get the light of life?

Light shines

In the Jesus Manifesto (Matthew 5 – 7), Jesus draws a sharp contrast now between a blind person and a sighted person, and so between the light and darkness in which they respectively live. The eye is the lamp of the body.

I want to be able to see. I don’t want to wander around not being able to see. I want my heart to be right with God. Jesus offers me the way. Jesus boldly declares:

“I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.”

The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! ~Jesus | Matthew 6:22-23

What does it mean to be the light of the world?

Light shines

Jesus makes a declaration about His followers in the Jesus Manifesto (Matthew 5 – 7).

We are the light of the world. I am the light of Jesus to those I know.

Our good works are to be seen and not hid.

That is the Way of Jesus, the anointed King. That is His declaration for us.

You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. ~Jesus | Matthew 5:14-16

Is God light and love?

Sonny Ramsay takes us into the 1 John, the epistle from John the Apostle.

This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light, and there is absolutely no darkness in him.  If we say, “We have fellowship with him,” and yet we walk in darkness, we are lying and are not practicing the truth.  If we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say, “We have no sin,” we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say, “We have not sinned,” we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. 1 John 1:5-10

Who would take a light and hide it? Yet, isn’t that what we do some days?

Jesus doesn’t want us to play a game of hide and go seek. Now think about it.

God is light. His goal for us is to be light-bearers. He wants us to tell everyone that He is the Master.

God has Good News. God’s government is here, right now. Jesus is in charge. Jesus is King. Jesus is our Master.

Are we qualified to share the inheritance?

Thanks

Thanks

Now this is something to be thankful for. We are qualified. No doubt about it. God has done it for us.

God has prepared an inheritance for us. God has adopted us into His family. God, and God alone, has qualified us to share in His riches.

He sent His Son, Jesus the Messiah and it is now complete.

There is nothing else for us to do qualify to be a child of God. God has done it all. It is finished.

In my “work” and sometimes “family” life, I have to qualify myself. I have to prove myself. I have to demonstrate I can get it done. That is the way it works. That isn’t God’s way.

God’s world is different. It doesn’t make sense to us but it is reality.

We can share in the inheritance that our Father is preparing for us and all the saints. He has done it. There is nothing we can do to make it happen ourselves.

God is God. He does what He wants without our permission. He doesn’t ask us if it is okay with us.

God knows what needs to be done. God does it.

That is some good news.

Giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.

Colossians 1:12

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Check out our upcoming ministry programs for young adults and families. Please click here.

Our programs are like an immersion into a new language – the language of living in Jesus.  The goal is fluency in the language of relationships.  Programs share a sequential vision, building an understanding of relationships and family culture.  The foundation is an encounter with Jesus.  This encounter is the means for both insight and vision.  Encountering Jesus leads a radical change in living and relationships.

Heroes Semester is a 10-week residential, “family style” living experience like no other! | — Sept 2 – Nov 9, 2019 | Participants ages 18-26 come with one purpose – to go deeper with the Lord. ow.ly/Nhag30oRYRK

Strengthening & Restoring Family Relationships — Train to Reign Program — Oct 20 – Nov 2 | Family is the most vital relationship and the one under the most pressure and attack. Come strengthen your family in a strong relationship with God. http://ow.ly/l5SU30oS5pQ

If you would like to donate to the Christian Training Center, please click here.

Are we exposing the works of darkness?

Down with busywork

Not all work is the same. Some things are much more important in the Kingdom than others. I shouldn’t waste my time on useless, fruitless work.

God is clear that some things we focus on just don’t produce any results. They are useless. They are a tree that doesn’t bear any fruit.

God’s goal for us is that we focus on His Kingdom and expose anything that isn’t productive.

Am I just doing busywork? Do I see that as a sham? How would this look in the light of Jesus and His glory?

May I know what He wants me to do and may I do it with enthusiasm!!

Let no one deceive you with empty arguments, for God’s wrath is coming on the disobedient because of these things. Therefore, do not become their partners. For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Master. Live as children of light— for the fruit of the light consists of all goodness, righteousness, and truth— 10 testing what is pleasing to the Master. 11 Don’t participate in the fruitless works of darkness, but instead expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to mention what is done by them in secret. 13 Everything exposed by the light is made visible, 14 for what makes everything visible is light. 

Ephesians 5:6-14

_____________________________________________________

Check out our upcoming ministry programs for young adults and families. Please click here.

Our programs are like an immersion into a new language – the language of living in Jesus.  The goal is fluency in the language of relationships.  Programs share a sequential vision, building an understanding of relationships and family culture.  The foundation is an encounter with Jesus.  This encounter is the means for both insight and vision.  Encountering Jesus leads a radical change in living and relationships.

Heroes Semester is a 10-week residential, “family style” living experience like no other! | — Sept 2 – Nov 9, 2019 | Participants ages 18-26 come with one purpose – to go deeper with the Lord. ow.ly/Nhag30oRYRK

Strengthening & Restoring Family Relationships — Train to Reign Program — Oct 20 – Nov 2 | Family is the most vital relationship and the one under the most pressure and attack. Come strengthen your family in a strong relationship with God. http://ow.ly/l5SU30oS5pQ

If you would like to donate to the Christian Training Center, please click here.

Jesus brings calm into our lives. Jesus brings peace. Jesus drives out the darkness.

God is lightI remember as a child not wanting to sleep in the dark. There were monsters in the closet and under the bed. The light helped. It always does.

There is something about the light. Jesus is the light. He drives out the darkness and all fear.

Jesus brings calm into our lives. Jesus brings peace. Jesus drives out the darkness.

God’s goal for us is for us to live in the light. He is God and He is light. When we live in the light of His truth, there is no fear. The perfect love of Jesus drives out all the fear. Love has a way of doing that.

The LORD is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? Psalm 27:1


May I live in the light with Jesus. 

Why is Jesus the light for all of us? Why can’t His light be overcome?

Light shines

What is Jesus to me? Jesus is life. In Jesus, and only Jesus, I have life. There is no way around it. I can’t, and don’t, want to deny it. It is reality for me. Jesus is life!

In Jesus [him] was life, and that life was the light of men. That light shines in the darkness, and yet the darkness did not overcome it.

There was a man sent from God whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify about the light, so that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but he came to testify about the light.

The true light that gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.

He was in the world, and the world was created through him, and yet the world did not recognize him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, he gave them the right to be children of God, to those who believe in his name, who were born, not of natural descent, or of the will of the flesh, or of the will of man, but of God. | John 1:4-13 (CSB)

Life is a key theme in John’s good news book; it is used thirty-six times. What are the essentials for human life? There are at least four: light (if the sun went out, everything would die), air, water, and food. Jesus is all of these!

Jesus is the Light of life and the Light of the world. He is the “Sun of righteousness”. By His Holy Spirit, He gives us the “breath of life”, as well as the Water of life. Finally, Jesus is the Living Bread of Life that came down from heaven. He not only has life and gives life, but He is life.

Light and darkness are recurring themes in John’s good news book. God is light while Satan is “the power of darkness”. People love either the light or the darkness, and this love controls their actions. Those who believe on the Messiah are the “sons of light”. Just as the first Creation began with “Let there be light!” so the New Creation begins with the entrance of light into the heart of the believer. The coming of Jesus the Messiah into the world was the dawning of a new day for man.

You would think that blind sinners would welcome the light, but such is not always the case. The coming of the true light brought conflict as the powers of darkness opposed it. A literal translation of John 1:5 reads, “And the light keeps on shining in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it or understood it.” The Greek verb can mean “to overcome” or “to grasp, to understand.” Throughout the good news book of John, you will see both attitudes revealed: people will not understand what the Master Jesus is saying and doing and, as a result, they will oppose Him. John 7–12 records the growth of that opposition, which ultimately led to the crucifixion of the Messiah.

Whenever Jesus taught a spiritual truth, His listeners interpreted it in a material or physical way. The light was unable to penetrate the darkness in their minds. This was true when He spoke about the temple of His body, the new birth, the living water, eating His flesh, spiritual freedom, death as sleep, and many other spiritual truths. Satan strives to keep people in the darkness, because darkness means death and hell, while light means life and heaven.

This fact helps explain the ministry of John the Baptizer. John was sent as a witness to Jesus the Messiah, to tell people that the Light had come into the world. The nation of Israel, in spite of all its spiritual advantages, was blind to their own Messiah! The word witness is a key word in this book; John uses the noun fourteen times and the verb thirty-three times. John the Baptizer was one of many people who bore witness to Jesus, “This is the Son of God!” Alas, John was martyred and the Jewish leaders did nothing to prevent it.

Why did the nation reject Jesus as the Messiah? Because they “knew Him not.” They were spiritually ignorant. Jesus is the “true Light”—the original of which every other light is a copy—but the Jews were content with the copies. They had Moses and the Law, the temple and the sacrifices; but they did not comprehend that these “lights” pointed to the true Light who was the fulfillment, the completion, of the Old Agreement.

As you study John’s good news book, you will find Jesus teaching the people that He is the fulfillment of all that was typified in the Law. It was not enough to be born a Jew; they had to be born again, born from above. He deliberately performed two miracles on the Sabbath to teach them that He had a new rest to give them. He was the satisfying manna and the life-giving Water. He is the Shepherd of a new flock, and He is a new Vine. But the people were so shackled by religious tradition that they could not understand spiritual truth. Jesus came to His own world that He had created, but His own people, Israel, could not understand Him and would not receive Him.

They saw His works and heard His words. They observed His perfect life. He gave them every opportunity to grasp the truth, believe, and be saved. Jesus is the way, but they would not walk with Him. He is the truth, but they would not believe Him. He is the life, and they crucified Him!

But today we need not commit those same blunders. John 1:12–13 gives us the marvelous promise of God that anyone who receives Christ will be born again and enter the family of God! John says more about this new birth in John 3, but he points out here that it is a spiritual birth from God, not a physical birth that depends on human nature.

The Light is still shining! Have you personally received the Light and become a child of God?

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Sources:

  1. Christian Standard Bible. (2017). (Jn 1:1–51). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  2. Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 1, pp. 285–286). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

The Light Shines in the Darkness

The Light shines in the darkness and the darkness cannot put it out.     (John 1:5 ISV)

Larry was busy hanging lights around our Christmas tree this weekend. We had purchased some new strings of lights to make our tree even brighter. So, to add to the lights already on the tree, he painstakingly placed them on a few bare spots.

The thousand shining lights staring back at us were gorgeous for about thirty seconds…and then…BOOM! Darkness. The circuit was obviously overloaded!  So, he rushed to Lowe’s and purchased a new circuit breaker and BOOM! All was bright and shiny again.  The beauty of the lights on the tree lit up the darkness of our living room. We loved it!