Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Ancient Light – Modern Transparency

One of Germany’s most modern buildings is also one of her oldest: the Reichstag.  This building was originally built in the late 1800s when Germany was ruled by an Emperor, or Kaiser.  In fact, when the words “To the German People” were inscribed on it, Kaiser Wilhelm II objected, because it seemed too much like a democracy.  The picture here shows the modern building which is the meeting place of the German parliament.  It is famous for its glass dome which provides a clear view of what’s happening in the chambers below – symbolizing complete transparency of their government. 

Transparency is a term that we use today to refer to things we can see through, but also to show things are exposed to the light of day … so that all can see what’s going on, and there are no secrets.  In the bible, the term for this idea of transparency is “light.”  The idea is that for those who are true followers of God, we walk in the light of day … the transparent people.  We are the people who can be seen for what we are – even our flaws (In fact, perhaps especially our flaws). 

See what Jesus said about those who choose the light over the dark (and vice-versa):
This is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light, for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the light, and doesn't come to the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.
But – he who practices the truth comes to the light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.”             
John 3:19-21
Most people don’t want to walk in the light because then people will see our flaws!  We do NOT usually want others to see our sins or ugly things, do we?  On the other hand, consider these words of Jesus:

He began saying to His disciples first:“Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. But there is nothing covered up that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known. Accordingly, whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in the inner rooms will be proclaimed upon the housetops. I say to you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that have no more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear the One who, after He has killed, has authority to cast into hell; yes, I tell you, fear Him!"
Luke 12:1-5

Walking in the Dark is Contagious
Do you know why Jesus said to “beware”?  “Leaven” is the way the ancients understood things that are contagious.  Leaven is the stuff that makes bread rise.  It’s actually microscopic organisms that reproduce and spread.  Our Lord commanded us to “watch out” for this, because it’s contagious.  Once people start covering up their sins … then no one wants to reveal theirs.  This same disease has grown over 2,000 years since Jesus’ day, and now it’s in ALL churches.  Some are so blatant in acceptance of this hypocrisy they build small wood boxes where one can “confess” privately to their church’s magic man (priest).  This is how “cover-ups” begin, and one reason why Roman Catholicism has such a bad history of violence, deception, murder and immorality. 

Fear God, Not Man
Another thing you’ll notice in that reading is that Jesus basically points to the obvious: it’s all coming out in the open, eventually, because God already knows.  Confession & walking in the light are about human relationships – the True Judge already knows more of our sins than we know ourselves.  So the question is … will you continue to hide your sins in the shadows because you fear other people, or will you instead fear God and walk in the light? 

Sharing the Light
Understand this well … because it’s not just about you.  When you offer someone the Good News, they are being offered freedom and enlightenment, but the price for those things is that one MUST repent!  It means he or she must leave the concealing darkness and start walking in the light, and that is painful.  So when you rescue a person from the kingdom of darkness, do so with gentleness and not judgment.  They must expose themselves, but we don’t have to make it hard to do so.  Remember to have some compassion, for the One who forgave us was also compassionate. 

Forget what others think, and be concerned only for what God thinks.  Trust Him, obey Him, and walk before Him fully exposed.  It will not only bring about forgiveness, it will also set an example for others that it’s OK  and finally … it makes it much harder to sin when you've already agreed to expose yourself! 
This is the message we've heard from him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.
If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and don’t practice the truth;
but –
if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous 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 isn’t in us.
    1 John 1:5-10  
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 doesn't know where he is going because the darkness has blinded his eyes.
   1 John 2:9-11
Are you walking in the light?  
Are you the light of the world (Matthew 5:14-16)?

If not … find a fellow disciple and friend … and confess your sins now, today, as soon as possible.  There is no need to carry this around with you, and your confession will help both of you. 
Confess continually … this is walking in the light, and it’s freeing and wonderful (after the initial pain). 

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