July 29, 2016

Psalm 119:130 The unfolding of your words gives light;
it gives understanding to the simple.

I love the imagery in the Japanese translation: “When the door of Your Word opens, light shines in.” Books in general are doors to worlds we might not otherwise experience, and the Bible is certainly no exception. Our hearts, our lives without Christ are certainly dark, though we might not realize it because we have no standard of comparison. When God’s truth in the Bible opens up to us it’s like a door opening to a bright summer day. Frankly, some people don’t like that; they like their darkness. Jesus talked about that in sorrow in John 3:19-21. However, for those who accept the light, it gives perception and understanding that would otherwise be impossible, just as physical light does. Try threading a needle in the dark! Someone who has opened their heart to God’s Word in love and obedience really does have a better grasp of things than the most learned experts. I am reminded of the story in John 9 of the man born blind who was healed by Jesus and then confronted by the Pharisees. He was totally uneducated, yet his encounter with Jesus enabled him to make fools of these “learned men.” They couldn’t defeat his logic, so they threw him out. The same thing happens today all the time with people who are wedded to their darkness. The more you try to share the light with them the more violent they become. It is very sad, but each one of us is personally responsible for how we respond to the light we are given. We will welcome God’s light to the degree we love Him and delight to be His children.

I am so used to the light that I am at times surprised by how others can’t see things that seem obvious to me. That’s not at all to say that my understanding is perfect, but it is to say that the Bible is thoroughly ingrained in my world view. By God’s grace I have been steeped in Scripture from before my birth. That certainly doesn’t mean I’ve always applied it to my own life as I should have, but it does mean that how I view everything is colored by my faith, and in my experience, that’s a marvelous thing! My background actually can be a hindrance to my evangelism and pastoral ministry, because I haven’t experienced the level of darkness, or at least the particular darkness, that is blinding the person in front of me, so I don’t know how to relate to them to lead them into the light. However, God can use me in spite of myself, and His Spirit can touch people wherever they are, and however they need it. I need to be careful that I keep walking in the light myself, (1 John 1:7) and trust God with everything.

Father, thank You for this reminder. Keep me from any feelings of superiority as I deal with others who have been blessed differently than me. Rather, help me share with them what You have poured out on me, so that together we may grow as Your children, doing Your will for Your pleasure and glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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