Category Archives: Devotional

Walk in the light

You have no doubt heard someone say light is associated with that which is good. When something hidden is exposed is said to be “brought to light.” In the same manner, darkness is said to be associated with that which is bad or concealed.

Perhaps this idea comes from the Bible, where light and darkness are compared and contrasted from its opening verses through to the closing chapter. The fourth verse of the very first book reads:

“God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness.” Genesis 1:4 NIV

I unknowingly participated in an experiment the other day contrasting the difference between light and darkness. I noticed the direction I am walking matters (whether I’m walking towards the light or away from it) in a darkened room. Walking away from the light in a large room filled with obstacles, pitfalls become increasingly harder to see the further I get from the source of light. The opposite is true when I walk towards the source of light. The closer I get to the light the more defined the obstacles become and the easier they are to avoid. Perhaps the Psalmist said it best:

“Your Word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” Psalm 119:105 NLT

When you’re exercising at night, carry a light and wear reflective clothing to light your path and keep you safe.

Trust

I read a newspaper article recently highlighting the importance of trust. Paraphrasing Conan Milner in his article in the Epoch Times, human beings are wired in such a way as to depend on trust, especially in our relationships. As infants we are born with a need to trust. It’s part of our survival.

Trust enables us to allow others to have authority over us as is the case with medical professionals for example. We associate trust with honesty. When trust is betrayed deep scars can result. Unfortunately, these scars can limit our ability to trust again in the future.

As a person of faith the relationship between trust and faith is of great importance to me. Siri defines faith as “complete trust or confidence in someone or something.” This begs the question, “How trustworthy are those we’ve put our faith in?”

Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful. 1 Corinthians 4:2

Walk in the light

You have no doubt heard someone say light is associated with that which is good. When something is exposed is said to be “brought to light.” In the same manner, darkness is said to be associated with that which is bad or concealed.

Perhaps the idea comes from the Bible, where light and darkness are compared and contrasted from its opening verses all the way through to the closing chapter. The fourth verse of the very first book reads:

“God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness.” Genesis 1:4 NIV

I unknowingly participated in an experiment the other day contrasting the difference between light and darkness. I noticed the direction I am walking matters (towards the light or away from it) in a darkened room. When walking away from the light in a large room filled with obstacles, I noticed those pitfalls became harder to see and navigate the further I got from a source of light. I also learned the opposite is true when I walked towards the source of light. The closer I got the light the more defined obstacles became and easier to avoid.

“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” Psalm 119:105 NLT

I put the contrast between light and darkness to the test every time venture out for an evening workout. Carrying a light and wearing reflective clothing when I’m walking in the dark, lights my path and keeps me safe.

When the dogs bark

As the Christmas season approaches, I am reminded again of Brody’s response to the lawn decorations popping up in our community. On our walk today Brody and I happened upon a couple of life-size inflatable white bears. They’re a close representation of the bears found in Coca-Cola television commercials. When Brody spotted them, he launched into a barking frenzy and ignored all attempts to calm him down. In his mind these ornaments were an intrusion into his world.

Over the past several years, I have been attempting to put together a book of self-examination inspired by the dogs I’ve called my own. I observed their responses to the events in their lives, which caused me to reflect on events in my own life. I’m learning a lot “when the dogs bark.”

Today’s experience with Brody and the white bears reminds me of how my mind reacts similarly to intrusions in my life. I do not like (or want) uninvited intrusions. I rush to judge strangers and wrestle with any changes to the status quo. Fortunately for me, I have the freedom to access a book that helps me put life back into perspective. For that, I’m most thankful.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

Joshua 20-21: Our refuge

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In biblical times, the Israelites were instructed by God to set up cities of refuge for a specific purpose.  They offered protection to anyone who accidentally committed a crime, which normally carried the sentence of death.  Intentionally committed crimes were settled using  “an eye for an eye” principle. The sentence was carried out by the avenger of blood (nearest living relative). 

Accidental killings were to be handled differently. The person responsible for the killing was to immediately flee to a city of refuge where he could present his case to the elders of the city. If his explanation was judged satisfactory, he would be admitted to the city and given provisions and a place to stay. He (or she) would be protected in the city from the avenger of blood. If he left the safety of the city for any reason, he was fair game to the avenger of blood. Under the instructions provided in the Torah (Numbers 35), the person had to remain in the city until the high priest died. The guilty person could then return home relieved of his guilt and be safe from any reprisals.

If we fast forward to the time of Jesus Christ, we can see how this ancient practice was instituted by God as a way of modeling the concept of salvation, which He would offer to the whole human race.  Salvation from what?  Romans 3:23 and 6::23 offer a sobering statements: everyone has sinned and fallen short of God’s standard of perfection and the wages for this sin is death.  Romans 6:23 goes on to say, God offers a gift (a place of refuge) in the person of his son Jesus Christ.  Anyone who accepts this gift will experience forgiveness and have eternal life.

Jesus Christ is a sinner’s city of refuge.

  • Jesus was divinely appointed as were the cities of refuge
  • Jesus, from the cross proclaimed, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do” ( Luke 23:34). This statement validates humanity’s guilt as accidental or involuntary manslaughter granting us access to a place of refuge.
  • In Christ the guilty can find safe haven
  • The way to Christ must be clearly revealed just as the roads were leading to the cities of refuge back in the time of Joshua.
  • Jesus is our high priest (Hebrews 7, 8, 9). His death and resurrection have set us free from the penalty of our sin
  • Since Jesus is God’s Son, then God will be the avenger of blood to all who have not found refuge in Jesus

There are two more points to be made found in Joshua chapter 21.  After the cities of refuge were established by the Levites (Israel’s priests), God gave the Israelites rest on every side (v44).  The second point: None of the Lord’s promises to Israel failed, every one was fulfilled (v45).

We can find refuge in the person of Jesus.  When we enter his refuge we can experience rest on every side and begin to enjoy the promises of God; not one of them will ever fail.

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