Last Monday night, after I had written and scheduled my Tuesday post on Good Advice Not Followed, I climbed into bed and tried to follow some of my good advice by reading my Bible. I did manage to get through two chapters of Ezekiel (which is taking me forever to get through) before my eyes were too tired to read. As I started to drift off to sleep, I thought I should really try to read my Bible in the morning, during the time that I usually check my blog, my email, and Facebook, while playing ball with the dog. It’s a good 15 to 20 minutes when it is relatively quiet and reading my Bible would be a much better way to start my day.
Then Tuesday morning I hit the snooze alarm a few times, and then got up and made smoothies for my son and me for breakfast. I remembered that thought I had as I drifted off to sleep and planned to go get my Bible when the smoothies were done. I poured the smoothies, put two Eggo waffles in the toaster oven for my son, and put my smoothie in the refrigerator for after my shower.
Then, out of habit, I took my coffee into the living room, sat down on the couch, and put my laptop on my lap. I opened up Internet Explorer, but it couldn’t find my homepage, which is my email. So I tried to open my blog – same error message – Explorer couldn’t find the page. So I tried Facebook. Same thing. Hmmmmm. I thought for just a second about trying them all again, then I thought again. I set the computer aside and went to get my Bible.
Turns out it was the best way I could have started my day! (Not really a big surprise.)
Rather than continue on in Ezekiel, I decided to read the next New Testament passages on my Bible-in-a-year schedule, which was 1 John. I read the first two chapters, and it was exactly what I needed to read for today.
We proclaim to you the one who existed from the beginning, whom we have heard and seen. We saw him with our own eyes and touched him with our own hands. He is the Word of life. This one who is life itself was revealed to us, and we have seen him. And now we testify and proclaim to you that he is the one who is eternal life. He was with the Father, and then he was revealed to us. We proclaim to you what we ourselves have actually seen and heard so that you may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We are writing these things so that you may fully share our joy. 1 John 1:1-4 (NLT).
As I read this, I could feel John’s enthusiasm for this wonderful news he had to share. He was speaking of the first advent of Christ, an event John personally experienced. One part of this passage that truly jumped out at me is “he is the one who is eternal life.” Jesus didn’t come just to give us eternal life – He is eternal life. He is life itself. Just reading this passage lifted my spirit and made me smile.
Anticipating the coming of Christ in our own lives is the whole purpose of Advent! We look forward to His birth, even as we know ultimately He will have to suffer and die for us. John experienced that event as well as the wonderful resurrection of Christ. And just as John did, we look forward to His second coming.
I kept reading and came to another passage that I really needed today.
If anyone claims, “I am living in the light,” but hates a Christian brother or sister, that person is still living in darkness. Anyone who loves another brother or sister is living in the light and does not cause others to stumble. But anyone who hates another brother or sister is still living and walking in darkness. Such a person does not know the way to go, having been blinded by the darkness. 1 John 2:9-11 (NLT).
This was exactly the thing I needed to read to remind me to forgive others who have annoyed me. It reminded me that many people are walking in darkness, blinded by the darkness, and can’t see the Light of Christ. If I am living in the light, then I need to let the Light of Christ flow from me to illuminate their world. The darkness is oppressive and overbearing for those who have no means to pierce through it to the truth. If I live in Christ, then I must allow Him to pierce the darkness that seeks to blind me again.
“I once was lost but now I’m found, Was blind, but now I see.” And it’s so much easier to see when I stay in the Word of life. Sometimes it takes a little interference from the Lord to get me there, which is what I believe He did when my computer decided not to go to the websites I wanted it to, but reading scripture really is good advice. It helps the Light of Christ to shine through.