Sunday, 22 August 2021

From Darkness to Light


Scripture: Acts 26 v 14 - 18:  "And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.
15  And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest.
16  But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee;
17  Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee,
18  To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me."

This conversation Jesus had with Saul shows how well Jesus chooses His ministers! He saw how Saul was kicking against the pricks, or resisting the Holy Spirit convicting him, and knew the exact moment to make an entrance into His life.   He had absolutely no doubt that Saul would be converted and become the most powerful apostle to bring the gospel to the Gentiles. 

He still had to go through 3 years of training at Jesus' feet to learn the whole revelation of Jesus from His own mouth. It made him unshakeable in his faith and commitment. From a Pharisee who would stop at nothing to prevent Christianity spreading, to becoming its most ardent champion in the blink of an eye, was powerful indeed. 

Jesus sent Paul, formerly Saul, to change darkness into light. The whole world lies in darkness wherever the light of Jesus does not shine. In John 1 it says that the Light shone in the darkness but the darkness could not comprehend it. Those who do not have a living relationship with Jesus Christ cannot understand those who do. Nor can they understand that everything pertaining to that darkness must be eliminated from their lives.

I tried to help a man who had spent 16 years studying to be a Ninja, an assassin, and was ready to go to Japan to finalise his training.  Jesus had already set him free of alcoholism and other things.  I didn't even know about his martial arts.  This demon made its appearance during a church meeting and it took 5 strong men to hold him while I prayed.  He stopped me and said he did not want to be delivered, he wanted to become a Ninja.  He left immediately and we never heard from Him again.  The darkness reclaimed him.  A Ninja is an assassin, a murderer, there is no love, light or eternal life in him.

Jesus said Paul must deliver them from the power of Satan unto God for forgiveness of sins. All of Satan's power is connected to sin. If you are born again yet indulging is some sinful disobedience, then in that particular sin you are allowing Satan to dominate you. And he will be merciless and work hard to steal your soul away from God. 

If Jesus went to such lengths to change Saul into Paul so we could learn about His kingdom, He also went to great lengths to save you. He washed you in His Blood to cleanse you from all sin. If you are secretly drugging; committing adultery; in a compromised relationship; pursuing false doctrines or hankering after the sins you left behind, then you are compromising your relationship with Jesus and your light will flicker out. 

God has done absolutely everything He can do to secure you in eternal life with Him. The rest is up to you. You must make the choice of giving your all to Jesus, as He gave His all for us.  There is no halfway with Him.

Are you going to remain in the Kingdom of God with all its benefits or choose the high life and squander your birthright?  That's why God hated Esau!  He gave up his birthright for a plate of food! It meant so little to him.  Have you forfeited your birthright by compromise, error, disobedience towards God, or by grieving the Holy Spirit?  Make right with God and stay on His good side.

We can go from birth to death without ever seeing the light.  God is light and there is no darkness in Him.  Satan is dark and there is zero light in him.  Those who are in darkness are slaves to sin, or slaves to Satan, whether they know he exists or not.  They can be in church all their lives and never know the light of Jesus.  We must be born again to see it.

Matthew 6 v 22 - 23:  "The light of the body is the eye:  if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.
23 But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness.  If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!"   

We have an inheritance eternal in the heavens through the sacrifice of Jesus. Treasure it above everything. The New Testament is the ratified Will after the Testator died. Have you read the Will? Your inheritance? Do you know what you received from your Father? And if you do know, know this too, you have to share this knowledge with those who haven't read it yet.  It's how to turn darkness to light.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, You went so far past the extra mile to ensure we could find our way home. You lit up the darkness with the Light of Jesus for us. Let us take this perfect Light and shine it everywhere so those on the outside can find salvation. In Jesus' name. Amen.