Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Monday, 5 August 19:
Note: Here is a short video overview of Job — https://youtu.be/xQwnH8th_fs
Luke 11:33-36 — “No one after lighting a lamp puts it in a cellar or under a basket, but on a stand, so that those who enter may see the light. Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light, but when it is bad, your body is full of darkness. Therefore be careful lest the light in you be darkness. If then your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, it will be wholly bright, as when a lamp with its rays gives you light.”
Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life…. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” (John 8:12; John 9:5) To His disciples, Jesus said, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16) The disciples, filled with the light of Jesus, were now conduits of His light to the world.
However, In today’s verses, Jesus is addressing the Pharisees, and he is calling out their lack of sight. The light of Jesus was on a lampstand, plain to see, but the eyes of the Pharisees were not “healthy.” Their eyes were “bad,” and so they were “full of darkness,” because their focus wasn’t on Jesus. Though the Son of God stood before them, these religious leaders, these experts of the law, refused to see Him due to their self-righteousness and pride – “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life. I do not receive glory from people. But I know that you do not have the love of God within you. I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not receive me. If another comes in his own name, you will receive him. How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God? Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father. There is one who accuses you: Moses, on whom you have set your hope. For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?” Jesus warns them, “Be careful lest the light in you be darkness.” (John 5:39-47)
The Pharisees had biblical knowledge and commitment to the law, but they lacked the love of God within them, love that cannot be produced by people but which can only flow from God who is the source of love. Their faith was based on their self-righteousness, which was no righteousness at all, rather than on the grace of God. Previously in today’s readings, Jesus compared them to a man who works hard to clean up his house only to have many demons move into it – “And the last state of that person is worse than the first.” (Luke 11:26) Jesus continued to rebuke the Pharisees for their self-righteous, unloving blindness — “Now you Pharisees cleanse the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. You fools! Did not he who made the outside make the inside also? But give as alms those things that are within, and behold, everything is clean for you. “But woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and every herb, and neglect justice and the love of God. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others. Woe to you Pharisees! For you love the best seat in the synagogues and greetings in the marketplaces. Woe to you! For you are like unmarked graves, and people walk over them without knowing it….” (Luke 11:39-44) Concerning the Pharisees, Jesus said, “Let them alone; they are blind guides. And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.” (Matthew 15:14)
Jesus said that His disciples would be known by supernatural love. Love is the first commandment, the greatest commandment and the first fruit of the Spirit. To walk in the light is to walk in the love of God. As Christians, we must strive to know God’s word better than the Pharisees did, but we must “know” Jesus even more, the true embodiment of the Word. To know Jesus is to love Him, and to love Him is to love others. As you continue in your Bible study, pay close attention to what God says about love. Below are just a handful of the many verses you might consider committing to memory, since love is our greatest command from God –
– Luke 10:27 — You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.
– 1 Timothy 1:5 — The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.
– 1 John 4:11, 12 — Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.
– Hosea 6:6 — For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.
– John 17:22-23 — The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.
– 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 — Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.
– 1 Peter 4:8 — Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.
– Galatians 5:22-26 — But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
– 1 Peter 1:22, 23 — Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God.
– Romans 10-12 — Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in the Spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
– 1 John 5:3 — For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.
– 1 John 4:16 — So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.
– 1 John 3:18 — Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.
– 1 Timothy 4:12 — Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.
– 2 Thessalonians 3:5 — May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ.
– Colossians 3:12-14 — Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.
– Philippians 4:8 — Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
– 1 Corinthians 16:14 — Let all that you do be done in love.
– Romans 12:9 — Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.
– John 15:12 — This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 5 August 19: Today, pray that God will further direct your heart to love, and endeavor to obey Jesus’s commandment to love others as He has loved you. Walk in the light and have no darkness in you.