Day 32 (October 31)

 

The Father of Lights: James 1:12-18

  1. Center Down

Before you begin today’s spiritual excursion, please take a few moments to breathe!  Take three slow, deep breaths, expanding from your abdomen; try not to raise your shoulders. As you inhale, whisper, “You are… ”  As you exhale whisper, “…the Light of the world.”

  1. Slowly read aloud the following Scriptures:

(Feel free to pause at any time during your reading to reflect on, thank, praise, or acknowledge God’s stirring in your thoughts and emotions.)

God’s blessing on the man who endures testing! When he has passed the test, he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. Nobody being tested should say, ‘It’s God that’s testing me’, for God cannot be tested by evil, and he himself tests nobody. Rather, each person is tested when they are dragged off and enticed by their own desires. Then desire, when it has conceived, gives birth to sin; and when sin reaches maturity it gives birth to death.

Don’t be deceived, my dear family. Every good gift, every perfect gift, comes down from above, from the father of lights. His steady light doesn’t vary. It doesn’t change and produce shadows. He became our father by the word of truth; that was his firm decision, and the result is that we are a kind of first fruits of his creatures.  (James 1:12-18, BfE)

For further exploration: Videos:  http://b.link/elohim ; http://b.link/HeiserElohim

  1. Concepts to Consider:

The title, “Father of Lights” points to the fact that our Heavenly Father is the Prime Ruler (the Elohim of Elohim) over all other created spiritual beings (watch: http://b.link/DivineCouncil )–sometimes called “sons of God”– that He had put in charge of the heavenly bodies (Genesis 1:16-17).  The unique thing to note here is that the “Father (Creator) of Lights” is not Himself a part of creation. He is separate and apart from Creation, yet chooses to be involved with it.  This “separateness” puts Him in contrast with all other deities in the Ancient Near Eastern World.  These deities were always viewed as being caught up in the creation and a part of it.  This is why ancient peoples believed they could manipulate the weather, the sun, moon, and stars, etc. by magically appealing to or appeasing the various deities associated with physical objects or their representations: idols.

Further, designating the Creating God as the “Father of Lights” shows that He is over rebellious elohim/spiritual beings, such as those who have allowed worship of themselves rather than pointing back to YHWH.  They will not, however, be allowed to be in rebellion forever and to inspire humanity to continue their destructive behaviors. Rather, in Revelation 22 we get a glimpse into the new heaven and earth where these rebellious “lights” of the first creation are put in their place and they are no longer needed, [The residents of the new Jerusalem] will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever” (Revelation 22:5, ESV).

  1. Reflection Question:

(You are encouraged to write, draw, or respond however the Lord leads to the following inquiries).

  1. When you think about the ruling power and authority of God Almighty, what deceptive “lights” do you need Him to “put out” in your life?  Remember, “satan himself masquerades as an angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14) and people may be right in their own eyes, but the LORD examines their heart” (Proverbs 21:2).
  1. Prayer for Today:

 

A Prayer of Love for God and Our Neighbor

Almighty Father, thank You for loving us despite how we sometimes act or think.  Thank You for giving us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with Your love, so that we may share love with others.  Thank You for helping us to be more loving and compassionate towards others. Lord, we come before You clapping our hands and shouting joyful praise to You.  You are the great King of all the earth.  You subdue the nations before us and put our enemies under our feet. Our hearts are confident in You, Father.  Because of this confidence, we will sing Your praises. We will wake the dawn with our song, Lord, among all the people.  We will sing Your praises among the nations for Your unfailing love is as high as the heavens.  Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.

Glorious Father, as Your dear children, we commit to loving You with all our hearts, and with all our souls, and with all our minds. This is the greatest and most important commandment of all. In the same Spirit, we also commit to loving our neighbors as ourselves. We confess that the Holy Spirit fills and controls us as we commit to doing Your will. We decree that we will be patient and kind instead of acting jealous, boastful, proud or rude.  We will not demand our own way, but we will be considerate of others and their opinions.  We will not be irritable or keep a record of being wronged.  But, we will be joyful and quick to forgive. We commit to living a righteous life. We will be patient and will not return evil with evil.  We will let our light shine so that people will see our good works and glorify You, our Father.

Holy Spirit, show us how to truly love the Father with our whole heart, soul, mind and strength.  Reveal to us those habits, mindsets and attitudes that prevent us from being truly surrendered to the Father.  Help us to not deceive ourselves by thinking we are walking in love while using our tongues to curse those who have been made in the Father’s image. In this world where we are told to put ourselves first, help us to truly put the Father first in our lives, and to esteem others better than ourselves.

Exalted Father, we ask Your forgiveness for our sins.  Forgive us for being irreverent and apathetic towards You.  Forgive us for murmuring and complaining and not showing our love and appreciation for all that You do for us.  Forgive us for being impatient with our neighbor. Forgive us for picking and choosing to whom we will show love.  Lord, forgive me for (list any sins that you have committed). Holy Spirit, remind us all of those we need to forgive; and we will be quick to forgive. (Take a moment and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal names or faces of people that you may need to forgive. As He reveals, say, “I forgive name of person(s).” Now, trust the Lord to heal any wounds in your soul caused by unforgiveness.)

Holy Spirit, help us all not to yield to temptation but deliver us from the evil one.

Eternal Lord, You are God alone.  You created the heavens and the earth; You put everything in its place.  You made the world to be lived in, not a place of empty chaos.  You are the Lord and there is no other.  You only speak what is true and declare only what is right.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Optional Time of Centering/Soaking:

If possible, take some time, perhaps 5 to 15 minutes, to get into a comfortable position and simply allow the Lord to minister to you at a deep level (Psalm 42:7).  Turn off or put down all distractions.  Close your eyes.  Hold in your thoughts a meaningful word, phrase, or image from the Scripture passages you read today.  Release all other thoughts and concerns into the Presence of the Lord.  If your thoughts wander, that’s okay, just gently return to your Scriptural word, phrase, or image.  You may want to set a timer.

© Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996, 2004.  Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189.  All rights reserved.   ©2019 Caldwell Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved — No reproduction of the material is permitted without the expressed permission of CMI

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