Let’s do Life: Loving Light by Pastor Wendell Williams
What a blessing for Friday’s Bible Study, a visit from Pastor Wendell from Good Ground Family Churchin Cohoes, New York (near Albany). He had something pressing on his mind he wanted to share with us. I have typed it in its entirety rather than splitting it because it is such a powerful message that needs to be read at one sitting.
James 1:1-8 (King James version) James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting. My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.
Pastor Wendell talked about wavering – when one is wavering they are tossed between two different things, not really standing on solid ground, but going back and forth – being double minded.
Then he read the next few passages from the Amplified Version.
James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect (free, large, full) gift is from above; it comes down from the Father of all [that gives] light, in [the shining of] Whom there can be no variation [rising or setting] or shadow cast by His turning [as in an eclipse].
Light, pure light, we don’t have to figure it out, just walk in the light.
James 1:18 Amplified And it was of His own [free] will that He gave us birth [as sons] by [His] Word of Truth, so that we should be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures [a sample of what He created to be consecrated to Himself].
We are a sample of Himself, consecrated to Him (God).
James 1:19 Amplified Understand [this], my beloved brethren. Let every man be quick to hear [a ready listener], slow to speak, slow to take offense and to get angry.
Every man, and Pastor Wendell pointed out that we might need to hear this about anger, not to get angry, to be slow to take offense.
James 1:20-22 Amplified For man’s anger does not promote the righteousness God [wishes and requires].So get rid of all uncleanness and the rampant outgrowth of wickedness, and in a humble (gentle, modest) spirit receive and welcome the Word which implanted and rooted [in your hearts] contains the power to save your souls. But be doers of the Word [obey the message], and not merely listeners to it, betraying yourselves [into deception by reasoning contrary to the Truth].
In this day and age it is so easy to deceive ourselves through our intellects, and to apply our reasoning to justify any position, even when it is contrary to the truth. In this world today the clear word of truth is diluted by people’s personal opinions about what FEELS right or what SHOULD be right, and these feelings are not based on the truth, but on our fleshly desires.
The Word of God is our focal point, and it is the foundation from which we should live. We should not betray ourselves by not doing God’s will. It is very easy to slip into darkness and deception.
Then Pastor Wendell talked about that period of twilight – where the sun is about to set and darkness to come – twilight is not quite daylight, but not totally dark, but our vision is obscured and we do not see clearly.
Today our country is in twilight, a time in our country when night is falling, when right becomes wrong and wrong becomes right, and the lines are blurred.
As an example, Pastor Wendell shared some proclamations from the President, then Pataki who used to be governor of New York, and Spitzer who is the current governor.
Here is the President’s proclamation: I bolded every reference to God.
National Day of Prayer, 2007
A prayerful spirit has always been an important part of our national character, and it is a force that has guided the American people, given us strength, and sustained us in moments of joy and in times of challenge. On this National Day of Prayer, we acknowledge God’s grace and ask for His continued guidance in the life of our Nation.
Americans of many faiths and traditions share a common belief that God hears the prayers of His children and shows grace to those who seek Him. Following the tragedy at Virginia Tech, in towns all across America, in houses of worship from every faith, Americans have joined together to pray for the lives that were lost and for their families, friends, and loved ones. We hold the victims in our hearts and pray for those who suffer and grieve. There is a power in these prayers, and we can find comfort in the grace and guidance of a loving God.
At this important time in our history, we also pray for the brave members of our Armed Forces and their families. We pray for their safety, for the recovery of the wounded, and for the peace we all seek.
The Congress, by Public Law 100 307, as amended, has called on our Nation to reaffirm the role of prayer in our society and to respect the freedom of religion by recognizing each year a “National Day of Prayer.”
NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim May 3, 2007, as a National Day of Prayer. I ask the citizens of our Nation to give thanks, each according to his or her own faith, for the freedoms and blessings we have received and for God’s continued guidance, comfort, and protection. I invite all Americans to join in observing this day with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twentieth day of April, in the year of our Lord two thousand seven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-first.
GEORGE W. BUSH
I could not find a way to copy the following proclamations, (6/27/13 – and the links I found at the writing of this post no longer work. I did check them out at the time of writing this and found that what Pastor Wendell said was true.) George Pataki’s proclamation does mention God.
Notice that Eliott Spitzer’s proclamation does not mention God once! In fact he tried very hard not to do a proclamation for the national day of prayer, at one point New York was the only state not issuing a proclamation, so having to write one, he managed not to include one reference to God.
Pastor Wendell was checking this out after he heard about it because, for Pastor Wendell it is an indication of the downward spiral of our country, of our going into twilight times.
Then Pastor Wendell told us the House of Representatives passed HR1592 which is a law regarding homosexuality, making it a hate crime to speak anything against homosexuals. They have placed this group of people in a class of people requiring special protection. This will make it very difficult for preachers, teachers, to speak anything that is contrary to agreement with the homosexual lifestyle, even though there are specific teachings in the Bible against this lifestyle.
Republicans tried to add a sentence requiring the law to respect religious rights of people, but the democrats voted that clause down. and now it is going to be sent to Senate. President Bush has promised to veto this law if it makes it through the Senate.
What the Law will do is give one group special privileges and block the freedom of speech and religion of a majority of the people in our country.
Pastor Wendell pointed out that He was MALE and HETEROSEXUAL – that is his life choice – because he has chosen this path, in agreement with the Word of God, does not make him a homophobe, nor does it mean that he is going to perpetuate hate crimes on people of other lifestyles.
As a person, Pastor Wendell should have the right to have his own opinion, even if it does not agree with another person’s opinion of correct lifestyle. Again having a differing opinion does not make a person a homophobe or perpetuating hate crimes.
Christians who follow the Word of God are considered bigots, but really they are making a choice to follow the Word of God – because they do not agree with particular lifestyle does not make them a homophobe or perpetuating hate crimes.
This law will affect the freedom of speech and religion that our Constitution guarantees, and will make one group of people a special class.
Someone mentioned that today tolerance has had its’ meaning changed from allowing each person to have their own beliefs and practices, to forcing agreement for a belief or practice even if it goes against another’s belief and practice. For Christians, we are considered intolerant when we practice what the Bible says and do not agree on certain lifestyles.
What people do not realize is, while a Christian does not agree with a certain lifestyle, they are still to treat the people with love, even though they do not accept the choices they have made.
We are being pushed into a corner and forbidden to disagree, and if we do disagree with a life choice, if we present our opinion, we are called racists or bigots. When in reality, we should also have the right to assert that this is not how I choose to live my life. We also have the right to have an opinion contrary to another’s lifestyle. It is not about LOVE, it is about choice.
God wants everybody in the kingdom of God. The main message of the Bible is 1. GOD LOVES PEOPLE and 2 WHAT YOU DO WITH THE FACT OF THE FIRST MESSAGE IS UP TO YOU.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
It is the person’s choice to believe in Jesus or not.
We then spoke a bit about Cain and Abel, how Cain presented a wrong sacrifice and God told Cain that he needed to change His sacrifice. He had seen that Cain was upset that Abel’s sacrifice was approved. God told Cain to change and all would be well. Instead, Cain chose to kill Abel, then in fear asked God to protect him. God put a mark on Cain’s forehead to protect his life, even though he had killed Abel. Even a fallen man has God’s protection.
IT ISN’T ABOUT LOVE, IT IS ABOUT RIGHTEOUSNESS.
It comes down to people not wanting to obey God, and wanting all others to agree with their choice to disobey, calling what is wrong, “right.”
The truth is we cannot afford a twilight in our relationship with God.
John 11:9-10 Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of the world. But if one walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.”
It takes just a little bit of light to banish the darkness, but often those who prefer the darkness shun the light.
WALK IN DAY, LIVE IN LIGHT.
Genesis 1:1-5 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light.”; and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day.
There are three ways to look at this passage. 1. Theologically – In the beginning, GOD. 2. Chronologically – God created TIME – In the BEGINNING and 3. Spiritually if there is darkness and confusion in our lives we need God to bring the light.
The Lord’s Prayer follows this too, Our Father (in the beginning God), who art in heaven (location)…
The first thing God does is He looks out and establishes an element of who He is in the darkness. He ESTABLISHED LIGHT IN THE DARKNESS.
Out of Chaos, God instills order. And there was an order in creation, first the light, then the firmament, then the lesser lights.
What has happened here on earth is, instead of worshipping God, the greater Light, we have taken to worshipping the lesser lights – sun gods, moon gods, idols, lifestyle, etc.
GOD SPOKE – LET THERE BE LIGHT,
James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.
Jesus is the Father of Lights, for Jesus spoke into creation.
God made us at the end of the sixth day, he formed us (not spoke us into existence) from clay and water, and then breathed (INSPIRATION) life into us, and we breathe back out what God has breathed in us (RE-SPIRATION). The Word comes into our lives (inspiration) it changes us (respiration).
John 12:28-32 “Father, glorify Your name.” Then a voice came from heaven, saying, “I have both glorified it and will glorify it again.” Therefore the people who stood by and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, “An angel has spoken to Him.” Jesus answered and said, “This voice did not come because of Me, but for your sake. Now is the judgment of this world, now the ruler of this world will be cast out. And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.”
We are to walk in the light, walking while we have the light.
John 12:35-36 Then Jesus said to them, “A little while longer the light is with you. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you; he who walks in darkness does not know where he is going. While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.”
John 3:16-19 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned, but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
Men loved the darkness, and the light of truth exposes the things of darkness. In this day and age, man’s deeds are evil. And when light comes in, it is kind of like cockroaches scrambling to hide once the light is turned on.
John 3:20 Amplified. For every wrongdoer hates (loathes, detests) the Light, and will not come out into the Light but shrinks from it, lest his works (his deeds, his activities, his conduct) be exposed and reproved.
Notice that “Light” has a Capital “L”. That Light is Jesus. We need to respond to the Light and come into the Light.
John 3: 21 But he who practices truth [who does what is right] comes out into the Light; so that his works may be plainly shown to be what they are–wrought with God [divinely prompted, done with God’s help, in dependence upon Him].
In the Light, when we realize that we can only do what we need to do with God’s help, God gets the glory and we reflect our dependence on God. We are not perfect, but God helps us to get closer to perfection.
John 1:1-4 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
BE LIGHT LOVERS AND THEN WE ARE LIFE LOVERS, based on the Word of God, the elements of God, the characteristics of God.
John 1:5 Amplified And the Light shines on in the darkness, for the darkness has never overpowered it [put it out or absorbed it or appropriated it, and is unreceptive to it].
We have gotten things twisted around and we let darkness dictate to light, when in reality we need to be light that dictates to the darkness.
Lucy Swindoll once told a story called Flashlights for Jesus. In this she described a situation where people were in an elevator which lost power. The people were in a panic in the dark. One person had a tiny flashlight and once the light was on, the people relaxed, joked, and patiently waited for the power to be restored. A little bit of light was comforting. Lucy then said that we had to be flashlights for Jesus, bringing light into a dark and chaotic world.
Ephesians 5:8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light.
It doesn’t take a lot of light to be effective, just a little light banishes the darkness.
John 1:6-8 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.
Remember when you see capital “L” in light it means Jesus.
1 John 1:9 Amplified There it was–the true Light [was then] coming into the world [the genuine, perfect, steadfast Light] that illumines every person.
What a beautiful description of Jesus, true Light, genuine, perfect, steadfast – a light that illuminates every person.
John 1:10-12 Amplified He came into the world, and though the world was made through Him, the world did not recognize Him [did not know Him]. He came to that which belonged to Him [to His own–His domain, creation, things, world], and they who were His own did not receive Him and did not welcome Him. But to as many as did receive and welcome Him, He gave the authority (power, privilege, right) to become the children of God, that is, to those who believe in (adhere to, trust in, and rely on) His name–
As we receive Jesus into our lives, He gives us authority, power, privilege, and the right to become children of God, and to shed His light into the darkness of the world.
John 1-13-14 Amplified Who owe their birth neither to bloods nor to the will of the flesh [that of physical impulse] nor to the will of man [that of a natural father], but to God. [They are born of God!] And the Word (Christ) became flesh (human, incarnate) and tabernacled (fixed His tent of flesh, lived awhile) among us; and we [actually] saw His glory (His honor, His majesty), such glory as an only begotten son receives from his father, full of grace (favor, loving-kindness) and truth.
Pastor Wendell pointed out how awesome this verse was in the Amplified Bible because it talks about Christ as fully human (tent of flesh), living among us tabernacled with us.
John 1:15-18 Amplified John testified about Him and cried out, This was He of Whom I said, He Who comes after me has priority over me, for He was before me. [He takes rank above me, for He existed before I did. He has advanced before me, because He is my Chief.] For out of His fullness (abundance) we have all received [all had a share and we were all supplied with] one grace after another and spiritual blessing upon spiritual blessing and even favor upon favor and gift [heaped] upon gift. For while the Law was given through Moses, grace (unearned, undeserved favor and spiritual blessing) and truth came through Jesus Christ. No man has ever seen God at any time; the only unique Son, or the only begotten God, Who is in the bosom [in the intimate presence] of the Father, He has declared Him [He has revealed Him and brought Him out where He can be seen; He has interpreted Him and He has made Him known].
It is only through Jesus that we “see” the Father. Jesus came to make the Father (God) known to us, to reveal God.
Isaiah 6:1 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple.
Pastor Wendell said this train was like the train on a wedding dress. In the days of Isaiah, when a king conquered another kingdom, the king would take pieces of the defeated kings’ trains and sew them onto their train – so that the length of the train showed the number of victories the king had achieved. God has had so many victories His train fills the temple.
We closed with a reading of the following Bible passages in this order to show our journey, our time, our message and the benediction. Read together the passages are powerful!
2 Corinthians 4:1-7 Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we do not lose heart. But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness nor handling the word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them. For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus’ sake. For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.
Ephesians 5:8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light.
Colossians 1:12 …giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light.
1 Thessalonians 5:5-6 You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of the darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober.
Romans 13:11-14 And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.
Acts 26:16-18 But rise and stand on your feet, for I (Jesus) have appeared to you for this purpose, to make you a minister and a witness both of the things which you have seen and of the things which I will yet reveal to you. I will deliver you from the Jewish people, as well as from the Gentiles, to whom I now send you to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.
1 John 1:5-10 This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.
Matthew 5:14-16 You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation. His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;
Revelation 22:5 There shall be no night there: (In the New Jerusalem) They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever.
Have a blessed day!
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