Sunday, November 25, 2012

No Stumbles – Security of Light

Riding down the luge
One of my favorite bike rides includes a downhill section known as “the luge.”  Here’s a picture of it (top photo) in the daytime.  As you can see, it’s a very narrow trail with a steep drop on the right.  What you cannot see is how steep downhill this is, and the places where the trail drops a foot or more off the edge of rocks. 

The Luge at night

The next picture was taken on the luge at night … what one sees with the little bike light is almost nothing.  And the bottom picture is what I would look like if I rode the Luge at night. 

Me at night (probably)

Imagine riding a steep and difficult trail with a deep ravine on one side … if you fall, you may be very seriously injured.  Sure, it’s fun and fast to go flying down the luge at top speed, but if you don’t have the skills for it … you may find your fun replaced by pain and regret. 

showering in the dark
The showers in my dorm in college were communal showers …. everyone on our floor showered in the same place.  One night I entered and heard someone showering in the pitch dark.  Very creepy!  I needed to shower, so (afraid of what I was about to see) I turned on the lights.  Turns out the guy showering the dark was blind – he didn’t even know it was dark in there! 

Our world is also a very dark place, but worldly people are blind.  They’re having fun racing down the luge of life without realizing how much danger they’re in.  Sadly, many so-called Christians also live in the dark:
The one who says he is in the light and hates his brother is in the darkness until now.  The one who loves his brother abides in the light and there is no cause for stumbling in him.  But the one who hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going because the darkness has blinded his eyes.
1 John 2:9-11

Isn't that an interesting picture?  If you hate your brother, you can’t even see where you’re going, but you don’t KNOW you can’t see, because you’re blinded, and therefore ignorant. You're like the blind guy in the shower ... you don't even know you're in darkness.  When we don't love, we are blind and self-deceived. 

there is a remedy
Peter wrote something about this blindness and our possible fall.  You should read this section below and pay special attention to Peter’s promises and the facts.  And then … if you want to “have eyes to see,” open your bible to 1 Peter and read what “these qualities” are that will help us not to stumble.  Be careful, though … you must “PRACTICE these things,” in order to keep from falling.  Reading about them isn't enough … you must DO them: 
For if these qualities are yours and are increasing,
they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
he who lacks these - is blind/short-sighted,
having forgotten his purification from his former sins.
 Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for
as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble;
for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you. 
2 Peter 1:8-11 
So what do you say?  Want the “fun” of the luge in darkness?  It’s pretty great, really.  You get to do whatever you want … you can chase money & power, be popular, enjoy the benefits of sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll (or if you prefer: wine, women and song), and you can really have quite a great ride through life in the dark.  But be forewarned: this is a trail you cannot finish without falling, and when you do, the outcome is eternal death. 

For those of us who prefer to walk in the light … the question is, will you stay in that pathway, and will you share the light, or will you attempt to light only your own path?  Will you neglect others and let them plummet to their death, or will you take a moment to be the light to them? 

Remember Jesus’ promise (from John 11.9-10) and do something about it!  

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