Out of the Shadows (May 22)

May 22

Out of the Shadows

Today’s Scripture Readings: Psalm 71:19-24 | 2 Samuel1:1-2:11 | John 12:20-50 |Proverbs 15:27-28

Today’s Scripture Focus:  John 12:20-50

Then Jesus told them, “You are going to have the light just a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you. Those who walk in the dark do not know where they are going. Put your trust in the light while you have the light, so that you may become children of the light”(John 12:35-36 TNIV).

Jesus came as the Light of the world to bring us out of the darkness and into the light. His signs showed forth the glorious light that we might believe. Yet people reacted in different ways to the light.

Some were hardhearted (37-40). They saw the miracles, but didn’t get it. Their hearts were hard and they were unable to see or hear. They were unable to believe. A heart darkened by sin, a heart that has lingered in the shadows for too long, finds it hard to believe. Jesus calls the hardhearted to come out of the dark and into the light.

Some were half-hearted. “Many even of the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not openly acknowledge their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue for they loved human glory more than the glory of God” (42-43). They believed but were not willing to come out of the shadows and into the light. They didn’t want to be too upfront about their faith because they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God. Jesus calls the half-hearted to come fully into the light and follow him completely.

Others were whole-hearted. They were the ones who trusted Jesus completely and followed him whatever the cost. These were the children of the light who took Jesus at his word. Like kernels of wheat they were wiling to die to themselves to enter into the life that is really life. They lived the reality of Jesus words: “Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it will produce many seeds. Those who love their life will lose it, while those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.”

God will honor the children of the light—those who come out of the shadows and live wholeheartedly for Christ. Those servants who follow Christ whatever the cost may not receive the praise of men in this life, but they can be sure to be honored by God in the next.

Dear Heavenly Father, help me to live whole-heartedly for you. Let me walk in the light and shine the light wherever I go. Amen.

About pastorjeffsneighborhood

Born and raised in Minnesota, I have served in churches in Minnesota, Ohio, Oregon and California. I am a graduate of Crown College (MN) and George Fox Evangelical Seminary (OR). I have also done additional graduate studies in New Testament Studies at the Center for Advanced Theological Studies at Fuller Theological Seminary (CA). I am also a graduate of the College of Prayer. Having served as the Academic Dean and Program Director at Horizon Institute of Los Angeles for several years, I have returned to the pastorate and serve as Pastor of Big Trees Community Bible Church in Arnold, CA.
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