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Devotional: October 14, 2020

Anyone who claims to live in God’s light and hates a brother or sister is still in the dark. It’s the person who loves brother and sister who dwells in God’s light and doesn’t block the light from others. But whoever hates is still in the dark, stumbles around in the dark, doesn’t know which end is up, blinded by the darkness.

         First John 2: 9-11        The Message

Yesterday, the devotion focused upon light guiding our path. Today I want to focus on light guiding our minds and hearts. God is light. We who follow God seek to reflect His light to all people. These words from John serve as a vital reminder about where hatred comes from- and it is not the light! No! Hatred of anyone literally casts a shadow upon our Christian witness. 

While we can hate evil, and despise sin, we must never, ever cross the line to hating the sinner. When we do so, we simply join the ranks of so many others who do not know Christ. They may love some people, and hate many others. We lose our distinctiveness when we fall into that same category and fail to love our enemies.

It is when the light of Christ’s love beams forth from our hearts that the world is shown a different way: one which points to the reality that God is light. Since Jesus came into the world, the darkness has never been able to overcome Him.

We do not want to block the light. We should never even be a lampshade! If we have trouble loving particular people, we can pray to the Lord for a change in our heart. We cannot change others, but we are in charge of how we feel about others. Through our positive, light-filled example, we can open others’ eyes to the love of Christ. Hopefully, they will see God’s light shining through us. 

Yet regardless of how others respond, we must always refrain from committing actions and uttering words which are hateful. Hate always comes from the darkness, and not the light. We may not even be aware that our words are having a powerful effect and impression upon those who do not have a relationship with the Lord, but they probably are. Let God be in charge of the darkness. Let us focus on our minds and our hearts on glorifying the Lord, and shining forth His light.

Let’s let God’s love shine through us. To do anything less is just stumbling around in the dark…

Prayer

Lord of light and love,

When the world seeks to divide people into camps, and sides, encouraging us to hate those with different opinions, remind us of Your call to love others. May Your light shine forth from our hearts to all people, without exception. Eliminate the shadows of hate from our lives. Make us new, bright-shining examples of renewal, love, and joy in this darkened world. We pray this prayer in the name of the One who truly is the Light of the World, Jesus Christ. Amen.


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