My Nightlight

  Are you afraid of the dark?  Like a lot of children, when I was a child I did not like trying to go to sleep in a totally dark room.  Long I would lie awake imagining the vicious monsters and cruel ghosts that were lurking unseen (or worse yet, barely seen) in the dark of my bedroom.  Unidentified sounds added to the sinister nature of the dark.  I would tell myself that it was just the wind, the refrigerator, the water pipes or the heating system.  But was it?  When you cannot see the source of the sound, or at least see enough to rule out some of the possible sources, it could be ANYTHING!

  In those tender years, my terror could be alleviated with a four-watt light bulb.  Plugged into an electrical socket in my room, my nightlight was instant security.  I felt safe.  Of course the reality was that there was nothing more and nothing less in my room with the light on than there had been when it was dark.  Nothing, that is, except light itself.  I suppose that had there been a goblin there in the dark to begin with, the feeble illumination of my night-light would not have prevented him from getting me and doing all of the dastardly unspeakable things to me that goblins delight to do.  But none of that mattered.  At least if the monster was there I could see him. The light made that possible. 

  The dark is not really what we fear.  We don’t really even fear what is in the dark.  We fear the unknown. 

  This is the reason people fear death.  

   Jesus illuminates that darkened room.  Not so that we can see everything, but just so we can see enough and feel safe.  “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.” (John 1:4).  Think carefully about that statement.  The LIFE  was the LIGHT!  Jesus claimed, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live” (John 11:25).  He backed up that claim not only by raising others like Lazarus from the dead, but also by conquering death Himself.  His empty tomb and the testimony of many witnesses declare that there is life beyond this life.  He lives!  We will live also!  The room is not dark.

  Thank God for “the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.” (2 Timothy 1:10).  Thank God for the light.

 — Steve Klein

Seeking the Marginalized

Who needs the gospel more?

guest article by Bill Robinson

When Peter went to Cornelius he was not being sent to the inner city but to a man who needed to hear the gospel. When Philip was sent to the Ethiopian Eunuch, he was not being sent to a societal reject, but to a man who needed to hear the gospel. When Paul preached to Lydia, he spoke to a woman of means, who heard the word with a realness and openness and trusting faith because she saw her true reality, she needed to be saved! What man or woman is there, regardless of where they live or what they don’t have, who doesn’t need to hear the gospel and be saved?

The fields ARE white unto harvest and wherever God’s people are planted and living faithfully in the rule (kingdom) of God they seek the marginalized. The example of our Lord seeking the lost was not limited to a particular place (i.e. inner city) or type of person (i.e. marginalized). The truth is we will never see the marginalized, as Jesus saw them, until we see the truly marginalized as those yet in their sins! For all those yet in their sins are truly living life in a hard way, being desperate and homeless in eternity, existing in the shadows and darkness of this world. Until we see the truly marginalized for who they really are (those in sin), we will miss great opportunities to reach people regardless of their standing in society or where we find them. Jesus came to seek the lost without qualification of their location for they were the marginalized – like sheep without a shepherd (Matthew 9:35-36).

I am thankful any time and for every place wherein the gospel is preached to those in sin! However, it is a bit misguided and self-righteous to think we are some how more spiritually-minded and more attuned to the Lord because we are preaching the gospel in the inner city or because we go abroad to developing nations to spread the gospel. The world is the field and where ever God’s people are planted they can bear fruit preaching the gospel to any and all who are yet in their sins. Cornelius called his friends and near kinsman to hear the word. Can we do any better than exhaust the opportunities in our own families and neighborhoods? It is, after all, where we have the greatest influence!

— Bill Robinson