“I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.” Acts 26:17-18 (NIV)
For out third devotion this week, we are looking at stanza three of the poem:
FAST from apparent darkness; FEAST on the reality of God’s light.
(Click for the entire poem and for Monday and Tuesday’s devotion.)
In this stanza, we have the contrast between darkness and light, which stands for evil and good or Satan and God. As I was meditating on darkness and light and therefore good and evil, the question popped into my head, “There’s such an obvious difference between good and evil. Why do so many people get drawn into darkness?” But then God sent the thought back to me, “Is it really so obvious to others? Remember this verse in 2 Corinthians 11:14, ‘And no wonder, for Satan masquerades as an angel of light.'”
I had forgotten about that verse. So many times Satan makes sin or darkness look like fun. I can remember many times when I was a child and wanted to do something that my parents would not let me do; I thought they were being overprotective and just didn’t want me to have fun, when in reality they could see something I could not: the inherent danger or darkness in that situation that they wanted to protect me from. As a child, I did not have the wisdom or discernment to see that; as older, wiser parents, they did. Satan often makes sin appealing, so that we will yield to it. Then the next time, it’s easier to say yes to a more egregious sin. Before we know it, we are on a slippery slide to doing all kinds of things we never thought we would do. We can see now how someone can commit an obvious sin, like murder. Probably in most cases, a person who commits a terrible crime has a long history of saying yes to lesser offenses, which lulled their conscience to sleep and set the scene for greater sins.
So in this Holy Week, we can see much darkness involved in Jesus’ crucifixion. The forces of evil thought they had won the battle, but, praise God, they underestimated the power of God, of light, to win over the powers of darkness. The Greek word for light is phos, and some of its meanings include truth and knowledge. God’s light is always the truth, the whole truth, and nothin’ but the truth, as the old saying goes. Another interesting meaning regarding light, is that we should be sharing this light and wisdom with others. Matthew 5:15 tells us that we should not light a candle and hide it under a bushel basket; no, we are to set it out so that it lights up the whole house and everyone can see it. If you doubt the power of little old you shining your light to others, try the experiment of going into a dark room of your home and lighting one candle to see the power that light has to dispel darkness!
Application: Is there a sin you have been allowing to continue in your life because you think it’s not a big deal? Let’s work on rooting out the sin the Holy Spirit is convicting us about before we reap a harvest of pain in our lives or someone else’s. Let’s also share the light we have with other people as God gives us opportunities in His perfect timing.
Prayer: Jesus, thank you for breaking the power of darkness by your death on the cross. May we never take that sacrifice lightly or become oblivious to the sin in our own hearts and lives. Give us the courage and discernment to know when to share that light with others. Amen.
Image courtesy of foto76 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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