Walking in the Light

John 12:35-37 WEB

Jesus therefore said to them, “Yet a little while the light is with you. Walk while you have the light, that darkness doesn’t overtake you. He who walks in the darkness doesn’t know where he is going. [36] While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become children of light.” Jesus said these things, and he departed and hid himself from them. [37] But though he had done so many signs before them, yet they didn’t believe in him,


What does it mean to walk in the light? It means a person who believes in Jesus and walks according to his teachings. The deeds of the light are mercy, justice, and humility (Micah 6:8). That is what walking in the light meant 2000 years ago and it still means the same thing today. Believers today must still walk in the light. When a person is walking in the light, they are obedient to the Bible. People walking in the light are convinced that all sin is darkness.

There are several sin lists in the New Testament. Romans 1:29-30 is one of those lists. Some of the things on this list might be a surprise. For example, gossip is grouped with murder. Also, from the same verses boasting and arrogance are also compared to murder. When we walk in these sins and have no urgent desire to stop sinning, we are walking in the dark. When we walk in the light, our sin is a great burden. When we walk in the dark it sounds foolish to repent of sin and walk in the light (Cor 1:18).

An urgent desire to stop sinning is apparent in the life of a person walking in the light. The deeds of walking in the light are different than the deeds of darkness. In the light people visit orphans and widows (James 1:27). They guard their hearts and mouths turning away from evil speaking and evil deeds (John 17:15). People in the light are healed and delivered from sin (Romans 12:2). And righteousness is their heart’s desire (John 2:29).


Lord, give me the grace to recognize and turn away from sin. Please help me read the Bible and give me an understanding of the Bible. I long to walk in your commandments, Lord. Please help me to embrace righteousness and walk in the light.

The Reproach of Jesus

John 11:47-48,53-54 WEB

The chief priests therefore and the Pharisees gathered a council, and said, “What are we doing? For this man does many signs. [48] If we leave him alone like this, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.” [53] So from that day forward they took counsel that they might put him to death. [54] Jesus therefore walked no more openly among the Jews, but departed from there into the country near the wilderness, to a city called Ephraim. He stayed there with his disciples.


It is startling to think that Jesus had to hide from the authorities. Can you see Jesus and the disciples looking around corners, being careful of where they walked? It has a dramatic flair. But it also shines the light on Jesus’ humanity. Though he was God, he functioned entirely in his humanity and made himself subject to human authority.

Jesus was humble. He took his disciples and quickly departed to the edge of the wilderness to a city called Ephraim. He could have called angels to save him from the death plot (Mat 26:53). Instead, he removes himself and his followers from the danger. Jesus does not tempt God but rather takes a more difficult path (Mat 4:7). He is obedient to the Word even though he is fleeing.

Jesus was obedient to the Word and the Spirit. This caused him to receive condemnation from those in Judea. We also receive condemnation when we obey the Word of God or walk in the Spirit. For example, the Word says not to gossip. However, gossip is a very prominent sin. To refuse to engage in gossip is to put yourself at odds with people both in and out of the church. Likewise, Jesus ran the risk of heaping more reproach upon himself with every miracle he performed and every sermon he preached.


Lord, I thank you for humbling yourself to human authority on your journey to the cross. Thank you for receiving reproach just as we receive reproach today. You are honorable in all you do Jesus. Help me be more like you, Lord. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Bridled Tongues

John 11:46-48 WEB

But some of them went away to the Pharisees, and told them the things which Jesus had done. [47] The chief priests therefore and the Pharisees gathered a council, and said, “What are we doing? For this man does many signs. [48] If we leave him alone like this, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.”


Talebearers are deadly. Even Jesus was the subject of malicious gossip. And in Jesus’ case, it led to his death. That is what the Bible is talking about in Romans 1:29 where it joins gossip with the sin of murder. This is an insidious problem for all people and groups. The tongue is a destroying flame (Jas 3:5).

Despite the damage gossip causes, it seems to flourish. This is one of those sins that give us insight into our own hearts. If we engage in gossip, we are counted with murderers by God (Rom 1:29). So why do God’s people engage so freely in gossip? Something like this usually starts at the top. If the pastors and leadership are violating people’s trust and gossiping, it is going to be hard for that same group to purge gossip from the congregation.

Gossip in the congregation reveals the condition of the church to the leadership. Gossip is not a sin that will be overlooked at the judgment. It is clear in the Bible that gossip is a deadly sin. It is easy to see in ourselves, in others, and in groups. Therefore, it is something that needs to be addressed. Pastors and clergy are responsible for the wellness of their flock. It is a betrayal when leaders overlook so great a sin infecting their people.  


Lord, forgive me for gossiping. Help me learn to talk with others without gossiping. I ask for a holy conviction to come upon me for the things I say. Help me bridle my tongue, Lord. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Jesus Shows us How

John 8:21-23 WEB

Jesus said therefore again to them, “I am going away, and you will seek me, and you will die in your sins. Where I go, you can’t come.” [22] The Jews therefore said, “Will he kill himself, that he says, ‘Where I am going, you can’t come’?” [23] He said to them, “You are from beneath. I am from above. You are of this world. I am not of this world.


How did Jesus know these Jews were going to die in their sins? The answer is right in the text, he recognized they were of the world. They were visibly in kinship with the world. Jesus looked at their choices and conversation and judged who was their true father. Because they are so closely tied to the world, Jesus does not believe they will repent.

I love watching Jesus. He teaches me how to live and think. Okay, if I see people lying, cheating, or gossiping I can understand they are of the world. God does not lie and does not tempt people to lie (John 8:44). Nor does he cheat (Pro 11:1, 16:11). And gossiping is akin to murder (2 Tim 3:2-5). These types of ungodly behaviors are visible to those who are watching. That gives me insight into how to make righteous judgments. If it appears ungodly, it is ungodly. That cuts through all the confusion.

In the modern era, we have made it socially unacceptable to judge others. However, we who believe and read the Bible understand we are meant to make godly judgments. In the text we see the process of Jesus making a righteous judgment. We are meant to be wise in choosing our friends and associates. This passage teaches us how. Look for visible worldliness. If you find it, you are dealing with someone ruled by sin (Rom 6:14).


Lord Jesus, please teach me to watch and pray. Help me discern worldliness so that I can make righteous judgments. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.

The Light of Life

John 8:12 WEB

Again, therefore, Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the light of life.”


How do you and I walk in darkness? We keep things hidden. We have secrets. Secret meetings, secret small group gatherings, secret whispers. All of these are the opposite of walking in the light. In the light, we do not keep secrets. We may not tell everyone everything, that would be foolish, but we live a transparent lifestyle.

The word says this transparency proves we do our works in God (John 3:19-21). That means a lot to me. I want to get to the final judgment and be accepted as a citizen of heaven. So, walking in the light feels like a safeguard against secret sin. Hidden sin can be hard to face. It can be hard to tell people something they did not know that makes us look bad. We get trapped keeping our secrets.

Any Sunday we can go to the altar and confess our wrongdoing to a prayer warrior. We can have our walk healed. But. Then the person you prayed with may gossip about you and you could face social repercussions. What do you do? Use wisdom and share with a trustworthy source. And if there is no trustworthy source, tell Jesus. He will never fail you or humiliate you.


Lord Jesus, forgive me for keeping secrets. I turn away from that practice and choose to walk in the light. Help me live healthy transparency before you. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Unreliable Sources in the Bible

John 7:25-27 WEB

Therefore some of them of Jerusalem said, “Isn’t this he whom they seek to kill? [26] Behold, he speaks openly, and they say nothing to him. Can it be that the rulers indeed know that this is truly the Christ? [27] However we know where this man comes from, but when the Christ comes, no one will know where he comes from.”


The Gospel of John is full of literary structure. One literary device is the unreliable character. It is surprising to find unreliable sources in the Bible. Each of the above verses contains misinformation by the masses. The masses are a frequent “character” in the Bible. In these verses, the masses are deceived and share untruths through the vehicle of misinformation. In literature, a character that doesn’t always tell the truth is considered an unreliable source. An unreliable source repeats gossip, disobeys, lies, may not know the truth, makes unrighteous judgments, and sometimes knows less than the reader.

In verse 25 the masses are repeating gossip. Jesus just said the Jews were seeking to kill him (John 7:15-16, 19). In just a few verses, the masses are repeating Jesus’ statement to one another. We know from the epistles that gossip is one of the “big sins” (Rom 1:29). Since the masses are engaging in a behavior that is unbiblical, they may be unreliable.

However, one or two issues do not mean a character is consistently unreliable. There are a group of behaviors unreliable sources share. One is lying. In verse 26 the masses state the Jews are not speaking to Jesus. We know that is a lie and is not unintentional ignorance.

However, there is a great deal the masses do not know in verse 26. For example, they seem to believe the leaders are trying to kill Jesus (vv 25). Oddly, the masses also think the leaders believe Jesus is the Messiah (vv 26). As readers, we know what is going on. On the other hand, the masses do not seem to know as much as the reader.

A lack of information leads unreliable characters to misjudge people and circumstances. In verse 27 we find the masses passing judgments on the leaders. They reveal they are less informed than the reader. The masses probably believed Jesus was born in Nazareth. They make a logical leap to get to this conclusion. Jesus grew up in Nazareth, so the masses believe that is where he was born. Of course, they are wrong.

Recognizing there is deliberate structure to the gospels helps the reader have a richer experience reading the Bible. Someone trained in writing wrote the gospel of John. It is full of literary structures. The Gospel of John has structure and deliberate choices by the author which do not diminish the spiritual value of the book. This use of the author’s technical skill does not diminish the anointing of the Spirit in the writing. It does mean God will use our knowledge and understanding to accomplish his purposes.


Lord Jesus, please give light to my understanding so I can read the Bible accurately. Help me acquire skills that you can use. Help me prepare an offering for you Lord. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.

Who’s Eating Jesus?

John 6:56,60-64 WEB

He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood lives in me, and I in him. [60] Therefore many of his disciples, when they heard this, said, “This is a hard saying! Who can listen to it?” [61] But Jesus knowing in himself that his disciples murmured at this, said to them, “Does this cause you to stumble? [62] Then what if you would see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? [63] It is the spirit who gives life. The flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and are life. [64] But there are some of you who don’t believe.” For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who didn’t believe, and who it was who would betray him.


What in the world? One moment Jesus is telling us to eat his flesh, and the next moment he says the flesh profits nothing. I’m not sure why I would eat something that does not benefit me. Unless of course, Jesus’ flesh is no more profitable than anyone else’s flesh. What Jesus did with his flesh was profitable. However, the flesh itself, Jesus’ flesh, Jesus’ humanity, apart from his godly choices has no spiritual value.

The flesh has no value because it is the Spirit that gives life (Rom 8:1). The flesh is death (Rom 8:6). What we can do apart from God has no value (Acts 20:24). Our flesh profits nothing. More, our talents and skills are worthless in the sight of God apart from his Holy Spirit (Acts 8:9). Are you an amazing singer? Are you an amazing accountant? Commit your talent to God and let him confiscate your life (1 Chr 9:33). Turn over the pride of the flesh for true life in the Spirit (Phi 3:3).

If we are spiritually dead and walking in the flesh, we are disobedient when we feel like being disobedient (2 Cor 10:3-5). The one who believes God obeys him (Mat 28:19), and the one who does not believe God does not obey (John 3:36). Monitoring our own obedience can tell us about our spiritual condition (Rom 6:16). Behaviors such as speeding with your vehicle (1 Pe 2:14-15) and gossip (2 Cor 12:20-21) indicate a rebellious spirit. They are of the flesh and profit nothing.


Lord Jesus, please forgive me for being selfish with my talents and skills. Please forgive me for making light of sinful behaviors. Lord, I want you to call me a believer, not a sinner. I want to show my belief with a new level of obedience. Please help my heart humble before you and help me repent of disobedience that I may walk in the Spirit. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.

Measuring Belief

John 5:45-47 WEB

“Don’t think that I will accuse you to the Father. There is one who accuses you, even Moses, on whom you have set your hope. [46] For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote about me. [47] But if you don’t believe his writings, how will you believe my words?”


How many verses do you think are in the New Testament? There are just under 8000 verses in the New Testament. Of those many verses, there are a few Christians tend to ignore. For instance, “For I am afraid that by any means, when I come, I might find you not the way I want to, and that I might be found by you as you don’t desire; that by any means there would be strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, factions, slander, whisperings, proud thoughts, riots;” (2 Corinthians 12:20 WEB) In this verse gossip is called slander and it is grouped with several other undesirable behaviors. Although it is clearly taught in the Bible to avoid talking about others, gossip seems to persist in most churches.

There are other examples in the New Testament such as, “nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor slanderers, nor extortionists, will inherit God’s Kingdom.” In this verse covetous also means greed. The church is bad about greed. Ministers talk excessively about blessings stirring up passionate desires in the congregants. Even Christian music teaches greed with excessive songs about blessings.

There are several passages in the New Testament that Christians tend to ignore. This suggests much of the church does not truly believe in Jesus. That seems absurd. Yet, it is what Jesus taught, “Many will tell me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in your name, in your name cast out demons, and in your name do many mighty works?’ [23] Then I will tell them, ‘I never knew you. Depart from me, you who work iniquity.’” (Matthew 7:22-23 WEB) Gossip and greed are iniquities. They are both prevalent in much of Christianity.


Lord Jesus, please help me believe in you. Reveal to me the iniquities that I need to bring to you for healing and help. I do not want to get to the final judgment and find that I missed you. I trust your grace to see me safely through. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.

Evil Vs Truth

John 3:20-21 WEB

For everyone who does evil hates the light, and doesn’t come to the light, lest his works would be exposed. [21] But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his works may be revealed, that they have been done in God.”

It’s interesting that the verse does not read “he who does righteousness” but rather “he who does the truth” comes into the light. Evil, at its core, is functionally deceptive in nature. Dark and light have been separated by God in the creation. It was the very first creative act of the first day of creation. It is also the theme of the fourth day of creation. Two of six days of creation were devoted to separating the darkness from the light. And in our time, evil still separates itself from the light. This is done through deceptive means. Those who do evil in the church cover their deeds through sins of both commission and omission. They present a lie. They present as righteous and, in the light, but in truth, they are hiding their evil in the darkness. The Bible says that you will know them by their fruit. Matthew 7:18 and 19 (WEB) says, “Even so, every good tree produces good fruit; but the corrupt tree produces evil fruit. [18] A good tree can’t produce evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree produce good fruit.” One of the easiest ways in the church to detect evil is to see what a life is producing over time. Anyone can polish up a rotten apple and make it look good for a little while. But in the long term, that piece of fruit is going to go bad. When ministries produce lasting fruit of lives changed and lasting righteousness you are witnessing good fruit. However, if everyone who gets “saved” ends up falling away, or, major sin issues are rampant in the church, you are seeing a tree that is producing evil fruit. That is an evil tree. That is a life with hidden and secret sins. Likewise, a congregant that whispers secrets and fails to reproduce salvation in others is also an evil tree. Gossip is a sin that has come to be accepted as “no big deal.” It is something that evil loves. Evil loves to destroy people with the fruit of their lips. Evil fruit. The life that is producing evil will allow itself to be deceived so that it can be comfortable. Another evil fruit is holding grudges. One of the evilest things a person can say or think is “I can never forgive them.” When you hear that coming out of a congregant’s mouth, and they refuse to repent, you are dealing with an evil tree. The Bible clearly says that if you do not forgive others the Father will not forgive you. In Matthew 6:14-15 (WEB) it says, ““For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. [15] But if you don’t forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” An unforgiving life is lost. However, a good tree making a mistake will repent when confronted in love. In Galations 6:1 (WEB) it says, “Brothers, even if a man is caught in some fault, you who are spiritual must restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; looking to yourself so that you also aren’t tempted.” And in Acts 8:22 (WEB) it says, “Repent therefore of this, your wickedness, and ask God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you.”

So where do you stand? As you have read this blog has the Holy Spirit brought conviction about a matter or issue in your life? It’s not hard, just repent. Ask to be forgiven and stop sinning. If that does not work talk to a pastor that is producing good fruit and be healed and restored in the love of the brotherhood of believers. Galatians 6:10 (WEB), “So then, as we have opportunity, let’s do what is good toward all men, and especially toward those who are of the household of the faith.”

Lord Jesus, I come to you with a contrite heart, please reveal to me sin that I have become hardened towards. Breath life in me and help me repent Lord. I want you forever rather than the praise of men for a season. I’m sorry Lord. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Walking in the Light

John 3:18-19 WEB

He who believes in him is not judged. He who doesn’t believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the one and only Son of God. [19] This is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light; for their works were evil.

He who walks in the light is not judged. When we disobey the truth and walk in dark and secret paths, our evil deeds will condemn us. In 1 Cor 4:2 WEB, Paul the Apostle says, “But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by the manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.” This verse describes the anger the ungodly feel towards the righteous. Namely, their ungodly deeds bring them into condemnation before the Lord. As a result, they reject godly people whose lives bear witness to the light of righteousness. But what about those who name Christ? What causes shame to the professing believer? The same thing that causes shame to all people. That is, walking in darkness. This is a critical sign that we do not truly believe in Jesus and the power of his name. In truth, walking in darkness means the professing believer does not truly believe Jesus’ teachings. When we believe Jesus, we keep his teachings. When we don’t believe fully in Jesus’ teachings we are satisfied with sin in our lives and according to the word of God we are lost. However, any person in this condition would likely keep their deeds secret. For instance, the word of God says Fathers are not to discourage their children. In Colossians 3:21 WEB Paul says, “Fathers, don’t provoke your children, so that they won’t be discouraged.” Yet, how many “believers” are calm with their children at church but are hard or indifferent to them at home? Or, how about the commandment to love other believers? In 1 John 3:14 WEB it says, “We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. He who doesn’t love his brother remains in death.” Yet how often do we condemn other believers? In Psalm 101:4-6 WEB it says, “A perverse heart will be far from me. I will have nothing to do with evil. [5] I will silence whoever secretly slanders his neighbor. I won’t tolerate one who is haughty and conceited. [6] My eyes will be on the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me. He who walks in a perfect way, he will serve me.” The issue of gossip among believers is a great example of walking in darkness. How often do you hear people gossiping in the light where their deeds can be judged? Almost never. There are many scriptures that group gossip and slander together with sins such as murder and sexual immortality. For example, in Romans 1:29-32 WEB it says, “being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, malice; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil habits, secret slanderers, [30] backbiters, hateful to God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, [31] without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, unforgiving, unmerciful; [32] who, knowing the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but also approve of those who practice them.” And in Matthew 7:21-23 WEB it says, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the Kingdom of Heaven; but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. [22] Many will tell me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in your name, in your name cast out demons, and in your name do many mighty works?’ [23] Then I will tell them, ‘I never knew you. Depart from me, you who work iniquity.’” The key issue of our text scriptures is walking in darkness versus light. So, if you recognize that you are walking in darkness simply stop sinning. Start believing God and choose to become obedient. The world and those in sin will try to beguile you into believing you cannot help yourself. Don’t be deceived. If you know of sin in your life that you cannot overcome and you are keeping it a secret, you are in danger of missing eternal life with Jesus. In that case, talk to your pastor. Even if you are in leadership and will lose your position, if you cannot overcome sin, come into the light.

Lord Jesus, please forgive my unbelief and show me clearly my sin. I want eternal life, so I ask for conviction, especially of deliberate sin. Lend me the grace that I may walk in the light, fully renouncing all evil. In Jesus’ name, amen.