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The Promise of the Messiah

(Isaiah 9:1-7)

Lesson 4 -- first quarter 2002
December 23, 2001

by Mark Roth
© Copyright 2001, Christian Light Publications

No more dimness!

Many times I have been glad for dim light. Some of those times I did not wish people to see what I was doing. Others of those times I did not want people to see me checking up on them or prowling around. Though most of those times I wasn't doing anything wrong, such scenarios underscore what Jesus had to say in John 3:19, "Men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil." As you know, darkness generally is symbolic of life's negative elements.

At times we experience emotional dimness. Our emotions get out of kilter. We struggle with dark feelings of depression, anger, bitterness, scornfulness, lust, and self-pity, to name but a few.

Our life experience also brings us to times of dimness in our minds. We battle with negative thought patterns, seemingly unable to control the direction of our own hearts. We know the better thoughts, but we find ourselves almost incapable of focusing on them.

Occasionally we struggle with beating back a dimness of spirit. The values and perspectives of the world crowd in on us. Our goals, ambitions, and aspirations darken as we carelessly allow the literature, music, and materialism of this age seep into our beings.

In circumstances such as these, we grope along with little light, unable to walk through life without stumbling over (and because of) our own dimness of spirit, mind, and emotion. Such has been the problem with mankind since that fateful day when Adam and Eve first fellowshipped with darkness and evil.

And ever since that awful day, God planned a better day. On that day, His own Son would bring back brilliant light, rekindling hope, peace, and clarity in the lives of those who would turn toward Him. People reading Isaiah 9:2 could rejoice at the glorious anticipation of its promise: "The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined"!

My friend, has the dimness and outright darkness been dispelled from your life? If so, then walk as a child of light! And if you still bumble and stagger along in the darkness and "half light," turn toward the Son in repentance, surrender, and new life. Either way, the light of Jesus and His Gospel spells assurance and hope for you.

His increasing government

People all around wish that the country's government would operate by Christian principles and accomplish Godly purposes. It seems that when they think of Christ's increasing government, they think of His increasing role in human government. If only they could grasp the fact that such principles and purposes are not meant for governmental departments and bureaucracies. If only they would quit their political and civic actions aimed at Christianizing government, and instead direct their considerable efforts and energies toward taking the Gospel to individuals. Christ came to save sinners, not governments. The Holy Spirit is given to the saints, not to government agencies. Why can't so many people see that?!

Indeed. And what about the rulership of my own heart? Jesus wishes to increase His government in my own life. He wants me more fully surrendered today than I was yesterday. Why do I so often fail to see that?!

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