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.

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.

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.

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.

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.