by Pastor Tim Burt
When talking with people, I often hear their honest and transparent words… No matter how much they’re encouraged to read their Bibles and pray, knowing that it will make their life better, they struggle watching it fall to the bottom of their priority list. And admitting that before long, they aren’t reading and barely praying except when they are in desperation mode.
Doesn’t it seem odd to you that the things that matter least to us win the lion’s share of our attention, but the things that we know deep down matter the most, receive the least? Our intimate pursuit and worship of God, our appreciation and time with those we really love, and our quest for a healthy lifestyle—these are what make our life rich and bring the happiness and contentment we’re looking for. And yet we cave in and give most of our attention to the very things that waste, discourage, and steal from our life.
Understanding that this is a common problem brings insight to how these words concerning Jesus could have possibly been true. “The true Light (Jesus) that gives light to every man was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through Him, the world did not recognize Him. He came to that which was His own, but His own did not receive Him.” John 1:9-11 NIV
The words “…that gives light to every man was coming into the world” reveals that Jesus was the light—He is the one who could show us the meaning of life and everything about it. He is the one who can give us direction in our life. He is the only one that can illuminate to us what is and isn’t important throughout our day’s pursuit. The world searches for the purpose of life but avoids the one who knows. How could that be?
The words “He was in the world, and though the world was made through Him” reveals that He is the author of every good thing. He alone knows what is good and evil. From the beginning He tried to help Adam and Eve understand it so they could make right choices. Today He is still here in the moment to “light” our path and show us the right decisions to make. The world looks to everyone but the author of wisdom. How could that be?
The words “…the world did not recognize Him” reveals that the world—most of those we’ll encounter in our daily lives—do not recognize Him as the author of all, the creator of all things, the mighty God, our Heavenly Father, our Prince of peace. They didn’t and don’t recognize Him. But how could that be?
Here is the really difficult part. “He came to that which was His own, but His own did not receive Him.” We may have received Him as our Savior, but will we receive Him into our heart and our schedule that is desperate for His peace and wisdom and help each day? Will WE receive Him into our fellowship and thinking so that He can show us what is good and what we should avoid? Will WE receive Him into our decision making process and let Him take lead in the decisions we make? Will WE set aside the unimportant wasters and consumers of our time and instead make intimate, prayerful, thankful time with Him?
These verses reveal that “… His own did not receive Him.” Are we any different? Will we be guilty of the same? Or will we receive Him today, tomorrow and the days ahead. This isn’t about duty or obligation. It’s about recognizing that He is the light of men. He is your light and what makes you a light in this world. He is the one that carries the direction, wisdom and provision you need. He is the one who illuminates our lives today so that we can become what He wanted to infect us with—His light! The world is dark and needs His light which was meant to be our light! That is the Christmas story playing out in our life daily! But, will we recognize and receive this truth or be like all those who didn’t and still don’t?
Matthew 5:14-16 (NLT) “You are the light of the world—like a city on a mountain, glowing in the night for all to see. Don’t hide your light under a basket! Instead, put it on a stand and let it shine for all. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.”
In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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