Exposing Darkness

Journal Entry // August 31, 2022

Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. (ESV)

Ephesians 5:11

What is the essential factor in our everyday battle against sin and darkness? The key element of our walk with Christ is to expose the unfruitful works of darkness. We are to bring into the light those thoughts, words, actions, habits, mindsets, desires, and pleasures that are kept hidden away in the secret dark crevices of our hearts. We are not to be complicit or engage with these unfruitful works but to expose them. We are to expose them to ourselves, to a trusted friend, to church leadership, and to Christ. We should first start with ourselves and with Christ, then bring in others as we find ourselves in need of accountability and correction. The key action here is to expose the darkness in our hearts so that it no longer remains hidden or obscured. We need to expose these dark unfruitful works that are secret and private and bring them into the light of Christ. Exposing them to the gospel and letting Christ bring transformational forgiveness through our repentance.

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Unveiled Repentance

Journal Entry // August 7, 2022

David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.” And Nathan said to David, “The LORD also has put away your sin; you shall not die. (ESV)

2 Samuel 12:13

True humble repentance is what I am reading in this passage of Nathan confronting David about his sin. David listens to Nathan as he tells the story of the rich man taking the lamb of the poor person without any regard or compassion for what that lamb meant to the man and his family. David is rightfully upset with the man and vows to bring justice upon this man for what he has done. Nathan then speaks the message of the Lord to David and shows him that he is this man who has sinned. David listens to all the Lord says to him through the prophet and uttered this simple response, “I have sinned against the Lord.” David offered no excuses, no deflection, no rationalizing, and no defense. There was none to give. David’s eyes had been open to the depth of his sin. The veil of deception that he had placed over his heart had been lifted and David could clearly see the ugliness of the sin presented before him. In humility, David understood his failure. Not just his failure to protect and honor Uriah and Bathsheba, but his failure to honor Christ. David knew his only response was to acknowledge that his sin was against the Lord.

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Mask of Fidelity

Journal Entry // July 19, 2022

Then he said, “I have sinned; yet honor me now before the elders of my people and before Israel, and return with me, that I may bow before the LORD your God.” (ESV)

1 Samuel 15:30

If I ever need a picture of what it looks like to put on the mask of fidelity to hide the ugliness of willful sin, this is the picture that should be fresh in my mind. The story of Saul in 1 Samuel 15 is almost a sympathetic one as I read through its pages. I marvel at how easily Saul is misled or misunderstands the command of God to devote the Amalekites to complete destruction. I shake my head at how Saul could ever think that he’s completely destroying when he freely admits that he spared the best and the king as well. I want to read in disbelief that a man called by God and confirmed to be king through all these amazing moments, could so easily neglect a command of God and believe that he was actually being faithful. Then I remember… I do this each and every day.

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Feet Washing

Journal Entry // April 27, 2022

Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.”

John 13:8 ESV

Peter in the Gospels is so often a mirror that reflects the inner thoughts and determination of my heart. He is generally the one that is not afraid to put into words the thoughts that are bouncing around in his head. This passage is no different. Jesus is demonstrating humility and the necessity of servant leadership. None of us are above the necessary role of serving others in our leading capacity, but this washing of the feet was a picture of our necessity to have a heart of repentance. Our bodies are clean if we are in Christ and have been cleansed of our sin through the washing of his blood in our life, but our feet get dirty as we continually walk in this world. We need a daily washing of our feet. We need a daily, humble repentance that keeps bringing us back to the grace and mercy of Jesus.

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Keeping Steady

Journal Entry // April 17, 2021

Keep steady my steps according to your promise, and let no iniquity get dominion over me.

Psalm 119:133 ESV

I really enjoyed reading through Psalm 119 this morning. What a great reminder and challenge to cherish the word of God and let it soak deep into your soul and prick your heart. There were so many verses that spoke to me this morning that it was difficult to choose just one. The theme that stood out to me was that I should be delighting in God’s word by engaging my heart and soul with continual meditation throughout the day.

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Broken or Crushed

Journal Entry // April 3, 2021

Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces, and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him.

Luke 20:18 ESV

It is such a simple and easy thing to deceive myself. To tell myself simple little lies or half-truths that placate my senses and desires. So simple to take the line that God has drawn as a boundary for the protection of my heart and soul and move it slightly away from the Lord himself and more toward me and my selfish pride. And then each successive moving of the line makes the next one just a little bit easier until one day I look up and see how far removed I am from the presence of the Lord.

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The Hidden Known

Journal Entry // March 22, 2021

Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known.

Luke 12:2 ESV

Secret sin is really not so secret after all. It’s the lie we believe each and every day. We are so temporal minded and solely focused on this present life. We are so easily caught up in this world and all it has to offer. We hear the siren call to live for today for tomorrow may never come. But tomorrow will come. And on that day the Lord will reveal the inward heart of each and every person. I will stand before the Lord and be accountable for every word, action, and deed. There is nothing hidden that will not be known. I will stand fully exposed before the face of God.

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Shining Face

Journal Entry // March 7, 2021

May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us, Selah

Psalm 67:1 ESV

God’s presence in my life truly does seem to feel like the phases of the moon in the sky. From the new moon where there is no moonlight, to the waxing and waning to the intense brightness of the full moon. It is this full moon presence of the Lord that the Psalmist is referring to in this verse. The presence of the Lord is the picture of his face shining upon us.

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Cursing Response

Journal Entry // December 28, 2021

They were scorched by the fierce heat, and they cursed the name of God who had power over these plagues. They did not repent and give him glory.

Revelation 16:9 ESV

When times of difficulty and trials come to me, what is my inclination? Is it to curse the name of the Lord and blame him for all my troubles or is it to humble myself in repentance and seek the grace and mercy of the Lord? In this passage we see that as the bowls of God’s wrath and judgement are poured out upon the people of the world, there is only anger and self-righteousness in response. John tells us that the people did not respond appropriately in that they did not repent nor did they give glory to God.

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Fearful Truth

Journal Entry // February 17, 2021

But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling and fell down before him and told him the whole truth.

Mark 5:33 ESV

This is the key to faithfulness and humility in life as we continue to live in this world of trials, temptations, and struggles. This woman had done all she knew to do in this world to find healing for her body. She struggled and fought to find healing, so when she realized that Jesus could heal her in an instant she reached out and took hold by faith. When Jesus confronted the crowd with his questioning of who obtained healing without permission, the woman stepped forward in fear. And in her fear, she told the whole truth to Jesus. She revealed the motive of her heart to Jesus and he gave forgiveness and blessing.

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