People label us left and right.
We are labeled by the generation we were born in, by the color of our skin, by the church we belong to, by the neighborhood we live in, career path we've chosen, by the people we hang out with, and even the places where we were born. Sure, there are aspects about us that once gathered they can give someone a pretty good impression of who we are. However, unless they know us, the labels can be nothing more than assumptions. However, these labels have a power to give us an identity that will lead us to darkness.
On our own and by the the influence of the world we will only be known for our darkness.
The Holy Spirit inspires Paul to write to the church in Ephesus about who God thought they were--children of light. That's the label God placed on the foreheads of each believer that belonged to the church of Ephesus at the time and I believe that's the label He wants you to have on your forehead today.
CHILDREN OF LIGHT!
8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light
9 (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth)
10 and find out what pleases the Lord.
11 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.
12 It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret.
13 But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light.
14 This is why it is said:
“Wake up, sleeper,
rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”
Because of Christ, we are light and we are called to live as such for the sake of others.
We know the reality of darkness, and the despair and destruction it inflicts.
But in the Lord we also know the power of light, and the hope and healing it offers.
So we are called not to live in fear, nor in the safety of comfort zones, nor in a state of false peace.
As the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. proclaimed,
“True peace is not merely the absence of tension: it is the presence of justice.”
Therefore, we work for God’s justice—that which is good and right and true—by daring to wade into those dark places in the world and reflect God’s light.
Paul calls the Ephesians to WAKE UP and BE THE LIGHT!
Wake up so that the Son can shine His light on them,
expose their sin,
cleanse them from their sins,
and allow them to be the light to others,
leading them to the Light.
How about you?
What sins might be revealed in your life when the light of Christ is exposed on you?
What are you doing in the dark that when the light shines on you, you'd be embarrassed of it.
What darkness did you used to live in before Christ that you are still struggling with and it needs to go?
our sins are too heavy to carry, too real to hide, and too deep to undo.
Forgive what our lips tremble to name, what our hearts can no longer bear, and what has become for us a consuming fire of judgment.
Set us free from a past that we cannot change; open to us a future in which we can be changed;
and grant us grace to grow more and more in your likeness and image,
through Jesus Christ, the light of the world. Amen.
Don't allow the world to label you.
Allow God to give you the label He has for you.
He calls you BELOVED. FORGIVEN. REDEEMED. LIGHT.
7 Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
8 Let me hear joy and gladness;
let the bones you have crushed rejoice.
9 Hide your face from my sins
and blot out all my iniquity.
10 Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.