INCANDESCENT

MERRY MONDAY ADVENT SEASON by Parris

 

“The people that is sitting in darkness saw a great light, and to those sitting in a region and shadow of death — light arose to them.” Matt. 4:16

Did you ever wonder why the scripture said “those that sit in darkness”? Makes one think it’s saying “to those that habitually make it their lifestyle”. It was 46 years ago on my Christmas break in my sophomore year that the light of Christ began to dispel the darkness that I was sitting in. How great was that darkness! Nine months later I found myself born again, married and off to bible school! Christ comes small in our lives like the babe in the manger born in a obscure village but little do we realize how big he gets in us! The star is still speaking to so many today that there is hope for you, freedom for you and forgiveness. Advent is upon us beckoning us to draw near-for he always comes. John Calvin said every human being is “formed to be a spectator of the created world and given eyes that he might be led to its author …. to cast our eyes upon the very beautiful fabric of the world in which God wishes to be seen by us. When those, who lay in darkness, are said to have seen a great light, a change so sudden and remarkable is intended to enlarge our views of the greatness of the divine salvation.”

Expositor Bible says; “Heavenly light, heavenly power, heavenly healing-these are the weapons of the new warfare: these the regalia of the new kingdom. No stinting now of the heavenly power; it flows in streams of blessing. It is daybreak on the shores of Galilee. The Sun of Righteousness has risen with healing in His wings.”

Take this advent season all in! Christ comes he always comes!

 

 

 

INCANDESCENT

 

The people that sat in darkness saw a great light-Resplendent!

 

In the vivid lifeless damp night came lustrous hope dancing-Effulgent!

 

Stretching through eternity flaming prophecy became ripe for beholding-Forceful!

 

Incandescent splendor overcame the ache erupting- Divine intervention!

 

They saw, they felt, they were changed- Bedazzled!

 

Shining Ears awakened to the song, glowing eyes reflecting the shine -Splendid!

 

Blazing Bethlehem star hangs in the sky pointing-Radiant!

 

Wherever the beam shone that night the shepherds saw a new world-Florescent!

 

Wise men ardent in their journey looked for another -Glowing!

 

Incandescent from the manger is a child found – SON OF GOD!

 

parris bailey

ZOE LIFE

MERRY MONDAY BY PARRIS-

“Ζωὴ-The fountain of life”

John 1:4 “In him was life; and the life was the light of men.”

ROBERTSON WORD PICTURES said, “The power that creates and sustains life in the universe is the Logos.”

The Gospel of John mentions life (Ζωὴ) 36 times. If you think about the gospel of John he uses simple words to explain the most complex truths of Christ. Life, bread, light, water, are repeated over and over again. The Zoe life of God is “the peculiar mode of the divine operation upon men”. In other words redemption will always be summed up as supernatural and indescribable.

Pulpit Commentary has a great way of interrupting the Ζωὴ life of god. It says; “There is one impassable chasm which neither history, nor science, nor philosophy can span, viz. that between nothing and something. The evangelist has found the only possible method of facing it by the conception of One who from eternity has within himself the potency of the transition. The assertion now is that life, ζωή, with all its manifestations and in all its regions; that the life of plant, tree, and animal, the life of man, of society, and of worlds as such; that the life of the body, soul, and spirit, the life transitory and the life eternal (ζωὴ αἰώνιος), was in the Logos, “who was God and in the beginning with God, and he communicated to the Son his own Divine self dependence.”

Wow what a mouthful! Who can describe the life of God in the soul of Man! He breeches the chasm we created! We see Jesus giving life throughout his life and he continues to give us of himself now! “Life, in all its energies, past, present, and future, is an outcome, an effluence, of the Eternal Word.” (Pulpit) And we have all of that on a daily basis the rest of our lives! What a precious treasure we have indeed!

Again Pulpit commentary says, “John was reaching after something far more momentous even than that dogma of ancient faith and modern science.”The light of men” seems to be the faculty or condition, the inward and outward means, by which men know God. “The light of men” is the conscience and reason, the eye of the soul by which the human race comes into contact with truth and right and beauty. In the life of conscience and reason a higher and more revealing light is made to shine upon man, upon his origin, upon his Divine image, upon his destiny.”

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We can call it divine illumination. My friend you need to give more credit to the divine within you and reach forth what your destined for! Christ himself has come to live within imparting the Ζωὴ (Zoe) kind of life!

THE LIGHT PENETRATES EVERY CRACK AND CREVICE

James 1:17 – Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.

I love the way the Lord constantly goes out of His way to show Himself to the world. You ever wonder how long the sun has been shining. It is constant, consistent, and unrelenting. It is a great picture of the radiant light that shines continually from the Lord. The Message Bible states this verse like this, “Every desirable and beneficial gift comes out of heaven. The gifts are rivers of light cascading down from the Father of Light. There is nothing deceitful in God, nothing two-faced, nothing fickle”. But just like any picture of the Lord it is imperfect at best. The sun is limited in its radiance, as James says, there are shadows of turning with the sun that are non-existent with the Lord. His rays are more uniform and encompassing than the rays of the sun. Here is how Albert Barnes describes this characteristic of the Lord.

“(The sun) rises and sets; it crosses the line, and seems to go far to the south, and sends its rays obliquely on the earth; then it ascends to the north, recrosses the line, and sends its rays obliquely on southern regions. By its revolutions it produces the changes of the seasons, and makes a constant variety on the earth in the productions of different climates. In this respect God is not indeed like the sun. With him there is no variableness, not even the appearance of turning. He is always the same, at all seasons of the year, and in all ages; there is no change in his character, his mode of being, his purposes and plans. What he was millions of ages before the worlds were made, he is now; what he is now, he will be countless millions of ages hence. We may be sure that whatever changes there may be in human affairs; whatever reverses we may undergo; whatever oceans we may cross, or whatever mountains we may climb, or in whatever worlds we may hereafter take up our abode, God is the same.”

There is a constancy with God that is called in the scripture, light. He is the light of the world. It’s in His light we see light or revelation that is the source of all our life. In Him there are no shadows or changes, He brings light and awakening to every part of our lives.

DANCING IN THE LIGHT

Jn.8:12 – Then Jesus again 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.

The words of Jesus have always been illuminating. His words are filled with revelation and light. Until our eyes are opened we can’t grasp the beauty and power of His words, our eyes are closed to His light and beauty. Like it says in the Psalms, “the entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple”. Today’s verse is quite powerful, especially if you consider the context and location of this statement. It happened in connection with the feast of Tabernacles in Jerusalem. This quote from Barclay may give us insight into what Jesus was saying.

“On the evening of its first day (of the feast of tabernacles) there was a ceremony called The Illumination of the Temple. It took place in the Court of the Women. The court was surrounded with deep galleries, erected to hold the spectators. In the centre four great candelabra were prepared. When the dark came the four great candelabra were lit and, it was said, they sent such a blaze of light throughout Jerusalem that every courtyard was lit up with their brilliance. Then all night long, until cock-crow the next morning, the greatest and the wisest and the holiest men in Israel danced before the Lord and sang psalms of joy and praise while the people watched. Jesus is saying: “You have seen the blaze of the Temple illuminations piercing the darkness of the night. I am the Light of the World, and, for the man who follows me there will be light, not only for one exciting night, but for all the pathway of his life. The light in the Temple is a brilliant light, but in the end it flickers and dies. I am the Light which lasts for ever.”

Jesus was using this vivid picture that was fresh in everyone’s mind to share about Him being the light of the world. The celebrants had been dancing in the light of the candelabra in Jerusalem, Jesus was telling them about another celebration that takes place in the light of His presence. The Old Testament festivals were always pointing to New Testament realities. When the true light breaks into your life that is when the true dancing begins. Jesus is the light of the world, He can light up your life and bring you into this celebration of light.

THE LIGHT OF LIFE

John 1:4,5 – In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

Billy Graham finished his race this week, he will be sorely missed. He had an unusual ability to always keep his focus on eternity. I suppose the more real eternity becomes to you the more you tend to focus on it, he has finally entered into eternity for himself. I had the privilege of meeting Rev. Graham in 2005 just after Katrina slammed New Orleans. Rev. Graham insisted on coming personally to the meetings here and actually preached and gave the altar call at the Smoothy King Arena. I was asked to pray with the converts from the altar call on the last night of the meeting, it was one of the great honors of my life. His message was the same as it has always been, Jesus is the only way to heaven, you must believe He died on the cross, rose from the dead, and accept Him into your heart. The simplicity of his preaching was quite profound. Here is an excerpt from his book “Where I Am”.

“Scientists really don’t know what light is, but we all know its many effects. We know that there could be no plant, animal, or human life upon the earth without light. God put the sun in precise balance and distance from the earth. If it were a few miles closer, we would be burned up. If it were a farther distance from the earth, we would freeze. What the sun is to the earth, Jesus Christ is to the spiritual world. What effect the sun has on nature is the effect Jesus has on our cold, lifeless, and sinful natures. Christ wants to turn His light on in our hearts. He wants us to be reflectors of His divine Light. I have traveled to every continent in the world and have been a witness to the difference God’s light makes in the people who possess Him. We are His light in a dark world….Every day should be lived with eternity on our minds. If we did this, we would live differently, with purpose and resolve to please the eternal One who is Bread and Light and Vine and Shepherd.”

Meeting Billy Graham improved my life, meeting Jesus has changed my life permanently. Maybe you feel like darkness has tried to strangle the very life out of you. Be encouraged, in Christ there is both light and life for everyone who believes.

LIGHT IN THE SOUL

John 1:6,7 – There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him.

It’s been cold in New Orleans this winter; really cold. It’s snowed twice and been in the teens several times. I think we are all ready for August!!

You don’t normally think about the sun too much unless its cold outside, that’s when you miss it. The sunlight makes all the difference in the world. Even when its cold the sunbeams make it feel warmer. The sun is a picture of Christ, the Light of the world. When He is nowhere to be found, it is dark and cold in our lives. When His glory begins to shine into our lives He has a way of warming up the most difficult of times. I don’t know about you but I am not willing to face the daily messes and drama in this world without this light. His glory brings warmth and revelation making it much easier to make good decisions even in those tough moments. Here are some thoughts from J.C. Ryle on today’s scripture.

“Christ is to the souls of men what the sun is to the world. He is the center and source of all spiritual light, warmth, life, health, growth, beauty, and fertility. Like the sun, He shines for the common benefit of all mankind–for high and for low, for rich and for poor, for Jew and for Greek. Like the sun, He is free to all. All may look at Him, and drink health out of His light. If millions of mankind were mad enough to dwell in caves underground, or to bandage their eyes, their darkness would be their own fault, and not the fault of the sun. So, likewise, if millions of men and women love spiritual “darkness rather than light,” the blame must be laid on their blind hearts, and not on Christ. “Their foolish hearts are darkened.” But whether men will see or not, Christ is the true sun, and the light of the world. There is no light for sinners except in the Lord Jesus.”

So if you are tired of the “cold”, step into the light and warmth of God’s love. Open your Bible, soak in His rays. Soon you will be basking in the warmth of His glorious Light.

LIGHT AND LIFE

John 1:4,5 – In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

The world that we live in is a very dark place. The dilemma most have is this, they can’t recognize the darkness and think that the world is actually progressing. Darkness blinds the eyes of everyone born as sons and daughters of this fallen race. Something is wrong with all of us at the core of our being. We are sons and daughters of darkness until the day that the Sun of Righteousness bursts into our lives. In today’s verse John speaks very clearly about this. Jesus is the Light of the world. He came into this world, entered into His own creation, to pierce the darkness with His light.

Man is also living in a state of death. We are born in our trespasses and our sins and that is our lot in life until life itself breaks through. All life flows from Jesus. Spiritual life is the beginning of our life and it comes only from Him. He is light and life and His life still shines in the darkness. Here is how J.C. Ryle describes this verse.

“We learn…that the Lord Jesus Christ is the source of all spiritual life and light. John tells us, that “in Him was life, and the life was the light of men.” He is the eternal fountain, from which alone the sons of men have ever derived life. Whatever spiritual life and light Adam and Eve possessed before the fall, was from Christ. Whatever deliverance from sin and spiritual death any child of Adam has ever enjoyed since the fall, whatever light of conscience or understanding any one has obtained, all has flowed from Christ. The vast majority of mankind in every age have refused to know Him, have forgotten the fall, and their own need of a Savior. The light has been constantly shining “in darkness.” The most have “not comprehended the light.” But if any men and women out of the countless millions of mankind have ever had spiritual life and light, they have owed all to Christ.”

So have you stepped into the light or are you still living in darkness? Life is born in us as we experience His light of revelation. When Jesus comes into our lives our life finally begins. Every facet of your life will be impacted and made new by the life of God in Christ.

THE CHRISTMAS LIGHT

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John 1:9 ¶ The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.

That first Bethlehem morning must have seemed a little brighter than any day before it. The Light of the world had broken through the darkness, the world would never be the same. You can see from the very beginning the implications of this light. Those that were drawn to it would do anything or sacrifice anything to get to this light. Shepherds came from their flocks and wise men traveled hundreds of miles for one glimpse of the Light of the world.

At the same time those who loved darkness resisted with all their power and influence. King Herod did his best to snuff out the light, lowering himself to kill possibly hundreds of infants to keep his world in the dark. Today not much has changed. There are millions who love the light and many who would do anything to spread it. There are others who spend their lives in darkness trying their best to block others from the light. Here is how J.C. Ryle describes this light entering our world.

“Christ is to the souls of men what the sun is to the world. He is the centre and source of all spiritual light, warmth, life, health, growth, beauty, and fertility. Like the sun, He shines for the common benefit of all mankind—for high and for low, for rich and for poor, for Jew and for Greek. Like the sun, He is free to all. All may look at Him, and drink health out of His light. If millions of mankind were mad enough to dwell in caves underground, or to bandage their eyes, their darkness would be their own fault, and not the fault of the sun. So, likewise, if millions of men and women love spiritual “darkness rather than light,” the blame must be laid on their blind hearts, and not on Christ. “Their foolish hearts are darkened.” But whether men will see or not, Christ is the true sun, and the light of the world. There is no light for sinners except in the Lord Jesus.”

So for us Christians, Christmas is a celebration of light. We remember how dark the world was without Christ and we are grateful to experience the light of His love. Just as the Shepherds worshipped when the light burst through with the songs of the angels, we join in the heavenly chorus and sing the songs of this Celebration of Light.

CENTERED

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Ye are the light of the world.
Matthew 5:14

I have some really great memories of my early Christian years. Excitement about sharing our faith in Christ was in the air. It wasn’t just the professional ministers that preached Christ, it was the pleasure of all Christians. In my first semester of Bible School (I started two weeks after my conversion) I was given several powerful tools to win Christ. First, our Bible College published a number of very good gospel tracts. We were taught to carry them everywhere with us and distributing them was a way of life. We were also taught how to share the basic plan of salvation using Bible verses. Those scriptures are still part of my arsenal. Presenting Christ as the only way of salvation became our passion and shaped all of our lives. We all were full time Bible students and had full time jobs to support ourselves, yet sharing our faith was the unquestioned part of our daily lives. We never considered that preaching Christ was just for the professionals. Here are some thoughts from Watchman Née evangelism as a way of life.
“Some ask, should they preach, or should they seek employment in a profession or trade? Are there two roads in front of a child of God? Where in Scripture do we find such alternatives: to preach or find work? Is it a choice we are called upon to make? God’s people are a lamp for witness. Is there then a Christian who is not to witness? It cannot be that a few preach, while in some mysterious sense all are the lamp. No, there is a living witness for God on earth, and for that I live. This is the one road for us all, and there is no other. None can be the Lord’s and not testify to him. All must preach Christ; that is the big thing. It is a secondary question whether all the time is to be given to it or some spent in breadwinning. For everything turns on where our center is. God cannot use one who adds preaching to business; He can use one who adds business to preaching. It simply depends which side the addition is on! God, not our business, is to be the center of our lives.”
To some, Nee’s statements might seem radical. To those who are radically saved it sounds like the normal Christian life. Lord, pour out a passion for the lost on us again!

PIERCING THE DARKNESS

Luke 2:9,10 And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.

It seems like the world is caught up in some bizarre spiral of death. From nuclear arms deals, to terrorist attacks, confusion over what gender you are, and whether you want to marry a man or a woman; it can’t really get much more confusing. Jesus said that the days before He returned would be like the days of Sodom and Gomorrah. I think these days may fit His description. At the time of the birth of Christ it seemed like one of those times in Israel. The Jews had lost their sovereignty and were under Roman domination. There hope for a Messiah had somehow been deeply effected by the Roman occupation. They were inventing their vision of a Messiah in the image of their perceived need. They were looking for a political leader and when Christ appeared much of the nation rejected Him. Is it much different today? Hardly. Many have reconstructed their religious beliefs to suit the culture of the day.

Formulas and slogans don’t do much when someone shows up with an automatic weapon at the mall or dumps some sort of chemical cocktail in our drinking water. We need more than nice words and happy thoughts, we need the power of God to touch this jaded generation. Here is a poem I wrote this Christmas, His birth is still the hope for mankind.

THROUGH THE NATIONS TERROR RAGES

MEN’S HEARTS FAILING THEM FOR FEAR

IN THE DARKNESS SHINES A BEACON

CALLING OUT TO JUST DRAW NEAR
ANGRY VOICES THROUGH THE NATIONS

AGAINST THE LORD THEY TAKE THEIR STAND

AGAINST THE CHRIST AND HIS DISCIPLES

DEATH AND FEAR BOTH FILL THE LAND
DARKNESS COWERS FROM HIS PRESENCE

ANGELS SING LIKE AGES PAST

WHEN IT’S DARKEST HE SHINES BRIGHTEST

THE SONG OF LOVE HAS COME AT LAST
CHRISTMAS SINGING IN THE DARKNESS

SOUNDS LIKE ANGELS FROM ON HIGH

JESUS BIRTH HAS PIERCED THE DARKNESS

HE CAME TO EARTH FOR MAN TO DIE

Maybe you have lost your way and you too have been effected by the darkness in this world. It’s never too late to step out of the dark into the light of His glorious day.