This month, our meditation has been excerpted from the book entitled, Bound to Be Free compiled by Jan Pit. In the following short quotation from Horacio Herrera (from Cuba. Mr. Herrera writes using a pseudonym because of his leading role in the Cuban church), there is fodder for reflection and perhaps application:
The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world. (John 1:9)
Our century is often called the century of light. So many new discoveries, so many new insights--indeed a century of light. Yet, we see more darkness around us than ever before.
Why? Because people do not see the light, but follow other, destructive lights--horoscopes, fortune tellers and the zodiac. They think that these are trustworthy stars: 'It is written in the stars.'
Remember that Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. (2 Corinthians 11:14)
Jesus is the light of the world--leading to salvation. Satan appears as an angel of light--leading to bondage and destruction. Which star do we follow?
Psalm 36:9 says: 'For with you is the fountain of life. In your light we see light.'
He has revealed that light to us through his word, which is a light for my path. (Psalm 119:5)
In my country of Cuba, Christmas is not officially celebrated. Only the Christians celebrate Christmas, and although we don't have commercial Christmas lights, we have the light, Jesus, who enlightens us daily.
The star of Bethlehem still brings everlasting light and joy to those who seek HIM.
As a bumper sticker reads: Wise men still seek Jesus.
A moment of introspection: Just think--a non-commercial Christmas. It hearkens back to the original manger scene, with its cast of 10-20 people or so (excluding the angels). Small-time, dog-and-pony size, nondescript in significance? The truth of the matter is that this so-described event shattered the foundations of life on earth! Life was redefined, death (for believers) was sapped of all power, and light--though small in its beginning--crept into the world and has not been extinguished in the thousands of years since (John 1:4-5). Light--that which provides physical, emotional and spiritual life--became a defining force which identifies its bearers, guides the footsteps of believers, and illuminates darkness in all three of these spheres. Some love the light; others hate the light. This true light is offered to every person; those who accept it are led to salvation and eternal life with God in heaven. Those who abhor it, who avoid it, who ignore it, who minimize it, who distort it, who try (in vain) to duplicate it (2 Corinthians 11:4)--these and others do not comprehend the light (John 1:5).
Some detest the light and avoid it, lest the evil of their actions be exposed (John 3:20-21). Such persons are in some cases in the power of Satan. He, the fallen one, masquerades as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14). Those who follow Satan are misled, into bondage and destruction, for this "angel of light" seeks only to extinguish the true light. In our world, there exist destructive lights that attract the unsuspecting into Satan's lair. Such lights include:
the allure of sensuality and physical seduction
the blinding focus of the world on "entertainment" instead of service to God
the deafening music of iPods and MP3 players bringing beat and rhythm and lyrics that
numb the soul via one's ears
the numbing of the body through drugs and alcohol
the lure of violence towards others and towards one's own self
the debasement of persons around the world in the sex trade
the quest for power in false religions and in cries of “global warming” or “climate change”
the call to terrorize the innocent or the "unbeliever", around the world
As we near the return of the King, the second coming of Christ, it might seem that in 2000 years (with the 1900's being assigned the era of the Century of Light) the light might prevail in the hearts of people; yet God's Word tells us in Matthew 24:37 that "For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man." Genesis 6:13 relates, "And God said to Noah, 'I have determined to make an end of all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence through them. Behold, I will destroy them with the earth.'" In the coming days, as in Jesus' time, John 16:2 brought forward to our day, says "Indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God." These days are upon us. The days ahead, according to our Savior are going to be days "filled with violence." Very many, these days, are doing what is right in their own eyes. But God's Word says "There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death." (Proverbs 14:12) So, the question we must ask might be "Which light do we follow?" The light born so long ago, yet burning still brightly in the hearts of the faithful, or the destructive lights born of Satan? In God's Word, Jesus taught His disciples and us, all that He did, ..."to keep you from falling away." (John 16:1) In Matthew 24:4, He reiterates, saying "And Jesus answered them, 'See that no one leads you astray.'" (See Matthew 24:4-13 for a description of the days ahead). See to it, He said, that no-one steals your light; that no one leads you astray; that no one coaxes you out of the fold, with smooth, unctuous words and promises.
Has the darkness prevailed? No. Wise people still seek Jesus. God reigns over all, and His plan is unfolding before the observant. His will shall be done on earth, whether people rebel or believe and obey. In the truest sense, Jesus is the star at Bethlehem. That Holy star of Bethlehem still brings everlasting light and joy to those who seek the Christ. Much discernment is called for in these days; as much can be learned from what is not said as what is spoken aloud. Be wary. Emulate the Bereans (Acts 17:10-15). Be bold for the cause of Christ--yet be so, with compassion as well. For our own part, look inward. Let us continually "Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?--unless indeed you fail to meet the test!" (2 Corinthians 13:5). Merry Christmas! Be joyful! Be alert!