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A Thought for the Week--Arise, shine; your light has come

Monday, September 25, 2006

"Arise, shine; for your light has come! And the glory of the LORD is risen upon you.  For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; but the LORD will arise over you, and His glory will be seen upon you. The Gentiles shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising." (Isaiah 60:1-3 NKJ)

Jesus said, "You are the light of the world" (Matthew 5:14 NKJ). God is light (1 John 1:5). Jesus is the Light of the world (John 8:12). Because Jesus lives in us, we have the Light of God in us; we too are lights in the world. The Bible says that the light of Jesus in the world will continually increase. The manifestation of the light of Christ in His people will continue to grow. Isaiah spoke of the coming of Jesus, saying in Isaiah 9:6 that a child would be born who would rule the nations. He said, "Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end" (Isaiah 9:7 NKJ). Paul says we are being changed from one degree of glory to another (2 Corinthians 3:18).

 We are in a special time of year. Last Friday was the celebration of Rosh Hashana in the Jewish calendar. This is the beginning of the Jewish New Year. The trumpets (shofars) are blown, commemorating the beginning of the celebration of the Feast of Trumpets. One of the reasons for the trumpets to be blown, according to Numbers 10, was to call the people together for a time of personal reflection, cleansing and reconsecration. Another reason was to call the people to be prepared to move on to a new place. A third reason the trumpets were blown was to call the people to war against their enemies. A fourth reason was to call the people together for a time of celebration of Godís blessings and promises for His people. Certainly we can all benefit by reflecting on each of these things. (We had a time of blowing of the shofars commemorating the Feast of Trumpets at our ministry center on Saturday night.)

In Joel, the Bible says, "Blow the trumpet in Zion, and sound the alarm" (Joel 2:1,15). This call is to have the church arise, to know the seriousness of the times, and to pray. God will arise as we do this. As we heed Godís call to arise, and hear His warnings being given to the nations, we will see God acting in new ways among us. The nations are reproaching the name of God and His people, Christians and Jews alike. Spiritual men of prominence are calling for the destruction of the nation of Israel, of the United States and of the Christian church. God tells us to blow the trumpet and pray; then He "...will be zealous for His land, and pity His people" (Joel 2:18 NKJ). As we follow Him in these new times we can experience the reality of His promises: "...the heavens and earth will shake; but the LORD will be a shelter for His people, and the strength of the children of Israel"  (Joel 3:16 NKJ). Let us arise and shine, for our Light has come!

Father, we love You and we rejoice in Your plan to bring all things together in Christ. Help us to arise and shine in these dark days. Help us to let Your light through Your Son come through us. Amen.

 

A Thought for the Week--Arise, shine; your light has come

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

"Arise, shine; for your light has come! And the glory of the LORD is risen upon you.  For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; but the LORD will arise over you, and His glory will be seen upon you." (Isaiah 60:1-3 NKJ)

God is light (1 John 1:5). Jesus said, "I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life" (John 8:12 NKJ). Jesus said to His disciples, "You are the light of the world" (Matthew 5:14 NKJ). Because Jesus lives in us, we have the Light of God in us; we too are lights in the world. The Bible says that the manifest presence of Jesus in His people and in the world will continually increase (Isaiah 9:7). While on earth, Jesus prayed that God would restore to Him all the glory He had before He left His place of glory and became weak like us (John 17:5). Jesus said that the glory He would receive when He would be filled with all of His glory, He would give to us (John 17:22). Paul says we are being changed from one degree of glory to another (2 Corinthians 3:18). The Bible says that when God builds up His people, He will appear in glory (Psalm 102:14).

We are living in special times and seasons. Lutheran leaders are sponsoring conferences where the manifestation of the glory and presence of God is being experienced and received. Miraculous signs and wonders are occurring at these gatherings. Interdenominational gatherings, locally and across the world, are experiencing similar manifestations of the glorious presence of God in, upon and through His people. We have seen some of these things as we have ministered in third world nations. The light of God is increasingly present at many gatherings in the USA. The healing presence and power of God has been very real in many of our local gatherings.

Recently we were at a conference of international Hispanic leaders at a Hispanic church in Chicago. At the end of the conference I accompanied the leaders on a "fly over" of Chicago, where we flew in small aircraft over the city, praying for God to have mercy on the people and land of this city. As we were coming back to the airport, we saw a band of light over the southwest horizon, similar to the first rays of light that come when the sun arises. As I looked back over the city, I could see the buildings of the Chicago skyline shining in the light that was coming from the west. The ground was dark, and the sky was dark as it was very cloudy; yet there was this band of light in the west, illuminating the skyline of Chicago. I had never seen the sun rise in the west before. The thought came very strongly to me to declare over Chicago, "Arise, shine, for your light has come." We since have been to other conferences where the same thought has come forth for their area. I believe that God is doing a work in His people all over the world, cleansing and preparing them for the days ahead. "The Glory of the LORD is rising upon us."

Father, we rejoice in Your mercy. Help us to arise and shine as You bring forth Your glory in Christ, and in us as He is formed in us. Let the heavens and earth be filled with your glory. Amen.

 

A Thought for the Week--Arise, shine; your light has come

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

"Arise, shine; for your light has come! And the glory of the LORD is risen upon you. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; but the LORD will arise over you, and His glory will be seen upon you." (Isaiah 60:1-3 NKJ)

God is light (1 John 1:5). Jesus said, "I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life" (John 8:12 NKJ). Jesus said to His disciples, "You are the light of the world" (Matthew 5:14 NKJ). Because Jesus lives in us, we have the Light of God in us; we too are lights in the world.

Here in Isaiah we are told to arise and shine, for our light has come. We are to "behold" the fact that "darkness shall cover the earth and deep darkness the people." The darkness of sin is increasing, and the earth is being infested with increasing manifestations of its presence. The evils and immoralities of the western world are now infiltrating the eastern nations. Internet pornography, drunkenness and abortion are finding their way into African and middle eastern nations. Paganism, witchcraft, ancestral worship and the like, deeply rooted in eastern and African cultures, are becoming commonplace in western nations. Amidst the rising evils of our day, we are reminded that God is arising. He is arising in us. He has known of these days. He has a plan for us in these days. He had conceived His plan for us in these days long before these days came about.

The light of God is increasing; God is rising in His people. Light drives away darkness. Darkness can only exist in the absence of light. The light of God is rising in Christians, causing many to see the darkness of sin around them and also in their own lives. Jesus has come to cleanse and purify His people, so that the glory of God can be shown in them, as it was in Him. Jesus died for our sin and with our sin so that He now can overcome our sin through His living in us. We can be lights amidst the darkness of this world. We can show forth the joy of serving and living for our just and holy God. Our light can and will effect the darkness. The power of Godís increasing light in us is greater that the power of the increasing darkness of this world. The heavenly kingdom of God will overcome and replace the darkness of this world.

We can show the world the unconditional love God has shown to us, by loving and feeding those God brings to us. We can feed them with the love of God. We can show forth the power of God by letting Him replace our sinful ways, exchanging them for the righteous ways of Christ. The ways of Godís kingdom are increasing as we behold the darkness and bring forth the light of Christ. The light and glory of Christ will fill the heavens and the earth.

Father, we rejoice that You are holy and merciful. Let the light of Christ fill us so we can be lights amidst the ever-increasing darkness of this world. Your light will fill heaven and earth! Amen.

 

A Thought for the Week--Arise, shine; your light has come

Thursday, September 28, 2006

"Arise, shine; for your light has come! And the glory of the LORD is risen upon you.  For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; but the LORD will arise over you, and His glory will be seen upon you." (Isaiah 60:1-3 NKJ)

God is light (1 John 1:5). Jesus said, "I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life" (John 8:12 NKJ). Jesus said to His disciples, "You are the light of the world" (Matthew 5:14 NKJ). Because Jesus lives in us, we have the Light of God in us; we too are lights in the world.  

God is calling us to arise, and to let His light shine forth from us. He is calling us to acknowledge the increasing darkness that is coming into the earth and from the people of the earth. As we do this, He promises to arise over us and to manifest His presence over us and upon us so that others will see, know, and experience His glory. Yahweh cares for those in darkness. 

God glorifies what is just and pure and holy. His nature is to shine into and through people who are given to Him for Him to use for His purposes. His nature is to cleanse and purify people who give themselves to Him. He would make them a cleansed and empty vessel that He might fill them with His ways and purposes. Then He is able to glorify them and show them off to the world. He wants to show forth to the world what He can do for each person who comes to Him and believes in Him. He would reveal the evil of evil to those who donít know Him, so that they might repent and seek His righteous nature to live in them. He would show forth to the world the blessedness of living for Him by glorifying those who obey Him. He is preparing His people to reign in this life and in the millennial kingdom, when the reign of Christ is fully manifested in all the earth. Yahweh cares for His people. He cares for those in darkness. He cares for His world. 

Amidst the darkness of this world, God is leading His people into ever-increasing levels of holiness and understanding of the ways of His kingdom. He is giving to those who ask, a love of doing what is right. He is giving them a love of truth, so they will not be caught up in the great deceptions that are coming on the earth. His light in His people will be a great witness to the people who live in darkness, so that some might come out of the darkness into His light. 

The light of God over us and in us will give us supernatural revelation and insight into the ways and plans of God. We will be able to do all God has asked of us, including helping the poor and needy, healing the sick, cleansing the lepers, etc.. Godís wisdom will flow forth from us, giving us favor with men of prominence, helping them to be successful in their mission. His light in us will effect the world around us.

Father, help us to let Your life and Your light flow into us and come forth from us, so that the nations will see and know all You can and will do for them, and give glory to You. Amen. 

 

A Thought for the Week--Arise, shine; your light has come

Friday, September 29, 2006

"For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; but the LORD will arise over you, and His glory will be seen upon you. The Gentiles shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising."  (Isaiah 60:1-3 NKJ)

God is light (1 John 1:5). Jesus said, "I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life" (John 8:12 NKJ). Jesus said to His disciples, "You are the light of the world" (Matthew 5:14 NKJ). Because Jesus lives in us, we have the Light of God in us; we too are lights in the world.  

God has been preparing His people for such a time as this. He knows of the increasing darkness and of the increasing immorality and violence. He knows of the rising up of world leaders dedicated to destroying Christian churches, Christian people, and the nation of Israel. Amidst the darkness He has promised to act. When evil attacks us personally, He tells us He "prepares a table for us in the presence of our enemies" (Psalm 23:5). However, in these days and in the days to come, God says that He will draw heathen people to us. The days of darkness will bring great havoc into this world. Fear, anxiety, and unrest will grip many as terrorists continue to try to manipulate groups to give in to their demands. Civil wars among tribal groups are cropping up in Africa and in the Middle East. Street gang wars and drive-by shootings continue to plague cities. These things are not a surprise to our God. He will use these things for His purposes. He will raise up His people amidst the darkness. The darkness shall fear the light. He will bring forth His people, who will be a place of refuge for those in darkness who want to come out. 

More than that, God will use His people to bring forth the things of His kingdom so that lasting peace can come upon the earth. "Many people shall come and say, "Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob. He shall judge between the nations, and rebuke many people; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore" (Isaiah 2:3-4 NKJ). Yahweh loves the world. He will use us to declare and show this. 

Amidst the troubled times God will enable His people to provide places of refuge for those who are distressed. "Öthe LORD will create above every dwelling place of Mount Zion, and above her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day and the shining of a flaming fire by night. For over all the glory there will be a covering. And there will be a tabernacle for shade in the daytime from the heat, for a place of refuge, and for a shelter from storm and rain." (Isaiah 4:5-6 NKJ).   Yahweh cares. 

"O house of Jacob, come and let us walk in the light of the LORD" (Isaiah 2:5 NKJ)

Father, help us to walk in Your light in Christ so that we can be vessels of light in these days. Amen.

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Serving God as He Unites Heaven and Earth in Christ

     
Rich and Kay Fick, Directors, Cyrus Ministries International

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