God’s Light Penetrates Those Hard-to-Reach Places

The night Jesus was arrested he told his disciples, “You will all fall away.”

Peter protested. “Even though they all fall away, I will not.”

Most of us know the rest of the story. Jesus answered, “This very night, before the rooster crows twice you will deny me three times,” Mark 14:30

And it was so.

It is so easy to think more highly of ourself than we ought, but Jesus brings light to the darkness revealing all that is not of him. I was reminded of this through the words of a worship song the very Sunday morning my pastor focused on Peter’s denial. As I sang this attribute of Jesus, the Holy Spirit prompted the recollection of a Proverb I read earlier in the week. “Don’t eat with people who are stingy; don’t desire their delicacies. They are always thinking about how much it costs. ‘Eat and drink,’ they say, but they don’t mean it.” Prov. 23:6-7

Although the Scripture was meant as a word of advice to avoid stingy people, that day it was a word of conviction. I had been determining what to prepare for dinner during a visit from a few family members and I wanted the meal to be special, but was not trusting in God’s provision. The fear of not having enough money had become strongly embedded in my heart. Satan had watched me stress over purchases at the grocery store when money was “tight” and gained a foothold. I was fearful of giving generously, although my Heavenly Father is a generous giver. Always concerned about the cost, I was beginning to live miserly which does not glorify God.

As I sung the worship song, I envisioned the light of Jesus flooding into those dark crevasses of denial deep in my heart that are hard to reach. Strongholds not easily recognized.

During the sermon my pastor said, “Reading the Bible shows us who we truly are.” He talked about the conviction of the Holy Spirit that often comes as we read the Word and added, “God’s Word is a spiritual scalpel that cuts deep into our soul.”

Peter heard the words of Jesus face to face and while we read the words, either way they are transformative.

2 Timothy 3:16-17– “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”

The light of Jesus revealed a characteristic in Peter he had not recognized. As soon as the rooster crowed a second time, he realized he had denied Jesus three times, exactly what Jesus had told him.

And he broke down and wept.

The conviction of the Spirit can bring great joy. We are grateful at those times that God is forever patiently instructing us in his ways. But sometimes the revelation is so shattering to our ego we are filled with remorse. We never saw ourself this way. We are truly brought low, broken.

There are things about us that need to be broken, my pastor said, such as our self-will and sinful habits.

Essentially Peter called Jesus a liar by denying the truth of what Jesus had declared. All the disciples would fall away including Peter. We too call Jesus a liar when we fail to see how God’s Word applies to us.

“If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” 1 John 1:10

But when we walk with God, he brings light to the darkness so we can practice the truth.

The fact that God is light came to my attention during the worship that Sunday at church and the final Scripture reading at the end of the sermon confirmed it. “…God is light and in him is no darkness at all.” 1 John 1:5b

God speaks, I wrote in my notebook that morning. Then jotted “full circle,” meaning that God grabbed my attention at the beginning and end of the service so I would remember to seek the light Jesus shines to uncover all that is not of him.

©2023 Susan Cort Johnson *All Rights Reserved

Let’s Talk:

1-How have you experienced Jesus bringing light to the darkness?

2-God speaks to us in many ways. In my blog, I shared an experience I had on a Sunday morning at church. How has God recently spoken to you?

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