Good Monday morning! Today is a day celebrated by Americans as "President's Day". Well, I should say...used to celebrate. Many schools & businesses no longer celebrate it but it is still a national holiday and worthy of honoring some amazing presidents in our country's history. I sit here in my home this morning cuddled up with a blanket and my coffee enjoying this Monday off but yet my heart is still grieved. This past week I have seen so much darkness that my heart is heavy. Heaviness from seeing friends and loved ones walking through dark, treacherous valleys; from seeing what was once called abuse, violence, and pornography now be labeled as entertainment to sold out crowds and record breaking sales; and now to seeing 21 Christ followers murdered for their belief in Christ.
Yes, there is a heaviness on my heart.
This scripture keeps coming to my mind this morning:
"Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour."
1 Peter 5:8 (NIV)
This world is dark and it gets darker every day. The enemy seems to be working overtime and chaos and hurt loom at every turn.
This morning, in the presence of my God, I pour over his Word and I see such hope! To the world it looks dark and of no hope but when you know...truly KNOW the One who holds this world in his hands there is hope beyond compare.
"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."
John 10:10 (NIV)
So how does that apply when everywhere you turn there is darkness?
Well, dear friends....look to the Light! When darkness overshadows the news and situations in our homes, we have to cling to scripture and recognize that our God is the Light.
"This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all."
1 John 1:5 (NLT)
Though it seems unbearable, God is STILL in control and He is STILL on His throne. Satan knows his days are numbered. God's Word tells us that these things will happen but it also gives us, those who are in Christ, such hope that the enemy will be destroyed.
"And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen."
Romans 16:20 (NKJV)
We have to be alert and daily arm ourselves in the scripture to walk this battle of life. I love this passage and it's such a great reminder to us of how to daily walk into battle.
"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people."
Ephesians 6:10-18 (NIV)
When our circumstances seem overwhelming....look to the Light.
When the world gets more perverse every day...look to the Light.
When our brothers and sisters across the world are dying for their faith...look to the Light.
God is Light and we have this hope...
"And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”
Revelation 21:4 (NKJV)
Today, as you go about your day whether you are at work or celebrating a holiday, remember that God is Light and cling to Him. If you don't truly know God then don't let another second pass without surrendering your life to HIM. We are not promised our next breath on this earth. Are you prepared to meet your Maker?
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him."
John 3:16-17 (NIV)
"for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,"
Romans 3:23 (NKJV)
"But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
Romans 5:8 (NKJV)
"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Romans 6:23 (NKJV)
'If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.'
Romans 10:9 (HCSB)