The LORD God speaks through the
Prophet Isaiah, "Rise up in splendor! Your light has come" (Is. 60:1).
Each new day I have to choose to rise up in the 'splendor' of my true identity
as child of God, as son or daughter of the Father. I have to choose to live in
freedom. The root meaning of the word, splendor, is "to shine". I 'shine' as I
hold fast to the word of life, the word of truth which is "a light for my path"
(Psalm 119:105). Authentic Christian faith always stands in the bright light
of relational truth.
Each of us who has been baptized has
put on Jesus Christ, the light of the world: "God is light" (1John1:5). I have
been called "out of darkness into his wonderful light" (1Pet. 2:9). God
is wonderful light. The word, wonderful, means 'astonishing'. Who am I? I am
"light in the Lord" (Eph. 5:8). I am a child of the God of astonishing light.
Truly, "In him we live and move, and have our being" (Acts 17:28)--and our true
The world, the flesh and the devil
specialize in "identity theft". This is why I must "put on the armor of
light" (Rom.13:12)everyday to remain
rooted firmly in my true identity as child of God: "The reason the world
does not know us is that it did not know him" (1John3:1). In the movie The
Passion of the Christ in the scene of the "Garden of Gethsemane", the
script has Satan speaking at Jesus and questioning him:
Satan: "Do you really believe that
one man can bear the full burden of sin? No one man can carry this burden, I
tell you. It is far too heavy. Saving their souls is too costly. No one.
Ever, No. Never.
Jesus: "Father, you can do all things.
If it is possible, let this chalice pass from me. But let your will be done,
Satan: Who is your father? Who are you?
engages 'psychological warfare' in an attempt to cast seeds of doubt within Jesus, attacking
his relationship with the Father, Jesus' own identity and his sense of
mission--the Father's will for him in the world (a mission of obedient love).
One can sense oppression, lies, never, discouragement and despair in the words
of the Enemy. One is reminded of the serpent's attack in another garden--the
Garden of Eden--where he struck at the relationship of Adam and Eve with the
Father and, hence, struck at their true identity.
In John 1:19-25 the Jews from
Jerusalem send priests, Levites and pharisees to John the Baptist, and they
grill him with seven questions: "Who are you?"; "What are you then?"; "Are you
Elijah?"; "Are you the Prophet?"; "Who are you, so we can give an answer to
those who sent us?"; "What do you have to say for yourself?"; and "Why then do
you baptize if you are not the Messiah or Elijah or the Prophet?" John answers
each of these questions with humility, honesty and truth. He is a man of God
who is rooted in the Word of God and who witnesses to Jesus. Anyone who
rejects the false identity that the world tries to impose upon him, and who
chooses instead to walk in integrity as a child of God, can expect to be
challenged and opposed by the world.
I aware of the ways that the world, the flesh and the devil strike at my true
spiritual tools do I exercise when I am being attacked by oppression, lies,
'never', discouragement, or fear?
Any scripture from the text; John 1:9-12; John 12:36; John
12:46; 2 Co. 4:6
TIME TO EXPIATE"
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