Weekly Photo Challenge: Let There Be Light!

Candle light in the dark

The people who walked in darkness

have seen a great light;

Isaiah 9:2 (ESV)

Light is kind of the theme of my blog, so this is a great challenge for me!

As a follower of Christ, Jesus is the light of my life.  He is the source of light that breaks through the darkness of the world.  The words below from Jesus tell how we, as Christians, should act to demonstrate this light to others.

14You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

Matthew 5:14-16 (ESV)

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Save Saeed

Video of Naghmeh Abedini speaking about the imprisonment of her husband Saeed Abedini at the UN Human Rights Council.  Saeed Abedini is an American pastor who is imprisoned in Iran for his Christian faith.  Even at this difficult time, she gives a beautiful summary of the gospel.

She says Iran has kept Saeed imprisioned “because Saeed believes in forgiveness of sin through Jesus Christ and that whoever accepts this forgiveness of sin can be reconciled to the God of peace and love.  This is the God of peace we are all searching for.”

Please visit  http://savesaeed.org/ for more information or to sign the petition to free Pastor Saeed.

He is…

"I am the Light of the World"

All of us must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the one who sent me, because there is little time left before the night falls and all work comes to an end.  But while I am still here in the world, I am the light of the world.”

John 9:4-5 (NLT)

Freedom in Jesus

Photo of Clouds in Blue Sky

The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;

Isaiah 61:1 (ESV)

And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. And as was his custom, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and he stood up to read.  And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

Luke 4:16-19 (ESV)

I love this verse because I find it very comforting.  Jesus proclaims that he has come to free the captives and the oppressed.  So, who are the captives and the oppressed?  First, we were all captives, to the power of sin, before becoming followers of Christ and allowing his spirit to change us.  Sin and darkness had power over us, but now we belong to God, and through him we have power over sin.

He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

Colossians 1:13-14 (ESV)

Second, my interpretation is that the oppressed can mean the marginalized, the stigmatized, those who are considered less by society for whatever reason.  God is close to them.  As the body of Christ, we are to be Jesus’ hands and feet to help those who are oppressed and held captive, to give them hope, to be used by God to help them be set free.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (ESV)

The LORD is near to the brokenhearted And saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Psalm 34:18 NASB

O LORD, you hear the desire of the afflicted; you will strengthen their heart; you will incline your ear

Psalm 10:17 (ESV)

The LORD works righteousness and justice for all who are oppressed.

Psalm 103:6 (ESV)

Jesus is our rock and our foundation

Rock on Pacific Coast

Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.”

Luke 6:47-49 (ESV)

Rock on coast of Pacific Ocean

What is your foundation?

New Life

Photo of Butterfly on Crab Apple Tree Blossoms

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

2 Corinthians 5:17 (ESV)

Another Photo of Butterfly on Crab Apple Tree Blossoms

I was looking at these pictures and thought how the transformation of a caterpillar to a butterfly can be compared to receiving Jesus, the transformation that happens when we open our hearts and have faith in Him.  We are reborn, transformed, given new life.  Our old self dies and we have a new life in Christ.

I also like the way the New Living Translation puts it:

This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!

 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NLT)

Dear Lord, Thank you for my new life.  Thank you for transforming me, for taking away the power of sin and death on the cross.

To read more about the life cycle of a butterfly, check out this website: http://www.thebutterflysite.com/life-cycle.shtml

Living Water

Clear lake water with mountains in the background

10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” 11 The woman said to him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock.” 13 Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

John 4:10-14 (ESV)

Fountain at Grapevine Botanical Gardens, Grapevine, Texas

37 On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” 39 Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

John 7:37-39 (ESV)

“I Will Rise”

I’d been working on this post for a while, and then last week my cousin passed away after a brief battle with leukemia.  This song has a more special meaning to me now when I think of him and his family.  We are all taking comfort knowing he had a strong faith in Jesus and that he is in a better place now.   I’d like to dedicate it to him.

Chris Tomlin performing “I Will Rise” live in concert.

I hope you enjoy this beautiful song!

Some lyrics from the song:

There’s a peace I’ve come to know

Though my heart and flesh may fail

There’s an anchor for my soul

I can say, it is well

Jesus has overcome

And I will rise when He calls my name

No more sorrow, no more pain

There’s a day that’s drawing near

When this darkness breaks to light

And the shadows disappear

And my faith shall be my eyes

…for we walk by faith, not by sight.

2 Corinthians 5:7 (ESV)

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you.  Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

John 14:27 (ESV)

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace.  In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.

John 16:33 (ESV)

Today I pray that you will rest in God’s peace, the peace that passes understanding, and that remembering “I will rise” gives you comfort.

Hope

I haven’t posted in awhile!  I’ve actually been busy, which is good, mostly.  It’s a blessing to be busy, to have things you want to do and be able to do them.

Today I want to share the song “There Will Be A Day” by Jeremy Camp.  This is an answer to my previous post about tears.  It describes the hope we have, even during times of suffering, perhaps especially important when we’re suffering, of the life to come through Jesus.

This is actually a devotional video of Jeremy Camp speaking about his song.

 

One of the verses he mentions in the video is Romans 8:18.  I recommend reading the passage Romans 8:15-23 for context.

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.

Romans 8:18 (ESV)

Dear Lord, Please fill us with the hope you give us for the future.  Please help us to trust you, during good times and bad, and to keep in sight the life to come.  Give us your peace.