From Darkness To Light
A daily devotion for September 10th
5For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake. 6For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness,"made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.
For God, who said,Let light shine out of darkness,made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ (2 Corinthians 4:6).
A Christian man came to me with concerns about a contact he had made with a brilliant engineer with a tremendous mind, but a declared agnostic. The engineer showed no openness at all to the gospel. After a while this engineer fell into a severe depression that was so intense and prolonged that eventually he was fired from his job. This Christian friend of his asked him if he would at least consent to come and talk with me.
So he told me his story. He was so depressed it was difficult for him to talk. I asked him the usual questions about what he believed, but he did not believe anything. After trying to help him for an hour or two, I said to him,
I'm sorry. There is nothing I can do to help you. But I don't want to abandon you. If you will come here every week, I will meet with you, and I will do two things for you. One, I'll read the Bible to you, and, two, I'll pray for you. I don't know what will happen; that is all I can do. To my amazement, he consented. He kept coming week after week. I would read a portion of Scripture, and I would say to him,
Does that mean anything to you? But he would say no. Then I would pray for him.
At least eight months went by, and we did that every week without fail. One day I said to him,
Isn't there anything I have read to you that means anything to you?
Well, this morning I was thinking about it. You read these words of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, 'Nevertheless, not my will but thine be done.' That suddenly meant something to me. But I said,
If that meant something to you, then let me ask you to do this: pray that prayer over and over again. Whenever you sense you need some help, when you are despairing, or whenever you think of it, pray that prayer.
So a few more weeks went by. Then one day I read something, and he said,
Oh, yes. That's good, isn't it? I asked him to memorize it and say it over. Then a couple of weeks later he found something else, and gradually there came a dawning light into his heart. We prayed weekly, and as this light began to dawn, it came on stronger. More of Scripture began to reach him, until he openly acknowledged that Jesus was Lord of his life, and he surrendered to His will. Then he began to blossom and grow. He devoured the Word of God; he read it endlessly. That was years ago, and he has nothing but praise and thanksgiving for the living God, who took away the darkness by a creative word:
Let there be light.
That is what God is saying to us in these words. Where do you find the light of the glory of God? In the face of Jesus Christ. And where do you find the face of Jesus? In the Scriptures. As you read them and let the Spirit of God interpret them, the
face of Christ comes clearer. That is how light comes into a darkened heart.
Lord, I thank You for the light that has come into my darkness through Your Word.
Life Application: When we read the written Word of God, are we expecting to see the Person who is the Living Word? Where do we find the light of the glory of God?
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Copyright © 2007 by Elaine Stedman — This daily devotion is from the book The Power of His Presence: a year of devotions from the writings of Ray Stedman; compiled by Mark Mitchell. It may be copied for personal non-commercial use only in its entirety free of charge. All copies must contain this copyright notice and a hyperlink to www.RayStedman.org if the copy is posted on the Internet. Please direct any questions you may have to webmaster@RayStedman.org.