Jan 27, 2020
Join us as we explore God’s ancient wisdom and apply it to our modern lives. His word is as current and relevant today as it was when he inspired its authors more than two and a half millennia ago. The websites where you can reach us are alittlewalkwithgod.com, richardagee.com, or saf.church.
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Thanks for joining me today for "A Little Walk with God." I'm your host Richard Agee.
Last night the lights went out. It was dark. I mean dark. I went to the front of the house to see if the whole neighborhood lost electricity or just us. By the time I reached the hall, I had realized it was a bad idea. I headed back to retrieve a flashlight from the nightstand before I stumbled over a chair or table or something left in a spot I didn't expect. I couldn't see anything with cloud cover and the darkness.
It made me wonder about people living before electric lights. Just two hundred years ago, candlelight would have been the extent of the illumination to lead me through my house last night. Have you ever traveled through a house by candlelight? It's not much. Certainly, more than pure darkness, but not much.
Candles produce about thirteen lumens, less than a two and a half-watt small Christmas tree bulb. Can you imagine living with no more light than that? Picture yourself as the woman looking for the lost coin with just a candle. Or think of the fear of huddling in the darkness during one of those famous Texas thunderstorms with only your oil lamp to provide some relief from the dark and the howling wind that threaten to overtake you.
Our kids don't know much about physical darkness today. Few have seen the beauty of the Milky Way with their eyes. Light pollution from most of our cities keeps us from observing that band of stars that populate our galaxy and stretches across the sky. The lights from towns mask the brilliance of the stars except on oceans or deserts. We don't know darkness, so we don't appreciate the light.
Now that you've given a little thought to life without electric lights. Now that you've spent a moment putting yourself back a couple of hundred or a couple of thousand years into the past looking into the darkness of the night that surrounds you wondering about the predators that might be lurking in the shadows. I'd like you to listen to the words Isaiah wrote concerning the coming savior of the world.
They come from the book by his name from chapter 9.
But there will be no more gloom for those who knew such hardship. In times past, God humbled the land of Zebulun and Naphtali; later, He will restore the honor and glory to the way of the sea, the land beyond the Jordan, Galilee, home of the nations.
The people who had been living in darkness
have seen a great light.
The light of life has shined on those who dwelt.
in the shadowy darkness of death.
And You, God, will make it happen. You bolstered the nation,
making it great again. You have saturated it with joy.
Everyone in it is full of delight in Your presence,
like the joy they experience at the harvest,
like the thrill of dividing up the spoils of war.
For as You did back in the day when Midian oppressed us,
You will shatter the yoke that burdens them,
You will lift the load that weighs them down,
You will break the rod of their oppressor.
About whom is Isaiah talking? The God-Man, Jesus. He sheds light on the darkness of our hearts. He opens our minds to what God intends us to be. He makes a way for us to enter into the presence of a holy God when we know we do not deserve to be there. Jesus, God wrapped in human flesh to show us how much he cares for us. He came to pay the price for our disobedience. He died for you and me so that we might live.
From an earthly point of view, he grew up in the most unlikely place, Galilee, and in one of the most unlikely villages in that region, Nazareth. No one would have thought the King of all kings would come from a place like that. He knew what it meant to grow up on the "other side of the tracks" in poverty and crime-ridden neighborhoods. Nathaniel understood Nazareth when he commented, "Can anything good come from Nazareth?"
But something did. Someone did. Jesus. The one who brings light to a dark world. His light is not that lumen candle the people of his day used to illuminate their darkened houses in a storm, but John described his glorified body in his Revelations as brighter than the sun. You can't look at the sun for more than a few seconds without some serious pain; the light is so intense. That's the light Jesus brings to our hearts.
The end of the first month of 2020 approaches fast. We've talked about the coming of God into our world and how we should listen to him, seek him, share him. We should also let him illuminate our lives in such a way that he can shine through us so that others see him in us. We should reflect his light in all we do. Today is a good day to start, don't you think?
You can find me at richardagee.com. I also invite you to join us at San Antonio First Church of the Nazarene on West Avenue in San Antonio to hear more Bible-based teaching. You can find out more about my church at SAF.church. Thanks for listening. If you enjoyed it, tell a friend. If you didn't, send me an email and let me know how better to reach out to those around you. Until next week, may God richly bless you as you venture into His story each day.
Scriptures marked THE VOICE are taken from THE VOICE (The Voice): Scripture taken from THE VOICE ™. Copyright© 2008 by Ecclesia Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved.