Living In The Light

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Recently, I was reminded of the power of this specific verse in 1 John. There’s a massive “If…Then” statement here that is especially significant for those walking in recovery too. God’s promises are powerful and this is one of those mighty promises! For this particular word, I think it’s helpful to look at it in reverse:

The blood of Jesus, [God’s son], continually cleanses us from all sin. And we will share UNBROKEN fellowship with one another. How does this happen? By reading this passage in reverse, we can see that the “then” really hinges on the “if”: If we keep living in the pure light that surrounds him.

Honesty precedes freedom. Openness occurs before healing. Transparency happens before restoration. Why must it be this way? Because God cannot give us true freedom, healing, and restoration in our lives until we’re ready to live in such a way where everything is exposed to the light. Where nothing is hidden. Where no secrets exist. I love how the Passion translation uses the word “unbroken” before the word fellowship. If we commit to a lifestyle of complete honesty, people can see through us and our relationship with God and others will be authentic…unbroken.

We cannot expect from God and yet be unwilling to give. To surrender. To give up. To open up. To be real. To walk in truth. Which is walking in His light.

Brian Simmons says in The Passion Translation: “Freedom from sin (which is mentioned seventeen times in 1 John) is equated to walking in the pure light of God — not simply a fleshly struggle but a desire to walk in fellowship with God in his light.” May our commitment this week be that God’s pure light shines on EVERYTHING within our lives, producing within us a desire to know and be known by our brothers and sisters in Christ.

It really is the only way to live.

It’s Time to Take the Dad Challenge

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There are always things we need to improve on as parents, but before I get to that I want to talk about what we’re doing right. Parents are doing a lot of things right these days, something we may not hear a lot. Fathers in particular have improved in their parenting skills in the last 50 years, and this is something to celebrate.

Dads Are Giving More Time

Before we talk about what needs improvement, it is only fair to point out how much modern fathers are doing right. Dads spend way more time with their kids than they used to, taking time out with individual children even from the time a child is born. It is a very common sight in my neighborhood to see a young father pushing a baby or toddler in a stroller, no wife in sight. When I was a kid, I never saw a father pushing a baby stroller, alone or with his wife.

Both parents give more time to their children than in recent generations, but while mothers have approximately doubled the amount of time they spend with children in the last 50 years, fathers have nearly quadrupled the amount of time they spend with their own kids.¹ Mothers still spend more time with their kids than dads, but dads would win the prize for “most improved.”

Dads Are Giving More Depth

Fathers are also willing to be much more open with their children than our own fathers or grandfathers were. Fathers are much more likely today to talk about their feelings with their children and ask their children about their feelings. Dads admit failure in front of their kids. Dads talk with their kids about all kinds of things that most dads in the past would never be open about. Except one thing, which is the problem I’m addressing today.

Read the rest here