For God who said, “Let brilliant light shine in the darkness” is the one who has cascaded his light into us- the brilliant dawning light of the glorious knowledge of God as we gaze into the face of Jesus Christ.
Paul doesn’t preach himself but Christ. Christ is the source of the light of the glorious knowledge of God.
We are the ordinary clay pots that carry the treasure of God’s presence. So when Paul is beaten and persecuted, he does not give up. As an apostle, Paul is constantly handed over to death for Jesus’ sake so that the life of Christ is released into His people.
It is God’s nature to cause light to shine into the darkness. Evil flees the light but goodness seeks it.
We can know God’s glory- really know it- through Christ. This intimate knowledge of God is like a light that sears through our souls cleansing evil from us and restoring us into right relationship with Him.
This light, this transforming glory, comes as we gaze upon the face of Jesus Christ. Some translations express it as “stand face to face with Him.”
Radiance cascades from the Father, through the Son and into us as we seek Jesus. How do we do this? Prayer, worship and Scripture. These are the channels through which we talk to Jesus face to face.
Here is the miracle: God chooses His glory to rest on ordinary people- clay pots. The container does not matter, just God’s presence.
If only we could see the treasure that is so freely available to us, waiting to cascade over us and through us.
I need to daily, constantly seek to spend face to face time with Christ, to let God’s glory fill and refill me.
Lord, fill me with the glorious presence of your Spirit so that your light will shine round into the darkness. Amen.
As Samuel grew up, the Lord was with him, and everything Samuel said was proved to be reliable.
The boy Samuel grows up serving the Lord in the Tabernacle. In those days messages from the Lord were rare and visions were uncommon.
One night, as Samuel is sleeping, the Lord calls to him. Samuel thinks it is Eli calling so he goes to find out what is wrong. Eli tells him to go to sleep. This is repeated three times before Eli works out that it is the Lord calling Samuel.
So the Lord speaks to Samuel and warns him that judgement is about to fall on Eli and his two sons. Eli instructs Samuel to tell him everything the Lord has said.
As he grows up Samuel develops a reputation as a prophet who accurately hears from the Lord.
What a sad time in the history of Israel that very few people heard from the Lord or saw visions from Him. Samuel comes onto the scene as someone special who hears the Lord and speaks boldly for Him.
We live in such an age in the church. Very few people accurately hear the Lord, but we should all be like Samuel. The Holy Spirit has been poured out onto the church and all we who are born again and filled with the Holy Spirit should be listening for the voice of the Lord.
Unbelievers are turning to all kinds of false teachers because they are desperate for a touch from the Lord. If they cannot get it in the church they will go elsewhere.
We need to be like Samuel, practising in listening to God, cultivating and growing in the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Lord, please help me to listen to your voice. Show me how to grow in discernment and in prophecy. Let your voice be heard in the church and beyond. Amen.