Light

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“This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.” – 1 John 1:5

Inspiration

I don’t normally go into such detail with my banner art, but this one churned and evolved.

I saw a post yesterday that talked about a gentleman having a NDE (Near death experience) and how through it, he met Christ. He talked about how the light was so intense, and how it radiated off of Christ from His LOVE.

That inspired me to look into 1 John concerning God being the light.

The first part of creating the banner started with Christ. I superimposed light coming from Jesus, and from the word LOVE.

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The word LOVE was encircled. This was a direct result of my reading and research in a commentary that referred to God’s love being a circle. The circle was included because of this great analogy I found in the IVP (Inter Varsity Press) Commentary.

“Now, if we agree that God is pure light, how does it help us answer the question, What does God want of us? John’s answer comes here in absolute terms: light and darkness are as incompatible in the Christian as they are in God. We can picture this with two circles. One contains in it truth, love, righteousness, eternal life, hope, purity and confidence. This is God’s sphere of light, and the children of light walk in it. In biblical thought walking (1 John1:6-7) is a synonym for living. Thus to say that Christians walk in the light is another way of saying that Christian life is lived within the circle of God’s light. In it we catch a vision of God, and we are able to discern and follow the way of righteousness and truth that is salvation and life.

Alongside this circle lies another that circumscribes all that is antithetical to the goodness of light. In this circle are falsehood, hatred, impurity, fear and sinfulness. This is the sphere of evil, what is called the “world” (1 John 2:15-17) and “darkness.” It consists of all that God is not and is inimical to God and the circle of light.

These two circles share nothing in common. They do not overlap at all. God has no fellowship with darkness, for God is pure light. God is wholly righteous. And the children of God are to walk in the light and not in darkness. To walk in the light means to shape one’s whole being, all one’s actions, decisions, thoughts and beliefs by the standard of the God who is light, even as a circle gives shape to empty space. It does not mean to be perfect, as God is perfect, for the author’s statements about human sinfulness do not allow such an interpretation. Rather, to walk in the light means to live continually guided by and committed to the God who is light. What God wants of us is that we shape our lives not by an external norm or by some arbitrary standard, but in conformity with the very character and heart of God.

And here is where the image of the circle is helpful. Prior to drawing a circle on paper, there is only blank space. But a circle includes and excludes space, just as the circle of God’s light includes and excludes certain actions and behaviors. The circle gives shape to space, and so serves as a boundary. And, indeed, the most obvious feature of a circle is this outer boundary. But circles themselves are not defined or con structed from their edges, but from a fixed and known center. So to understand the boundary of the circle of God’s light, we do well to focus on the center, not on the edges. The commitment that John seeks, that we walk in the light, consists of focusing ever more closely on the center of the circle of light, which is God, and learning to live in conformity with that center. Where there is no center, the edges blur and fade away. Where there is a living center, the boundaries need not be a matter of constant worry and concern.”

Yes — I know that’s a hug amount to quote, but it was a beautiful illustration and a muse for my inspiration to include a “boundary” around the LOVE of Jesus.

In the discussion above about light having nothing to do with darkness, I looked into including a cameo type darkness around the light, without any overlap. Not that God is not all powerful, but the darkness representing the world we presently live in.

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The final product then was filtered to add depth and frequency to the colors.

Techy-person that I am knows that frequency deals with waves. Waves starts with motion and becomes sound as it fluctuates the air around us, thus vibrating our ear drums. As the frequency of the waves increase, the sound waves become radio waves. As the frequency continues to increase, the radio waves become microwaves. (Yes — the ones we cook with. We shoot microwaves at our food and vibrate is so quickly that the friction causes heat.) After microwaves, waves at an extreme frequency become light… Spectrum-wise, like a prism of colors. Red to orange to yellow…Yellow turns to green as the frequency increases, and then to blue… Violet turns to indigo and eventually to white. White is representative of the ultimate purity.

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Yes — I KNOW I’m complicated. God loves me anyway! 🙂

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Politics

20130909-111731.jpg“Politics draws lines between people; in contrast, Jesus’ love cuts across those lines and dispenses grace. That does not mean, of course, that Christians should not involve themselves in politics. It simply means that as we do so we must not let the rules of power displace the command to love.”

Author: Philip Yancey
Source: What’s So Amazing About Grace?

I’ve witnessed this first hand… I saw how a heated presidential election divided a church. When your church starts distributing voter guides at it’s welcome center — it might be time to refocus.

My photo inspiration came from this photo at PublicDomainPictures.net.
“Apocalypse” by Josée Holland Eclipse

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Here is a picture of the church under the troubled skies of a climate that needs the love of Christ.

When politics overshadow love inside the fellowship of the church, it indeed draws lines between people. Politics place people in subcategories. Politics divide the church and clouds it’s focus.

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Weekly Spurgeonism 9/8/2013

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Traffic

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A few days ago I was traveling down the Interstate when I saw that the traffic coming towards me in the opposite direction was stopped by an accident. Crews and police were doing their best to tend to the injured and clear the wreckage. This had caused quite a backup, and turned the west bound lane into a parking lot.

As I traveled, I made a few observations:

Traffic was stopped for quite a distance. It looked like at least four miles were completely stopped and not moving. Occasionally I would see somebody who saw the stopped traffic take one of those u-turn lanes in the median and travel back to the previous exit to find an alternate route. As I passed the off ramp, I saw many others lined up to exit to avoid the accident.

Still further as I drove away from the accident, I saw many others happily traveling at normal speed towards the impending calamity without any clue as to what was ahead. They were simply just living life with no idea that today their life, or at least their itinerary, was about to change.

I felt helpless — I knew what was ahead for those motorists, but I really had no way to warn them. I guess I could have flashed my headlights to at least say “Pay attention, something is ahead.”

The Spirit caught my attention and used the incident to parallel how we travel down the interstate of life towards death, and ultimately the afterlife.

The great majority of folks are just traveling in a mass without any clue to what lies ahead. Occasionally you will see the person who does realize that there is another way, and make a u-turn, or find another route. They re-plot a new course and set a new destination. Some pull out the roadmap, and others simply just trust their GPS to point them in the right direction.

It may sound very “techy” and modern to say this, but trusting in Jesus, and reading God’s Word is a lot like checking the maps and trusting in the GPS to help us reach our destination.

The question then hit me… If I was asked by a traveler how to get to someplace they didn’t know the route to, wouldn’t I do my best to help them get there?

Sure, the incident mentioned above was stopped traffic, but if I saw a man driving down the interstate about ready to drive into certain death, would I not do my best to warn them of the pending danger?

That being said:

If I TRULY believe, (in my heart that man is doomed to eternal fiery separation from God)
What I SAY I believe, (that Jesus died in place of sinful man…) then how can I NOT share about the LOVE of JESUS?

How can I not share the GOOD NEWS to a person who does not know that MY GOD died on a cross for a crime he did not commit to spare all of mankind from the eternal separation from God?

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Carpenter

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The Bible isn’t clear if Jesus did any carpentry work after his ministry began; however, He spent the remainder of His earthly years and then all of eternity fixing the brokenness of humanity. He is offering you a chance today to invite Him into your disaster zone. Trust His skilled and steady hand. Soon, He will unveil His handiwork, and you will see that the Jewish carpenter from Nazareth was the only one who could put you back together again.

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Happy Rosh Hashanah

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Happy Rosh Hashanah to our Jewish and Messianic Jewish friends! The most common form of Rosh Hashanah greeting is simply: L’Shanah Tovah Tikatevu! (“May you be inscribed (in the Book of Life) for a good year!”)

Rosh Hashanah also has prophetic significance for the Christian: The blowing of the shofar is prophetic of the rapture of the church, where those who are part of the Bride of Mashiach, the “church,” will experience everlasting transformation:

“Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet (shofar): for the trumpet (shofar) shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” (1 Cor. 15:51)

Note that the Jewish Talmud also states that on Rosh Hashanah the dead will be raised (Rosh Hashanah 16b). This corresponds to the “last trump” mentioned by the Apostle Paul (1 Cor. 15:52).

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Revival

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Study the history of revival. God has always sent revival in the darkest days. Oh, for a mighty, sweeping revival today!

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Which Are You?

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Are you a thermometer or are you a thermostat?

A thermometer is circumstantially led. Depending on the temperature, the mercury moves up or down. It moves according to the circumstances that it is set in. Everything around a thermometer controls how the thermometer works, whether it moves up or down.

A thermostat influences its surroundings. Unlike the thermometer, the thermostat controls the heat or coldness around it.

Which are you? Do you influence your surroundings? Or, are you influenced by your surroundings?

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Seek

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“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” – Jeremiah 29:13

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Radio Mug Of Mercy

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