Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The Giver of Light


     The evening shadows were lengthening and darkness was settling over the land as the sun slipped beneath the horizon. In the house, Mr Fridley and his wife were straining their eyes over their respective activities. He was reading the newspaper and she was embroidering a baby quilt for grand-baby number four.

   For 35 years they had lived in the house without electricity and it was time to light the lamp. Each was counting on the other to do the job. Every few seconds he would glance at her to see if she was about to get up and do it. She knew it, but she also knew that if she waited long enough he would eventually do it as the light faded and he couldn't see his paper anymore. So they waited on each other and just as he was about to give in, there was a knock at the door.

   They glanced at each other as an unspoken question hung between them. Who????

   The knock came again. A gentle firm knock. Reaching for his cane he got up and shuffled for the door leaving the rocking chair slowly rocking in his wake. As he opened the door, she got up to light the lamp so they could see who their guest was.

  He stood there, a strong man in Blue Jeans with a Tan shirt monogrammed with these words. Godwin's Power and Light.
    "Hello," He said, "I was passing by your house and saw that your house was dark and in need of light." He tapped his name tag," I have what you need and would like to help you."

    There was something about the man on the porch that the old men felt comfortable with. He stepped back from the door and motioned him inside.
     The stranger stepped inside and introduced himself, "I'm Godwin from Power and Light, like I said before, what I have to offer you will really help you."

     Mrs. Fridley set the lamp on the table and pulled out a chair for Godwin to sit on. Mr. Fridley sat across the table from him as his wife left to fetch them each a cup of coffee. Mr. Godwin waited until she returned with two steaming cups of coffee and then one for herself.
     After she was seated he began, "What you need is the power of electricity. You will be able to light your entire house with just a flip of a switch. Plus hundreds of other things that run by electricity. Hot water piped into your kitchen, you can run fans and air conditioning in the summer and heat in the winter, a refrigerator and a deep freeze to name a few."

  The old man peered at the stranger and stabbing the air with his finger for punctuation he said, "But all this comes with a price, how do you expect me to pay for it?"
   Godwin smiled, "That's the beauty of it all. My son has paid the price for it already. It is free."
      The old man stared in amazement, "Why?"

  Because light is my business and I want all men to live in light."
    The old man was still amazed, " So, if it is free, why doesn't everyone have light?"
      Because some men love darkness rather than light and some just don't believe that I will give it to them free of charge." was Godwin's sad reply.

  The old man stroked his chin in deep thought and then asked, "Is there anything I need to do?"
    "Well, Godwin replied, The power is free, you will receive it through my son Emmanuel who has paid for it for you and will install it.. There is one thing you must never forget. That is this, you received this power from me, through my son. You must never take any credit for the light that I am giving you. This light will light up many things in your life and you will be able to see clearly. You must always remember that you received this light because of me and my son. Once you have the power installed and you flip the switch to turn the light on or you plug a lamp into the outlet you may be tempted to think the light went on because you plugged it in or because you flipped a switch. That is not true. You have light because of the power paid for and installed by my son Emmanuel with the power that comes from me."

God Himself has United You to Him

Of God are ye in Christ Jesus, who was made unto us wisdom from God, both righteousness and sanctification and redemption. 1 Corinthians 1:30 

My Father is the husbandman. John 15:1

    I pray that you, my reader will be able to forgive me for using something as physical as electricity as an example of the Holy Spirit, the example of a strong man in Blue Jeans as our heavenly Father and his son Emmanuel as Jesus Christ.
   My example in no way encompasses all the beauty of the Godhead, but my hope is to show you the love of the Father and in the process I hope to gain a better picture of it myself.

  The story and thoughts are based on Chapter 6 of Abiding in Christ by Andrew Murray. The following thoughts are a condensed version.

  The Corinthian believers were carnal and feeble yet Paul tells them, "Ye are in Christ Jesus." (In our world today most of us would not dare say that unless we first see perfection.)
   The whole Christian life is based on the clear awareness of our position in Christ. The most important part of abiding in Christ is our renewed daily assurance in faith. "I am in Christ Jesus." All fruitful preaching to believers must begin with this point. "Ye are in Christ Jesus."

   But there is an even greater thought given by Paul.Of God are ye in Christ Jesus. 1 Cor 1:30
He wants us to remember not only our union with Christ, but especially that it is not our own doing but the work of the God himself. As God , the Holy Spirit teaches us to realize that it is of God alone that I am in Christ, Then God himself becomes our security for all I need in seeking to abide in Christ.

   Let's try to understand this wonderful...."Of Christ". In becoming a part in the union of Christ there is a work that God does and a work we have to do. God does his work by motivating us to do our work. The work of God is hidden and silent, what we do is distinct and tangible. 
   Conversion and faith, prayer and obedience are acts that can be seen while spiritual life and strength are secret and hidden from view, and so when the believer says. " I am in Christ", he looks more to his own works than to the secret work of God that united him to Christ.

    I know that I have believed, is a valid testimony. But it is of utmost importance that we see that behind our turning and beliving and accepting of Christ there was God's almighty power at work. Inspiring our will, taking possession of us and carrying out his purpose of love in planting us into Christ.

   What a foundation we receive when the truth becomes real to us! Of God we are in Christ Jesus! What an amazing solid ground for our feet as we rest our right to Christ and all his fulness only in the Father's own purpose and work!

  We have looked to Christ as the vine, and ourselves the believer as the branch in the vine. Let us not forget those precious words. My Father is the husbandman. Jesus said every plant which the heavenly Father has not planted shall be rooted up. Matt 15:3, But every branch grafted by him into the vine will never be plucked out of his hand.

   Just as Christ owed all he was to the Father. Even so we owe the place and security we have in Christ, to the Father as well.The Father watches over every believer with the same love and delight in which he watched over his beloved son. What confident trust this faith inspires! That the Father who drew me and united me in Christ will not only keep me safely till the end, but will also be able to fulfill in me exactly what he fashioned me for. If I will only let him by yielding myself to him that I in every way be worthy of Christ Jesus.

   Oh that I would fully realize this. What confidence it would give my prayer to the God and Father of my Lord Jesus Christ. How it would make real to me my dependency and make me see the need of praying without ceasing. A continual waiting moment by moment on the God who has united me to Christ to perfect his divine work in me, both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

   Here is the highest motive! You are God's workmanship. Created in Christ Jesus unto good works. Eph 2:10, Grafted by him into Christ unto the bringing forth of much fruit. He created the sun to give light. He created the eye to see. He created man to do good works!

   Of God, I am in Christ Jesus. Made new, a branch in the vine, fitted to bear fruit. Would to God that believers would stop looking at their old natures and complaining of their weaknesses, as if God called them to what they are unfitted for. If only we could see how God, in uniting us to Christ has made himself responsible for our spiritual growth and fruitfulness. Our sickly hesitancy and laziness would disappear under the influence of this mighty motive. The the faithfulness of him....of whom we are in Christ Jesus. Our whole nature could rise up to accept and fulfill our glorious destiny!

 The story is mine, some of the instruction is adapted from Andrew Murray's book, ABIDE IN CHRIST. I love the things I have learned from Andrew Murray, But some of it is hard to read. This is my effort of breaking it down and hopefully making it easy to read and understand in our world today. God bless you!