Christ's light shines in the darkness

218 christi light shines in the darknessLast month, several GCI pastors participated in a practical evangelism training called Outside the Walls. It was led by Heber Ticas, the national coordinator of the Gospel Ministry of Grace Communion International. This was done in collaboration with Pathways of Grace, one of our communities near Dallas, Texas. The training started with lessons on Friday and continued on Saturday morning. Pastors met with church members to go door-to-door around the church meeting place, inviting people from the local community to a fun children's day later in the day.

Two of our pastors knocked on a door and told the man of the house to represent the GCI community and then mentioned the fun Children's Day. The man told them that he does not believe in God because God does not eliminate the problems of the world. Instead of going on, the pastors talked with the man. They learned that he is a conspiracy theorist who believes that religion is the cause of many problems in the world. The man was surprised and astonished when the pastors told him to raise a reasonable point and point out that even Jesus was unenthusiastic about religion. The man replied that he was holding the questions and looking for answers.

When our pastors then encouraged him to continue asking, he was astonished again. "Never before has anyone told me that," he replied. One pastor said, "I believe that the way you ask questions enables them to get some real answers, answers that only God can give." After about 35 minutes, the man apologized to them like that Being rude and defiant, he said, "He may think the way they do as pastors of GCI over God." The conversation ended with one of our pastors reassuring him, "The God I know and love loves you and wants to have a relationship with you. He is not so worried or worried about your conspiracy theories or hatred of religion. In time, he will shake hands with them, and you will understand that it is God. I think you will respond accordingly. "The man looked at him and said," That's cool. Thank you for listening and thank you for the time that has taken to speak with me. "

I share the opinion of this story of the event because it explains one important truth: people who live in darkness are positively influenced when the light of Christ is openly shared with them. The contrast of light and darkness is a metaphor commonly used in Scripture to contrast good (or knowledge) with evil (or ignorance). Jesus used it to speak of judgment and sanctification: "Men are judged because the light has come into the world, but they love the darkness more than the light. Because everything they do is evil. Anyone who does evil spares the light and prefers to stay in the dark, so that no one can see his crimes. But he who obeys God enters into the light. It then turns out that he lives his life according to the will of God "(John 3,19-21 HFA).

The well-known saying, "It's better to light a candle than to curse the darkness," was first publicly pronounced in the year 1961 by Peter Benenson. Peter Benenson was the British lawyer who founded Amnesty International. Thus, a candle surrounded by barbed wire became the emblem of society (see picture on the right). In Romans 13,12 (HOPE FOR ALL), the apostle Paul said something similar: "Soon the night is over, and God's day is breaking. Therefore, let us part with the dark works of the night and equip ourselves with the weapons of light instead. "This is exactly what our two pastors did for a man living in darkness, as in the neighborhood of the church meeting place went door-to-door in Dallas.

So they practiced exactly what Jesus said to his disciples in Matthew 5: 14-16 HFA:
"You are the light that illuminates the world. A city that is high on the mountains can not be hidden. One does not light a lamp and then covers it. On the contrary, you set it up to give light to everyone in the house. Likewise, your light should shine in front of all people. In your actions, they should recognize and honor your Father in Heaven. "I think we sometimes underestimate our ability to influence the world for the better. We tend to forget how the influence of the light of Christ on just one person can make a huge difference. As shown in the cartoon above, unfortunately, some prefer to curse more of the darkness than let the light shine. Some emphasize sin rather than sharing God's love and grace.

Although the darkness can overwhelm us sometimes, it can never overwhelm God. We must never tolerate the fear of evil in the world, for it causes us not to look at who Jesus is, what He has done for us, and commands us to do. Remember that he assures us that darkness can not overcome the light. Even if we feel like a very small candle, in the midst of pervading darkness, even a small candle still provides life-giving light and warmth. Even in a seemingly small way, we reflect the light of the world, Jesus. Even small options never remain without positive benefits.

Jesus is the light of the entire cosmos, not just the church. He takes away the sin of the world, not just from believers. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, the Father through Jesus has brought us out of the darkness into the light of a life-giving relationship with the Triune God who promises never to leave us. That's the good news (gospel) of every person on this planet. Jesus is in harmony with all people, whether they know it or not. The two pastors, who were in conversation with the atheist, made him realize that he is a beloved child of God, who sadly still lives in the darkness. But instead of cursing the darkness (or the man!), The pastors have preferred to follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit to deliver the good news in the fulfillment of the Father's mission, together with Jesus, to a world in darkness. As children of light (1, Thessalonian 5, 5), they were ready to be light bearers.

The event "Outside the Walls" continued on Sunday. Some people from the local community responded positively to the invitations and visited our church. Although several came, the man the two pastors spoke to did not come. It is unlikely that he will show up in church any time soon. But coming to church was not the purpose of the conversation either. The man was given something to think about, so to speak, a seed was planted in his mind and in his heart. Maybe a relationship has been established between God and him that will hopefully last. Because this man is a child of God, we are sure that God will continue to bring the light of Christ to him. Pathways of Grace will probably share in what God is doing in this man's life.

Let each of us follow the spirit of Christ to share the light of God with others. As we grow in our deeper relationship with the Father, the Son, and the Spirit, so we glow ever brighter with the life-giving Light of God. This applies to us as individuals, as well as to the communities. I pray that our communities in the sphere of influence "outside their walls" shine even brighter and let the spirit of their Christian life flow. Just as we include others in our body by offering God's love in every possible way, so does the darkness to disappear, and our churches will reflect more and more upon the light of Christ.

May the light of Christ shine with you,
Joseph Tkach

president
GRACE COMMUNION INTERNATIONAL


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