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Monday: Walking as Children of Light — 14 Comments

  1. One of the issues that Christian churches face is that we spend a lot of time condemning sin but less time in replacing it with something better. There is the old story of the person who gave up on church because every time he went there, he was told was a terrible person he was. So he went down to the local pub and found that he was accepted just as he was without condemnation.

    I am sure that you can find holes in that illustration but the perception among the majority of non-churchgoers is that discussion of sinfulness and sin is a pretty big item among churchgoers. That is a bit sad because the Gospel is really good news and if we let the Holy Spirit guide us we should be able to show that we have a better way. Paul calls it walking in the light.

    Jesus tells the story of the empty house. The unclean spirit was cast out of a man, but that man was like an empty house. The unclean spirit noticed this and found other unclean spirits and together they occupied the house so the man ended up being in a worse situation than where he started.

    The Gospel should provide a "full and fulfilling house", and if all we are doing is the condemnation, then we have not really understood the Gospel

    • Wow, Brother Maurice, you are so right; I never thought about it in that particular manner. But it is so true, we SDAs, often condemn people before teaching them.

      We are supposed to accept them, and lead them to Christ; but instead, we push them away, to be influence by other secular groups that will accept them and lead them down the path of destruction.

      I once was giving Bible Studies to a young woman, and she started coming to church with me every Sabbath. After about 2 or 3 months of attending our SDA church, she become known around the church as a frequent visitor/new believer. However, she had not given up her heavy makeup and jewelry; I was still giving her Bible Studies, and we had not gotten to the modest apparel Bible study. (I am the type of Bible Worker that believed that the person should come as they are, and then I allow the Holy Spirit to convict and convert the person). But, Oh No; here come the Leaders of the church, the Deacons and Deaconess. Their comments to her were not messages of Love ("we are so happy to see you today"), instead comments of condemnation, "well, you know that Christians don't wear all that heavy makeup and jewelry", or "you know that you need to give up that jewelry and makeup". They made these comments to her right there in my presence; as if to say, "if you don't tell her, we will". I was a very young woman myself, about 20 years old, and I did not know how to handle the situation back then. But now that I am 60, I know how to handle these kinds of people with Christian Love. But to make a long story short, after being condemn for another 2 or 3 weeks like this, by Church Leaders, my Bible Student was no longer interested in coming to my church or any other SDA church. I tried to persuade her to not listen to those old crazy leaders, that everyone in the church is not like that; but she never returned to church with me. A year later, she had a baby out of wedlock; she was accepted into a culture that accepted her as she was, and that lead her down the path of destruction.

      Who gave "Us" the right to condemn or to judge? NO ONE; that is the Holy Spirit's job. We are to teach them, love them, and disciple them, everything else is the Holy Spirit's work. We, the church, and the church members, have a lot of learning (re-learning) to do. I hope we get it together before Jesus come (there will be weeping and gnawing).

      God bless you and your style of teaching. Continue to do God's work.

      God's blessing to everyone. Please continue to Pray for the victims of the natural disasters in our world today.

  2. We are not to speak out words without truth and substance.We are not to say words without any benefit and void of content.The responsibility of you not getting deceived by empty words lies with you.We have to read and study the Word of God so that we do not get deceived and get carried away with the error of vain words.

  3. Movies and marketing. Sex shouldn't be taboo, but it's been sold cheaply; that's how it is in Western and how it's becoming in Eastern cultures. Free sex has been presented as modern and socially advanced. It has lost its physical-spiritual meaning to be wrapped in a disposable label such as 'just a feeling'! It is found anywhere, virtually and physically, with no pretension of public vows. Evil has turned the most intimate bond into decaying detachment, the break of faith in a relationship.

  4. Actually what Paul is talking about in Ephesians 5:6 with the metafore of speaking empty words, is a hypocrite, which is proclaiming a relationship with God, but not surrendering fully to the One who can make us whole again. Christ spoke of these type of people twice in different ways. One was in John 10, this was the person who tried to enter the fold in another way then the door, which is Christ Himself. And the other was the two worshipers, the one who prayed be merciful unto me a sinner entered through the gate, contrasted to the other who prayed, I am thankful Lord that I am not like other people, I am better than them. Luke 18:9-14.

    Like Maurice said, the better way is, letting the Holy Spirit guide us to show others the better way, which is following Christ. John 10:4.

    I will follow Thee my Saviour, wheresoe'er my lot maybe. Where thou goest I will follow, yes my Lord I'll follow Thee.

  5. Light radiates and illuminates the way. The light from the Sun warms the earth and initiates the life-sustaining process of photosynthesis. So, it should be with us as we walk as Children of light. We need to be the light of the world in the darkness, we need to reflect and reveal God's character in our daily walk as we radically and humbly depend on Him. As co-partners we work collaboratively with Him to fulfil the mission.

  6. We are also admonished by the Apostle Paul to "Avoid all appearance of evil." Many of our people cave in to "Pre-marital sex," because they think that they can spend a night with the one they love, without physical intimacy and find out that it became a total mistake to do so. But if they had stayed away from this simply because even if they had succeeded in not becoming physically intimate, the very act of being together during the night was contrary to "Avoiding the appearance of evil."

  7. As it regards the believer’s new nature and resulting conduct, many parables speak to this as ‘living in the Kingdom of God’ here and now. As members of His kingdom here on earth, we live by the Spirit of Truth and Light according to the revealed Word of God. As we have given up our old nature’s dominance to direct our desires, the Holy Spirit gives our new nature the desires which strengthen our relationship with God.

    The unsaved person gages their moral behavior by the ever changing moral values of the world, sinking deeper and deeper into depravity and debauchery. As their moral compass is guided by what ‘feels' good, their behavior becomes more and more outlandish and extreme in order to still solicit a certain sense of satisfaction; they are directed by what feels good, not by what is good.

    The only way man can know/experience what 'is' good, is by ‘walking as children of Light’. This is not possible unless we fully embrace the moral code established by the Will of God and agreed to as a member of the Kingdom of God here on earth - loving Him with All our being as we extend His loving kindness to our fellow man.

    I consider ‘walking as children of Light’ is pleasing in the eyes of the Lord because He finds a well-rounded Christian eagerly engaging in life and so sharing the joy of ‘Loving the Father” with all and everything around him - demonstrating the true power of love - the Glory of God.

    • We need to be careful that we don't give the impression that we think that folk who do not profess to know Jesus are immoral and depraved. I regard some of my atheist friends as having very high standards of morality and both they and I would be perplexed if they were described as sinking into depravity and debauchery. In fact one of the criticisms I hear from atheists is that some Christians think that they stand on higher moral ground than they do.

      Having said that though, I am reminded that God speaks to people in a language which they understand. Many of these folk have turned away from Christianity because of the hypocrisy they see in organised churches. Some of them have either been hurt or have had family members hurt be deeply immoral actions by ministers and elders in churches. And while they do not acknowledge God using the words we use, they will say that their morality comes from natural law or for the good of mankind and so on. I use the expression anonymous Christians because I believe that the Holy Spirit is still working in and through them.

      • Maurice - We are called to earnest prayer for all who still seek after Truth, that through hearing, seeing, and experiencing loving kindness they accept the Author of the Truth contained in the Living Word of God.

        Yes, so many who once confessed to believe have left the Ekklesia when being confronted by un-Christ-like behavior of those who confess Jesus Christ to be their Lord but do not fully live His Truth. I am experiencing this with my children. They seek to understand Him, but consider it right to 'practice' loving kindness by a different 'formula'.

        Man can never be used as the example for God's perfect Truth; perceived truth or error needs to be matched with the Word of God in Scripture and through revealation by the Holy Spirit.
        Only in the context of having fully dedicated ones life to Christ - living in Christ and Christ residing in us in the form of the Holy Spirit -, can one be considered to be His truth-bearer.

        One would hope that those leaving the organized church assembly due to disappointment, will still hold on to the believe of the truthfulness of the Word of God as they go about living it on their 'solo-journey'.
        I am certain that maintaining your friendship through the Spirit of Life/Love, He will provide you with plenty occasions to speak to them about the beauty of God's love for man.

      • Ultimately we shouldn't judge anybody's spirituality because we don't know what's in people's hearts. There are very lost people in the church who look "good" and people very close to the kingdom who fall into the category you mention.

        At the same time, there is no real goodness apart from God and a lot of the "good" behavior and morals of secular people is a product of socialization and the desire to gain the personal benefits that come from those actions. In that sense, the good is actually somewhat selfish. When a disaster happens, piles of people give and some are motivated by godly principles but many just like the feeling it gives them. Of course Christians can be motivated the same way.

        In the end, secular or religious, we need God's grace and need to realize we aren't capable of doing good on our own. That may be the hardest thing for any of us to acknowledge.

  8. Most people talk the talk, but don't walk the talk (Matthew 7:13).

    Only a few are able to walk the talk of King Jesus Christ (Matthew 7:14). Be one of these.

    "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.", King Jesus Christ in Matthew 5:16.

  9. Some of the empty words are a marker of spiritual bypassing. As John welwood described it...“spiritual ideas and practices to sidestep personal, emotional ‘unfinished business,’ to shore up a shaky sense of self, or to belittle basic needs, feelings, and developmental tasks.”


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