Sabbath - Weekend Devotions - Logos
February 22: The Light of the World
Leviticus 12:1–13:59; John 8:12–30; Song of Solomon 6:11–13
“I am the light of the world! The one who follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life” (John 8:12). While some of Jesus’ “I am” statements confused the Jews, the “following the light” imagery would have been familiar. God had led the Israelites out of Egypt and through the wilderness with a pillar of fire so they could walk at night (Exod 13:21). They couldn’t deflect or misunderstand this claim.
Jesus used this imagery to show the Jews that He offers clarity and meaning in a dark world. He offers life, grace, and spiritual awakening to those who are lost in the darkness. But the Pharisees couldn’t comprehend the light; they misinterpreted Jesus’ claims and fumbled around in the darkness and the details (John 8:19, 22, 25, 27).
When we’ve elevated ourselves in the darkness, it’s hard to humble ourselves in the light.
Even when we have inklings that tell us there is a better way, we don’t want to sacrifice our own pride. We prefer to be contrary and comfortable—to dwell on the details and exert our own opinions. But if we never call out the darkness, we’ll never experience the flooding of light.
Are you calling out the darkness in and around you?
Rebecca Van Noord
Barry, John D., and Rebecca Kruyswijk. Connect the Testaments: A One-Year Daily Devotional with Bible Reading Plan. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2012. Print.
Morning, February 22 Go To Evening Reading
“His bow abode in strength and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob.”
That strength which God gives to his Josephs is real strength; it is not a boasted [valor], a fiction, a thing of which men talk, but which ends in smoke; it is true—divine strength. Why does Joseph stand against temptation? Because God gives him aid. There is [naught] that we can do without the power of God. All true strength comes from “the mighty God of Jacob.” Notice in what a blessedly familiar way God gives this strength to Joseph—“The arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob.” Thus God is represented as putting his hands on Joseph’s hands, placing his arms on Joseph’s arms. Like as a father teaches his children, so the Lord teaches them that fear him. He puts his arms upon them. [Marvelous] condescension! God Almighty, Eternal, Omnipotent, stoops from his throne and lays his hand upon the child’s hand, stretching his arm upon the arm of Joseph, that he may be made strong! This strength was also covenant strength, for it is ascribed to “the mighty God of Jacob.” Now, wherever you read of the God of Jacob in the Bible, you should remember the covenant with Jacob. Christians love to think of God’s covenant. All the power, all the grace, all the blessings, all the mercies, all the comforts, all the things we have, flow to us from the well-head, through the covenant. If there were no covenant, then we should fail indeed; for all grace proceeds from it, as light and heat from the sun. No angels ascend or descend, save upon that ladder which Jacob saw, at the top of which stood a covenant, God. Christian, it may be that the archers have sorely grieved you, and shot at you, and wounded you, but still, your bow abides in strength; be sure, then, to ascribe all the glory to Jacob’s God.
Go To Morning Reading Evening, February 22
“The Lord is slow to anger and great in power.”
Jehovah “is slow to anger.” When mercy cometh into the world she driveth winged steeds; the axles of her chariot-wheels are red hot with speed; but when wrath goeth forth, it toileth on with tardy footsteps, for God taketh no pleasure in the sinner’s death. God’s rod of mercy is ever in his hands outstretched; [His] sword of justice is in its scabbard, held down by that pierced hand of love which bled for the sins of men. “The Lord is slow to anger,” because he is great in power. He is truly great in power who hath power over himself. When God’s power doth restrain himself, then it is power indeed: the power that binds omnipotence is omnipotence surpassed. A man who has a strong mind can bear to be insulted long and only resents the wrong when a sense of right demands his action. The weak mind is irritated at a little: the strong mind bears it like a rock which moveth not, though a thousand breakers dash upon it, and cast their pitiful malice in spray upon its summit. God marketh his enemies, and yet he bestirs not himself, but holdeth in his anger. If he were less divine than he is, he would long ere this have sent forth the whole of his thunders, and emptied the magazines of heaven; he would long ere this have blasted the earth with the wondrous fires of its lower regions, and man would have been utterly destroyed, but the greatness of his power brings us mercy. Dear reader, what is your state this evening? Can you by humble faith look to Jesus, and say, “My substitute, thou art my rock, my trust”? Then, beloved, be not afraid of God’s power; for by faith you have fled to Christ for refuge, the power of God [needs] no more terrify you, than the shield and sword of the warrior need terrify those whom he loves. Rather rejoice that he who is “great in power” is your Father and Friend.
Spurgeon, C. H. Morning and Evening: Daily Readings. London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1896. Print.
The discipline of spiritual tenacity
Be still, and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10.
Tenacity is more than endurance, it is endurance combined with the absolute certainty that what we are looking for is going to transpire. Tenacity is more than hanging on, which may be but the weakness of being too afraid to fall off. Tenacity is the supreme effort of a man refusing to believe that his hero is going to be conquered. The greatest fear a disciple has is not that he will be damned, but that Jesus Christ will be worsted, that the things He stood for—love and justice and forgiveness and kindness among men—will not win out in the end; the things He stands for look like will-o’-the-wisps. Then comes the call to spiritual tenacity, not to hang on and do nothing, but to work deliberately on the certainty that God is not going to be worsted.
If our hopes are being disappointed just now, it means that they are being purified. There is nothing noble the human mind has ever hoped for or dreamed of that will not be fulfilled. One of the greatest strains in life is the strain of waiting for God. “Because thou hast kept the word of My patience.”
Remain spiritually tenacious.
Chambers, Oswald. My Utmost for His Highest: Selections for the Year. Grand Rapids, MI: Oswald Chambers Publications; Marshall Pickering, 1986. Print.
After ye were illuminated ye endured a great fight of afflictions
Our boldness for God before the world must always be the result of [individuals] dealing with God in secret. Our victories over self, and sin, and the world, are always first fought where no eye sees but God’s.… If we have not these secret conflicts, well may we not have any open ones. The outward absence of conflict betrays the inward sleep of the soul.
Hardman, Samuel G., and Dwight Lyman Moody. Thoughts for the Quiet Hour. Willow Grove, PA: Woodlawn Electronic Publishing, 1997. Print.