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 Post Post subject: Devotions - Tuesday, June 5th, 2007
Posted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 5:25 am 
Catspaw knows all

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Reading: Psalm 101, Psalm 103, Psalm 108; John 15

Good morning Church,

Without Jesus Christ there is ugliness. Ugliness cannot recognize itself as ugly unless Jesus enters in and reveals it in his beauty. We can understand this. We can even accept this. It makes sense to us. This is the reason Jesus stated:

If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin. Now, however, they have no excuse for their sin. (John 15:22)

John also described this ugliness and beauty in a different way:

Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. (John 1:3-5)

The dark and The Light. Except, we see here that the idea of Light was so foreign to the darkness that the darkness could not grasp the meaning and purpose of the Light. Ugliness looked on Beauty and could not understand. But this Beauty, this Light, revealed what must be understood thus leaving the ugliness, the darkness without an excuse. It is sad. However there is something sadder still.

"I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. (John 15:5-6)

In some ways we can understand and even accept the confusion and lack of comprehension of the ugliness. The Beauty is something that is foreign in the Darknesses’ understanding of its existence, but what about those that had been transformed from ugliness to beauty? How is it possible that they do not recognize when they let go of Beauty and start reverting to the ugliness? We would think that they would know, that they would feel and see the difference. But they don’t.

It is amazing how good we are at deceiving ourselves. The person who falls for our lies most readily is ourself. The separation from the Beauty usually happens with one decision that will lead to other similar decisions but nonetheless begins with that one decision. It is like a thought. In our mind that thought possesses a great potential danger but once spoken it takes on a life of its own. In the speaking of it we have brought that thought to life causing it to feel more real, tangible and possessing truth. It can be far from the truth but once spoken we can convince ourselves of it. So this decision, once made and acted upon, takes on a life of its own, separating us from Beauty and causing us to revert to the ugly. Without the Beauty to sustain us we become what we were, only now it is even worse.

The separation should be obvious but our own lies deceive us. We begin to be drained of that which gave us life, beauty and light but we convince ourselves it is due to other reasons. We are not as strong as we were, not as resilient to the harsh elements that pound against the vine, using Jesus’ image. We are tossed about by the wind, scorched and withered by the blazing sun. Disconnected from the source of everything we dry up and return to our ugliness, the entire time telling ourselves lies so we would no recognize the trouble we are in.

We can understand those that can not grasp the Beauty but we ignore the failings of those who had been part of that Beauty and have slipped away. Even those who remain part of the Beauty will make excuses for those who had become ugly again, trying to cover such blemishes. But no amount of make-up can hide true ugliness. The worse deception is not what the Deceiver does to us but is the deception we perpetrate against ourselves. The Light reveals the truth of love. So that Light is the only means to stop our self-deception. Hear the truth of this love and allow it to reveal any and all ugliness:

"As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. (John 15:9-12)

May his love remain in you as yours remain in him and may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ remain as his blessing in you. May the Light shine to reveal all things.

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said:
"Wake up, O sleeper,
rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you."

Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. (Ephesians 5:8-16)


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