10/4 Series: Family at its Best…..Full Exposure 1 John 1: 5-10
This week’s message is titled Full Exposure. When I think of sunlight passing through a prism, it gives full exposure of the many bands of color characteristic of a rainbow. Prism’s differ in their angles of glass that make up the prism. It’s the angle by which a beam of light is bent, when it enters glass, that exposes differences from one color to the next. The light, sunlight, is a white light that is refracted or separated into its different colors as it shines through the prism. Complicated in its process but simple in that it’s letting the light shine through the different bents, angels, size of the glass, to display bands of color characteristic of a rainbow. It’s Full Exposure. We can liken that same theory to our lives. It’s taking our bents of sinful ways, our angles of experiences in our life, our glass of individualism, and letting the Light shine through us as we display His beauty to the world around us. Let’s take a look at what we can do to beautifully expose our life’s prism.
Each person is born with their individual bent or sin nature. It’s what we do with our bent(s) that characterizes us. The scripture reminds us in 1 John 1 vs. 8 “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”. So, there it is we all have sin. No need to hide the fact. We all have sinned and fallen short. We know sin is darkness. We know God is light. We should know that one cannot live in sin’s darkness if we want to be in God’s light. This we read also in verses 5 and 6 of our scripture passage. It’s confessing our sin, asking for God’s forgiveness that sets us free from the darkness. Verse 7 says “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.” Walking in the light, His Light, in us, he removes the darkness. It says we have fellowship with one another, that’s a Partnership with a Purpose, right? To be right with God and to let his light shine through us.
When we are willing to live in full exposure, we become willing to let our bents be exposed to others. Max Lucado in his discussion series on God Uses Broken People says no matter what someone has done, God can still us them for His glory and to help others find forgiveness. God uses brokenness, say Max. We need to ‘come clean’ with God and to believe that He has forgiven us and that He still wants to use us, to change His world.
It can only happen through Jesus, says Joni Ortlund in her conversation on The Power of Forgiveness, also in the Right Now Media tool. All forgiveness she says, requires coming through the offenses with love. The Essential Elements says Joni is 1. Go to Christ, our suffering is important to him. Leave our pain and hurt with the Lord. 2. Go to the Word. Study what God says about forgiveness. Never avenge yourself says Joni, leave that to God. We need to find peace and forgiveness with the Lord first, for reconciliation. Ask for forgiveness. Forgiveness is powerful. It’s living in and by grace. Joni also said that if the cycle continues where we fall back into bitterness, anger towards another, then maybe one needs to question who God really is to them.
Pastor George outlined for us Sunday that 1. Remember Who You Are. We are part of the family of God, related by the blood of Christ. He paid it all, his life for ours. 2. Reflect The One Who Rescued You. We have already received His love. Pastor George reminded us that whoever keeps His Word, for others to see too, then the love of God is complete in us. We have this fellowship with one another and with God. 3. Recognize Problems and Solutions. In life, reveal ourselves and be honest with God. He is quick to love, to rescue us, to forgive, but we have to identify with the issue, says Pastor George. He also shared, don’t expect God to cover what you are not willing to uncover. Recognize the problem you are having and take it to God. It’s then that we hear gentle whispers of God…course corrections….into our lives.
Max Lucado in God Uses Broken People encouraged us to 1. Confession. Stop trying to hide guilt. God in his grace, will move you out from of the hold of sin and bitterness, to a new place of healing. He uses failures to teach us about himself. 2. Believe. Believe that he has forgiven us and wants us to change His world. Max says we are to surrender and trust.
In reading an article this week, it referenced Miss Manners. Mercy and Forgiveness – Miss Manners reminds us, are core elements of etiquette, of ‘correct behavior’. We learn that from our heavenly Father. Daily we receive His mercies, daily he showers us with His grace, daily we are forgiven of our bents. How do we respond to such acts of love? With correct behavior, with allowing the Son light to shine through our prism, with willingly opening ourselves to Full Exposure so that others can be helped through our experiences from sin to forgiveness. We are never more Christlike than when we forgive, when we live in His mercy and grace towards each other. There should be no more hiding, no more shame, no more guilt. It’s bringing all our hurts and pains into full exposure before the Lord, for Him to love on us, that’s Family at its Best. God family’s and our families, teams, groups, people loving the people where we belong. Let your prism shine beautifully in the Light!
Larry and Darlene