Would You Call 911?

If your house were911 on fire, would you call 911?  Of course, you would!  If you saw a prowler in your back yard, would you call the police?  Of course!  If someone in your family were seriously hurt and needed help, would you call for an ambulance?  Definitely!  We would all call for help if we needed it.

When the multitude came to the Garden of Gethsemane to take Jesus to be crucified, one of those who were with Jesus (Peter) took out his sword and struck one of the high priest’s servants, cutting off his ear.  Jesus then told him, “Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.  Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels” (Matthew 26:52-53)?

Jesus could have, figuratively speaking, called 911.  My savior had the opportunity to call for help but chose not to.  Instead, he chose to give his life for me. Rather than save his own life, he chose to lay down his life to save me, to give me eternal life!

Today, I am thankful Jesus chose to go to the cross for me!

Are You a Spiritual Eclipse?

eclipseThe idea for this post came from an article written by Joe Slater who preaches for the Lord’s church in Justin, TX.  I thank brother Slater for his work in reflecting the light of Christ.

The sun is approximately 400 times bigger than the moon.  It is also approximately 400 times farther away from the earth than is the moon.  Because of this, the sun and the moon appear to be the same size when viewed from the earth.

The moon ordinarily reflects the light from the sun.  But when the moon’s orbit is aligned in such a way that it passes directly between the sun and the earth a solar eclipse occurs somewhere on earth.  In the area of a total eclipse daylight is replaced by darkness.  Bright stars become visible.  The temperature may drop as much as 10-12 degrees.  The eclipse may last 2-3 hours, although the darkest period of the eclipse may only be 2-3 minutes.

Tomorrow, August 21, 2017, an eclipse of the sun can be seen from a large part of the United States.  A path approximately 70 miles wide extending from Oregon to South Carolina will experience a total eclipse.

What spiritual lessons can we learn from this eclipse?  We live in a world of darkness.  Darkness is often used in the Bible to represent sin.  Notice these words from John 3:19 – “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.”  One does not need to look neither hard nor long to see that our world is fool of darkness.  The news is constantly filled with reports of war, terrorism, etc.  The media is saturated with pornography, corrupt speech, etc.  Observe people around you and you will notice people involved in adultery, lying, etc.  Truly, this is a world of darkness.

Jesus is the light of the world.  John 8:12 – “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.  We understand the purpose of light.  Light illuminates a desired path (such as the lights along an airport runway that allow a pilot to safely land).  Light protects us from harm (a night light can keep us from stumbling in the dark if we get out of bed during the night).  Because Jesus is the light of the world, He illuminates a desired path for us and keeps us from harm (Psalm 119:105).  Luke wrote that Jesus came into the world to “give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”  Notice Jesus did not say He is a light of the world.  Nor did He say He is one of the lights of the world.  Jesus is the one and only light of the world.

Jesus said that we are the light of the world.  Just as the moon reflects light from the sun, we are to reflect Christ’s light to those around us.  Matthew 5:16 – “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.  Paul wrote, “That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world” (Philippians 2:15).

Sadly, we sometimes fail to let our lights shine.  We sometimes fall into the trap of acting, talking and thinking like the world.   When we do, we fail to reflect Christ’s light to others.  Jesus said, “Ye are the light of the world.  A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.  Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick, and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.”  But we sometimes build our “cities” in the dark deep valleys.  We sometimes hide our light under a bushel.  When we do, we become “spiritual eclipses” and hinder others from seeing the light of Christ.

It has been said that mere words cannot describe the excitement of an eclipse.  In “Get Eclipsed, The Complete Guide to the American Eclipse,” Pat and Fred Espenak wrote “When rating natural wonders on a scale of 1-10, a partial solar eclipse might be a 7.  But a total eclipse would be a 1,000,000.  Exciting, isn’t it?

But just as exciting as watching a total solar eclipse might be, it is just as saddening to see a Christian who fails to reflect the light of Christ and consequently becomes a spiritual eclipse.

It has been said that mere words cannot describe the excitement of an eclipse.  In “Get Eclipsed, The Complete Guide to the American Eclipse,” Pat and Fred Espenak wrote “When rating natural wonders on a scale of 1-10, a partial solar eclipse might be a 7.  But a total eclipse would be a 1,000,000.  Exciting, isn’t it?

But just as exciting as watching a total solar eclipse might be, it is just as saddening to see a Christian who fails to reflect the light of Christ and consequently becomes a spiritual eclipse.