• Jason Wade


5 This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.6 If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. 1 John 1:5-7

Do you ever remember being outside in the summer and catching fireflies. Some people called them lightning bugs, but regardless of what you called them, they completely blew my mind that there were bugs whose butts lit up. I remember preparing the jars and putting some leaves and other grass in the jar in hopes of keeping them for an extended amount of time. I just wanted to keep the light so that I could always have the sense of safety regardless of the situation that may arise. Today, I look at that with different eyes. I look as my life as a container that also wants to catch the LIGHT. And just like that jar glass with the holes punched in the top, I want to capture the Light of God and allow Him to shine through me. I know that there have been difficult times in all of our lives, and I know that there will always be struggles, but one of the deepest thoughts I had as a child still rings true today. If I am able to capture the light... I will never have to fear the darkness anymore.

As we continue to look at our lives each day, I just want to encourage us all to be people that are light bearers. I want to help anyone take a moment and see the greater impact that we can all make if we allow God to be a part of our lives. Yes, to allow the Light to shine through us still means that we have to spend some time cleaning the vessel, but the cleaner the

vessel becomes, the more opportunities the Light has to shine in the darkness. I just have

seen God work in so many different ways and also seen how the darkness of the world can continue to manipulate our thoughts on how we live and strive to be more like Christ. We continue allow doubt and anxiety fill our hearts and minds and cloud the vessel so the light shines a little dimmer. Some times to the point that only a dot can be seen. But please understand that that small LIGHT of Christ still packs an enormous punch of truth for the world. I honestly just stand back and pray that God will help me to see what I cannot see, and to take hold of the things of this world that continues to cause His Light to shine a little dimmer because of the vessel I have become. It would be so much easier if I was able to let my butt light up and fly around and just shine for Jesus.

As we step into our Scripture for today, we are able to recognize the struggle that John was facing with the second generational Christians. They had only heard the Gospel through the teaching of the disciples and never really had the opportunity to see Jesus physically for themselves. They began to doubt in the reality of Christ and wanted something more that they could see or touch. They began reverting back to the ancient teachings of Gnosticism and worshiping the gods of the air, ground and prosperity. John speaks to them as one who has authority but also compassion and might. John is very honest about the way that we come before Christ and confess our salvation to the world. We are not to be as those who want to live on both sides. We don't want to confuse others by saying that we profess to live one way and our actions show the opposite. We want to be real and allow the world to see the transformative power of the Gospel in its fullness. Yesterday I used a phrase that really hit hard to me when I said that we have to ask ourselves if we are trying to equip disciples or raise Christian-junkies. Not meaning it in a derogatory way, but I just look at the world and where we are today and I am really desiring to show the world more of Christ and less of me. I don't want to be negative or hate, but I also don't want to provide others with a false sense of security when it deals with their eternity. In equipping disciples we are helping others to follow the model set out by the early church of spending time in prayer and petitions. Helping those that are in need and equipping and being equipped to be a better carrier of the Gospel to the world. I want to help others experience the grace, love and mercy of community and still walk in accountability for our sins. Too many times we have allowed so many of our people to become Christians junkies where they survive on the a quick fix of Jesus and never truly understand the meaning of living a life filled with truth.

John tells us that we either walk in the light and live by truth or we don't and cause ourselves to live in this false sense of security. I just hope and pray that we are able to recognize the importance of this decision that is pretty cut and dry. I know that many times in scripture we are able to read about not being lukewarm Christians or walking the fence. I

hope and pray that none of us live in that environment. I know that it may mean that we have to do some internal cleaning of the vessel in order for the LIGHT to shine through, but I do believe we all, ME INCLUDED, need to truly get back to our firm foundation and allow the Light to guide our path. We need to stop dating the church and seeing it as a checkpoint and truly take the time we need to step into God's fullness for the community of believers. John was right... we have to stop saying one thing and doing another. We have to be willing to accept our calling as disciples and move towards a deeper relationship with Christ. We have to stop playing the game and thinking that things are going to change if we are not willing to be a part of the solution. I want to catch the LIGHT and allow the world to see the Light through my life and my actions. I don't want to cause others to stumble and fall and actually begin to doubt their relationship of Christ because of my unwillingness to live a life I chose to live when I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior. I am asking that you please pray for me and all of us, to take a breath and take an inventory of where we are with God. I pray that God's Light shines so brightly through us that others would want to walk with us so that they no longer will have to fear the power of the darkness.

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