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ZMI Family Ministries International > Articles by: Beverly Lussi

Got to Have Light

“Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.” 
John 8:12 NASB

During the summer of 2013, I had lens replacements in both eyes due to cataracts. Because I’d worn corrective lenses of some form or fashion for almost fifty years, my husband encouraged me to get the special lens that would correct both my near and far sighted vision. I must say, it’s been great not to wear glasses or contacts anymore.

However, in order to see well and be able to read, I must have light – and good, bright light at that! Dark restaurants and rooms are not my friends. It’s like having sheer curtains pulled over my eyes, making things blurry and out of focus. But that is remedied using my trusty flashlight that I carry in my purse. One click, and the LED light brings immediate clarity. You do what you must do; the tradeoff is certainly worth it to me.

Jesus Christ proclaimed Himself to be the Light of the world. He knew without His light shining, everyone would walk in darkness, unable to see clearly where they were going or what they were doing. Decision making would be obscured; the truth would be vague and unclear. Daily life would be dim and dreary.

The book of John has much to say about Jesus being the Light. In addition to our theme verse above, we discover these truths from John:

  • Christ’s life is the Light of all mankind (1:4)
  • The Light shines in the darkness and the darkness doesn’t overcome it (1:5)
  • The true Light enlightens every person (1:9)
  • The Light has come into the world (3:19)
  • Everyone who does evil hates the Light and fears being exposed (3:20)
  • Those who practice the truth come to the Light (3:21)
  • Walk while you have the Light, so darkness won’t overtake you (12:35)
  • Trust in the Light and you will become children of the Light (12:36)
  • Jesus came as the Light so that those who believe would not remain in darkness (12:46)

Just as my eyes need light to see, so my soul needs the Light of Jesus to see my way in this world. The Bible has much to say about the Light. Take time to gaze upon and comprehend the additional verses listed below. They will brighten your day for sure!

[Digging deeper – Psalm 18:28, 27:1, 43:3, 112:4, 119:105; 2 Corinthians 4:6; Ephesians 5:8-9; 1 John 1:5,7; 1 John 2:8-10; Revelation 22:5]

Longing for the Light,

Beverly <><

 

 

 

Photo Credit: Image courtesy of kibsri at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

 

Faith, Faults, and Failures

“And what more shall I say? For time will fail me if I tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets, who by faith . . .”
 Hebrews 11:32-33 NASB

Hebrews 11 is often referred to as the ‘hall of faith’ chapter in the Bible. Among its verses you read of the remarkable reliance and trust of men and women such as Abraham, Sarah, Joseph, Moses, and Rahab. As I was reading this chapter recently, verses 32 and 33 caught my attention. I’m familiar with most of the men listed in verse 32, but Jephthah, not so much. What had he done that would merit his name to be listed in this faith chapter?

Upon research, I discovered that Jephthah, an Israelite from Gilead, was driven out of town after he grew up because he was the son of a harlot. But, because he was a mighty warrior, he was summoned to come and fight against the warring Ammonites. The Gileadite elders made him their head and chief; he became their judge for six years. However, Jephthah made a tragic vow to the LORD. If God would give him victory over his enemies, he would sacrifice whatever came out of his house when he returned in peace. It cost him the life of his daughter, his one and only child. How sad!

What of the other men listed in verse 32? What was hiding among their faithful acts?

Gideon – because of his fear of the people, he destroyed the idols of Baal and the Asherah as God commanded, but at night instead of in the daytime. He also asked not once, but twice, for a sign from God that He would deliver Israel through him.

Barak – was summoned to fight against Israel’s enemies, but he refused to go unless Deborah, the judge, went with him. As a result, Barak was victorious, but the honor of defeating the enemies’ commander Sisera was given to an obscure woman, Jael, and not him.

Samson – used by God to defeat the oppressive Philistines; but his weakness for women, and especially Delilah, became his downfall.

David – was known as a man after God’s own heart, yet he committed adultery and murder.

Samuel – was one of the greatest prophets of old, yet both of his sons turned from following God and were dishonest, took bribes, and perverted justice.

Sometimes it’s easy to focus on the less than stellar actions of others and even ourselves. We all have faults and failures as did the great list of people in the hall of faith. Nevertheless, I find such hope and encouragement in the fact that God chose to remember them for their great faith, not for the lack thereof. Let us do the same.

“who by faith conquered kingdoms, performed acts of righteousness, obtained promises, shut   the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, from weakness were made strong, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight.Hebrews             11:33-34 NASB (emphasis mine)

[Digging deeper – Judges 11 – 12:7; Hebrews 11:1-40]

Living by faith,

Beverly <><

 

 

 

Photo Credit: photo by Beverly Lussi

He is Risen! No Fooling!

…that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.”

1 Corinthians 15:2-3 NASB
This is the first time I can ever recall Easter falling on April 1st – April Fool’s Day. That’s because the last time it happened was 1956 and I wasn’t even a year old. Oh, the great April Fool’s Day jokes we play to see if anyone will be crazy enough to fall for them!

As you celebrate Easter this year, please take time to read the moving accounts of Jesus’s cruel, yet sacrificial death, His humble burial, and His lifegiving resurrection in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.  But for today’s dose, I want to point us to the gospel message proclaimed by the apostle Paul found in his first letter to the Corinthians. Many considered his message of the cross to be utter foolishness.  Let’s look at these verses found in 1 Corinthians 1 (NASB, emphasis mine):

Vs. 18 – For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

Vs. 21 – For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.

Vs. 23 – but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness.

Vs. 25 – Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men.

Vs. 27 – But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise.

The Gospel – the Good News of Jesus Christ – looks like foolishness to the world. It appears as Nonsense. Useless. Unnecessary. Stupidity. That’s because the Easter message is about the greatest display of Love that can only be found and experienced in Jesus. He loved us enough – regardless of what we’ve done – to give His life so that we could live forever with Him. We deserve death, but He freely gives us LIFE. It is our choice to accept or refuse His gift.

Proverbs 19:3 states that “the foolishness of man ruins his way, and his heart rages against the Lord.” As Easter approaches, my prayer is that if you do not know the true message of Jesus Christ, you will find and receive it today! God asks that you humbly admit and turn from your wrongdoings, realize you can’t live without Him, and yield your heart and will to Him. Do not let what appears to be foolish keep you from experiencing the greatest gift ever – the gift of eternal life. It will be the wisest and best decision you ever make. No fooling!

[Digging deeper – Isaiah 53; John 3:16; 1 Corinthians 1:30; 15:1-20; Ephesians 2: 4-10; 1 Peter 2:24, 3:18. Please feel free to email me if you have questions about the Good News of Jesus.]

Blessed Resurrection Day,

Beverly<><

 

 

 

Photo Credit: Photo by Beverly Lussi