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November 30, 2016

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From Darkness to Light: Discovering God’s power to proclaim His message

by Dave Malnes

The spirit of the Lord moves powerfully. His grace pursues and persists.

The Word is a consuming force that breaks down the pride of unbelief and creates the miracle of faith. It is His Word that announces Christ and what He has done – it is the only means to create and nourish faith.

And it’s this Word – this power – that is proclaimed from the mouths of believers.

“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the LORD rises upon you and his glory appears over you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.” (Isaiah 60:1-3)

The Christian life in a darkened world is not about striving to become acceptable to God, but rejoicing about who they already are – “a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God.”   [1 Peter 2:9a)

Believers are “chosen.” They are selected by God to be a part of a royal family. As people are born into an inheritance, or a royal line, God selects people out of His grace to be a part of His royal family. The concept of being chosen carries with it the connotation of a title. Believers are a “royal priesthood” – people who belong to and are in service of the King. They are a “holy nation,” set apart from the unbelieving world corrupted by sin, established by a Light to be a light in a darkened world.

Darkness can be overwhelming, fearful, and consuming. It can distort the Light – not being able to see clearly who God is in the course of the present, to see His hand in the context of history, nor trust His guidance for the future. Darkness effects how believers see themselves in Christ. Instead of trusting God’s declaration of who we are in Christ – we are drawn to the world’s opinion. We look in the mirror and see unmet standards. In Christ, we look at the cross and see that God has already met those standards. We are worthy in Christ. We are lights through Christ. And a life in Christ proclaims the Light of Christ.

When God commissions all believers to go and make disciples, our immediate response is to look in the mirror. Instead of being overcome with a sense of privilege to serve the King, we tremble over our feelings of inadequacy or being inconvenienced in a busy world.

Christians lose perspective in darkness. We tend to miss out on opportunities to experience joy on what God has set apart for us to do – to be His messengers. For is through our mouths that the Lord brings life through the power of His Word.

Too often, I come across Christians who tell me, “Evangelism is not just me.”  Or, “I can’t do that!”

Evangelism can be overwhelming and fearful. Yet, I wonder how God would answer those concerns?

I don’t think He would frown upon a believe who is struggling to proclaim His name to the nations. Instead, He would provide words of assurance, promise, and reminders of who they are in Christ. By remaining in the Light, believers find identity – they become something for a purpose outside of themselves.

“That you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” (1 Peter 2:9b)

“The people I formed for myself, that they may proclaim my praise.” (Isaiah 43:21)

Evangelism means sharing a message to those on the outside what is already known to those on the inside.

But I think there is something more.

We have seen images and video of how destructive the force of nature can be on this earth. High winds. Surges of flood water. Tsunami waves creating havoc on villages by the sea.

I believe the destructive forces of nature are physical examples of a spiritual reality. The Bible references wind and water to describe the force of the Holy Spirit. It is this power that is behind the proclamation of His Word. The Holy Spirit creates spiritual havoc on human hearts when believers deliver a gospel message.

God has created and set apart a chosen few to create spiritual tsunamis through the proclamation of His Word. Believers are the means to deliver this powerful message of salvation to people living in darkness. That is the power and the authority He has commissioned all believers.

We can pray, “Lord, may I be conscious of your presence today. You are with me. You live in me. Instead of looking into the mirror and staring at all of my inadequacies, may I be drawn into Your Light and Your promises of who I am in Your sight. Allow my spirit to soar with the privilege of serving you by being open and aware of opportunities that You create to proclaim Your name. Thank you for the privilege of being Your messenger and to partner with you in gathering the elect before You return. Amen.”

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