He loves us too much to leave us in the dark

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This week's devotional is from Pastor Jeff.

ENCOUNTER:  Read John 8:12

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

It is incredibly generous and loving that Jesus promises us that once we are in a relationship with him we will never be left in darkness.  This is what Christmas is all about; that Jesus has come into the world to rescue us and invite us into his family.  But the gift doesn’t stop there.  He promises that he will walk the journey with us and will lead us into life at its fullest; life as it was designed to be.

One might argue that the greatest of human fears are centered around darkness of some sort.  The darkness of not knowing what danger might be just ahead.  Or the darkness of the evil that we see manifested all around our broken world.  Or maybe the greatest fear we experience is the darkness of feeling “lost” in our lives, where indecision or confusion or helplessness feels like we are stumbling around a basement looking for the circuit breaker because the power has unexpectedly gone out.

Jesus says, “You won’t have to live like that, bumping around worried sick that you may never find your way.  I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.  I am the good shepherd.” (John 10:10,11)

He loves us too much to leave us to figure it out on our own.

BE REFLECTIVE:

How then should we live?  It seems imperative that we put ourselves in the places where we can best discern the presence, voice, and leading of God.  Take a moment and analyze your journey with God so far.  What are the practices you have tried and experiences you have had that have resulted in your ability to sense God’s leading?  Has it been the time you have spent studying and meditating on God’s Word?  Then maybe it is time to redouble your efforts at digging in each day.  Has it been a season of leaning into worship?  Then maybe it is time to get some new worship music on your playlist and spend time each day entering into his presence.  Or maybe you need to get out into nature with Jesus, or get out of your comfort zone in serving in some way, or read a book on developing your prayer life, or join a small group, etc.  These are some of the ways that God’s people have put themselves in the best position possible to discern God’s leading.

BE A BLESSING:

I believe it is universally true that if you are struggling with feeling lost, God will put someone in your path that is also in need of encouragement in the same ways.  Think about your circles of family and friends.  Is there someone who comes to mind that could use a conversation about a decision that is ahead of them, or a challenge that they are not sure how to face?  You could be a listening ear to help them process what God might be saying to them.

BE TOGETHER:

As we have experienced each year at the Christmas Eve worship gathering, the light from one small candle can really pierce the darkness.  But when we share the flame with each other and that light spreads throughout the room, nothing is hidden anymore.  May you experience the spiritual reality of that physical example by gathering together with other believers so the light of Christ dwells in your midst.

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“The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned." - Isaiah 9:2