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Archive for September, 2010

John 8:12 NAS – 12 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.”

F. Scott Fitzgerald took the words of “St. John of the Cross” and wrote in his book “The Crack-Up”:

“In a real dark night of the soul, it is always three o’clock in the morning, day after day.”

What he’s referring to is that poor soul who wakes up at 3 o’clock every morning and rehearses over and over in the mind the things in life he/she has, doesn’t have, wishes to have, or ruined. For Fitzgerald, God was absent. The point of his insight was at the end of the dark night we discover who we are. We’re on our own, assigned to invent our own set of laws to live by, and those policies are our own little lights apart from God. Keeping those regulations allow us to sleep at night, violations prevent slumber. At the end of day we learn who we are.

This is far from what the mystic “St John of the Cross” envision. He implied that at the end of the dark night we find a union and communion with the Divine. The discovery is that God is everything and we are nothing. When Jesus says, “He who follows Me will not walk in the darkness,” He is saying I have a solution for the “Dark Night of the Soul.” If you’re up every morning at 3 am—follow me! If you choose to do so you will not walk in darkness. Most of our restlessness is depended upon our situations and circumstances. If you’re life is troubled by “I don’t have” and “I wish I had”, or “I’m in ruin”, those experiences won’t change because you’ve come to Jesus. Sleepless nights don’t end just because you’re now a Christian.

When you follow Jesus what will change, however, is you’re inner ability to handle and to deal with problems! Jesus Christ is really good at placing you on a path that keeps you from walking down the road of the “Dark Night of the Soul”! It’s through a personal relationship with Christ that we come to find this hope! Let me read our verse again just to make sure we get it:

John 8:12 NAS – 12 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.”

J. Robert Hanson

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Dealing With Impossibilities!

Let’s quickly read a few intriguing verses:

Mark 11 (NAS) 17 As He [Jesus] was setting out on a journey, a man ran up to Him and knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”…21 Looking at him, Jesus felt a love for him and said to him, “One thing you lack: go and sell all you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” 22 But at these words he was saddened, and he went away grieving, for he was one who owned much property.

If ever there was a person who had everything—having his proverbial act together—it was this man. We know from reading Matthew 19 he was young, most likely very popular. When he walked into a room there was no doubt he was the most interesting man in the world. Charisma flowed from his very pores. Yet, in spite of all the things this young man had and all the things he’d experienced—he was still not content. The status quo was not satisfying. There was one question his bobbles could not answer, a single issue he could not divine. And so he asks the Lord, “What shall I do to inherit eternal life?

This is a very fair question to ask! Are you content with keeping the status quo forever? You’ve seen images of people who predictably do the same things over and over with little ambition or passion. That is what this young man is asking. Everything to him had been tried and was cookie-cutter the same! So I ask again, “Are you content with keeping the status quo?” Maybe within a church fellowship you can ask this question. “Are you content with keeping the status quo?” Personally, I want something to do with my life and to live for. If you’re tired of the status quo, just realize it’s going cost something to make a difference!

21 “…One thing you lack: go and sell all you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”

To go beyond the status quo was going to cost him something. And, as long as we look at the cost we will be unable to make a difference. Why? It seems ridiculous to give up those nice things we desire. It’s hard, it’s difficult—it’s actually impossible.

23 And Jesus, looking around, said to His disciples, “How hard it will be for those who are wealthy to enter the kingdom of God!” 24 The disciples were amazed at His words.

We think like the disciples, if the most interesting man in the world cannot be involved in the kingdom, what hope have I? The disciples ask the Lord, “Who then can be saved?” The answer is:

27 “With people it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God.”

I’ll ask again, “Are you content with keeping the status quo?” All things are possible with God if we stay with Jesus. Peter lets the Lord know just how great their ability to follow Him was. “Behold, we have left everything and followed You.” That’s the first step to making a difference. Do you want to change the status quo? Ask the Lord to use you! Tell Him you want to be the difference. Ask Him to help you to look at others as He looks at them. Ask Him the same first question of the rich young man, “what shall I do?” The Lord will give you something to do to make a difference with. And then, when He says, “do this,” don’t stare at your weakness and wobble. Go, sell what you have, and follow Him. Jesus, by design, is out to help people with impossibilities. Let Him work in you both to will and do of His good pleasure!

J. Robert Hanson

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