12 July 2010
As a lamp brings forth its light in a dark house, so truth rises in the midst of faith in a person's heart. When it rises there, it casts out four darknesses: the darkness of paganism, the darkness of ignorance, the darkness of doubt, the darkness of sin, so that there is no room for any of them there.
- Colman mac Beognai, Aipgitir Chrabaid (Irish, 7th century)
At the same time, it is a new commandment that I am writing to you, because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining...And the world is passing away along with its desires...
- 1 John 2.8, 17
Ask ten Christians whether things are getting better or worse in the world, whether the light of Truth us growing or the darkness of sin is increasing, and I feel quite certain more than half will point to the dark side.
And why should that be? After all, since the days of the Apostles, the Gospel has been growing and expanding, the faith of Christ has been increasing, so that there is hardly a place on earth where you're not reasonably close to a church. Further, the Bible - the best-selling book of all time, and every year - continues to exert formative influence on lives and cultures, and millions of people come to faith in Jesus.
The light of Truth is rising in the world as the Sun of Righteousness continues to spread His healing wings over the earth. Sure, there are pockets of stiff resistance, and we even experience times when, as the saints let down their guard, become distracted, or decide to rest on their laurels, the old demons regain a hill and cover the light with shrouds of wickedness and sin.
But they can't prevail. The world is a wheat field, not a weed field; when Jesus comes back He will gather a harvest of wheat out of a field decisively dominated by the crop He sowed. We are workers in that field, called to sow the Truth and show the Truth as one united Body of believers, so that the world will believe that the Father has sent Jesus for the salvation of men.
But if our outlook on life is not one of Truth rising, glowing, advancing, and prevailing - as John's was, in exile on Patmos - then we're probably going to hide the light of Truth under the bushels of fear because we've somehow persuaded ourselves that people aren't interested in the Gospel any more.
We would be wrong to think that, and even more wrong to live that way.
July Exercise Part 2: OK, you've been reading and doing some self-evaluation based on the brochure, Called to Be Witnesses. Now, for July 12-18, sit down with some Christian friends and share the results of your first week of this exercise. Make a copy of the brochure for each of your friends and challenge them to begin this exercise as well.
Today in ReVision: A News Couch Potato? Are you one?
This Week's Download: Called to Be Witnesses