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Secrets. Dark secrets. How many of us have things in our past that we have done that might shock others if they knew? How many of us would be embarrassed if others knew our darkest thoughts?

“No one lights a lamp and then covers it with a bowl or hides it under a bed. A lamp is placed on a stand, where its light can be seen by all who enter the house.  For all that is secret will eventually be brought into the open, and everything that is concealed will be brought to light and made known to all.
Luke 8:16-17 NLT
http://bible.com/116/luk.8.16-17.NLT

You know what is great about forgiveness? Those dark secrets can be washed away. In fact, they can become a testimony and proof to others that our past looks nothing like our new life. This is the glory of grace offered freely from a loving God who calls to us and who says –

Believe my Word and have eternal life. Find Hope in the promise of Salvation offered by Jesus Christ, both Son of God and Son of Man, who died on the cross to deliver you from a life of sin. Find Faith in the Holy Spirit that you receive when you are born again into a new life  and as you continue to seek God to manifest himself through your life. And find Love in the Almighty God the Father,  who created all things and made us in, His image to bring Him glory and honor by loving others and leading them to the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

But if we are still living a life of darkness,  if we are still doing those sinful things,  if we are still harboring those evil thoughts – the light of truth can feel like a burning sword cutting into us. The Ruth can feel like a curse,  like a book of rules trying to keep us from those very things that we want to cling to. And this is because we have been tricked.

You see, Christ doesn’t want to take things away from you. He has something better in store for you.

If it is lust that you cling to – you have been sold a weak substitute for love. True godly love has been forgotten by the world and substituted with something that becomes an addiction,  something that is about what I get instead of what I give,  something that doesn’t fulfill us but that leaves us thirsty for more. You see, true love,  when encountered with Christ – who loves us enough to suffer and die on a cross for us so that we could receive the very Holy Spirit into our lives – it is fulfilling,  it is that living water that we taste and realize that it’s sweetness makes everything else bitter in comparison.

If pride is what you cling to – you have been sold a perverted and corrupted substitute for the boldness that comes from humility before Lord God Almighty. When we are in His arms and in His will and humbly following in His footsteps as a faithful servant,  there is power that is found in His very hand upon our lives – and that is because we are walking in His authority,  acting as the physical body of Christ here on earth, living out His Kingdom work serving and loving others, sharing the gospel, making others students of the Word of, Good, baptizing in His name, and taking this gospel of Jesus Christ to the whole world. But when we are trying to sit on the throne, when we are acting under our own power,  when we are boasting about ourselves, doesn’t it become so clear to us eventually how foolish and powerless we really are without God in our lives?

For every true fruit that is of God,  the world offers us cheap imitations. But when we encounter the real thing standing side by side with our cheap imitation,  when the light of truth shines brightly upon that area of our lives,  we have a choice to make – will we shrink back from the light,  clinging to our cheap imitations, or will we grasp hold of the truth,  will we reach for those things eternal and amazing and truly fulfilling.

What area of your life today, both you sinners and saints,  needs to be surrendered and handed over to God so that you might trade in the lies,  the chains,  the burdens of sin – for the blessings that are true and good and eternal?

Do not delay,  friends. There is much work to be done,  there is so much darkness to be cast out, there are so many hurting and lost that need healing and deliverance in their very souls  – as well as their thoughts,  and their physical bodies, and their day to day lives.

Receive the light. Receive the fire of the Holy Spirit upon your life that changes your life,  that puts you into motion and into action for the Kingdom of God. Do not sit in idleness. Do not sit in guilt or shame. Do not sit afraid that you are not equipped or prepared. Do not sit,  satisfied with the cheap imitations this world has to offer.

Cry out with me –

Let the world have everything this world has to offer,  give me Jesus!

Come to us oh,  Lord. Breath upon us oh,  Lord!

Live in us and through us today, keeping us mindful of your ways. Touch our very lives with your presence,  your power, your love – and let today be a living sacrifice as we live for you. Loving and serving others as your physical presence here in the earth. Walking as foreigners in a foreign land,  offering light within the darkness.

Let your light shine in our lives,  Oh Lord. Come live amongst us and let the world be unable to deny the wondrous glories of your grace and mercy. Let them hear your voice and lift the veils from their hearts and eyes. Let us know you more fully today than yesterday,  Lord.

You are ours. Let us rise up from our sleep and sing your praises, with the love of our lives lived out in obedience to your loving guidance. Teach us your ways and keep us upon your path, oh Lord.

Let even our darkest secrets, and their crushing defeat under your feet, be a living testimony to your power and glory and faithfulness, and to the truth of the Word of God. For your glory and honor,  Amen.