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Today is Tuesday, April 23, 2024

This gray world: gray can quickly turn to darkness

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There are people who actually want to live in the gray areas. I understand why. It's easier to live in the gray areas. Light can be bright and it can reveal our weaknesses. God said He is the light and in Him is no darkness at all (I Jn 1:5).

God wants to light our paths and keep us out of darkness. Ps 18:28 says, "For thou wilt light my candle; the Lord my God will enlighten my darkness. There is pestilence and danger in darkness: they walk in the darkness according to Psalm 91:6.

You'll remember the ten virgins in Matthew 25. They were divided right down the middle. Half were wise; half was foolish. They all had lamps. They all were waiting for the bridegroom. They all imagined they were prepared. They all had oil, but only half of them had enough to make it to the wedding. In the beginning of their journey, all ten had oil in their lamps but only five took extra oil with them. Just enough to get by may not be enough. That may be the area that's in danger of running out of oil.

God said if we are "lukewarm" he'll shew us out of His mouth (Rev 3:16). Being lukewarm is obviously out of the safety zone. When tribulations come, we don't want to be lukewarm. What does it mean to be lukewarm? To live in the gray areas? Perhaps, it means our passion for Christ has been smothered out. Perhaps, we fail to grow and learn. We just maintain. Perhaps, it's a place far from God where you never hear His voice or feel His presence...and, it doesn't really matter to you. Perhaps, church is just a ritual; a duty; a habit. According to Jesus, being lukewarm is not a healthy place to be.

If it's unhealthy to be lukewarm, how do we avoid it? How can we keep out passion for God alive in a world that pulls everyone in a thousand different directions? These directions may be neither good nor bad. They may be just avenues meant to distract us.

How can we make sure our lamps are trimmed and burning? How can we make sure we're not living in the gray areas, but in the light?

For me, I believe, it includes anticipating His return. If I don't anticipate it and expect it; I will forget it. Thoughts of His return slides to the back of my mind and even though I think of it periodically, I'm not all that concerned about it. I think Christian's need to anticipate His return. It builds hope for a better future. A place of no sorrow or pain.

Secondly, I believe if we are walking in light, we see things that need to be done for God and we do it willingly. We use our talents for God. Ignoring those talents, or doing nothing with them, is a dangerous place to camp. In the parable of the servants, the "wicked" servant was punished for playing it safe. He hid his talent planning to give it back, fully in tack, when he saw the master. To his dismay, he didn't get the chance because he was thrown into outer darkness for "playing it safe".

There are many ways to walk in the light, but I believe being "aware of where we are and why we are doing what we're doing", is important. In Matthew 25, the goats and sheep were being separated for eternal judgements. In Matthew 7 Jesus talks about the people who, on judgement day, said, "In your name we did many wonderful works", but Jesus said, "I never knew you". It's what we've done for people in need that gets God's attention (Matthew 25).

There is no room for middle ground. The gray areas are comfortable only when life is comfortable. Other days, you're going to have to make a choice. Will you have enough oil in your lamp to get you to the wedding or will your lamp burn out first? Gray can quickly turn to darkness.

We can avoid being left behind by staying as close to God as possible. Be found reading the Bible, praying, loving, having compassion, forgiving, and even be found sitting in church where preaching and praising can ignite the flame.

We live in a gray world where commitment and passion for Christ are rare. Read Matthew 25. It has some eye-opening parables concerning the gray areas.

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