It doesn’t take a mind reader to know who you’re most likely thinking about after reading today’s title. A certain British agent with a three-digit designation is the top choice. In a former occupation, I was issued one, too.
We’ll get to that in a moment, and I will tell you all about it; but first, welcome to “Mornings with Bishop Robert” — My goal is to introduce people to the Jesus they never knew, and help them get to know Him and His word personally – and better ! If our time together today speaks to your heart, then let me invite you to like, subscribe and share it with a friend!
The fictional agent James Bond famously holds a license from the “OO” section of Great Britain’s MI6 branch, designating him as one who has a license to kill. While Bond and the “OO” section are fictional, such licenses are not. In fact, they are more common than you might imagine. Let me tell you about my old one — and my current one.
A license to kill is a license granted by a government to a particular person allowing them to initiate the use of lethal force to meet their assigned objectives. And before you get too enthralled wondering what the Bishop used to do for work, I’ll pop the bubble of intrigue right now and just say that every member of any nation’s armed forces operates under rules of engagement that not only allow but require them to initiate the use of lethal force in the accomplishment of their mission. I got my license when I graduated boot camp; it was called a military ID card. That was my old one.
Today’s verse says GODLINESS GUARDS THE PATH OF THE RIGHTEOUS, BUT THE EVIL ARE MISLED BY SIN
The blinding power of evil – darkness – allows it to mislead those under its control. The ruler of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, plunging them in deep darkness to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the Christ. Jesus, the very image of God, is Light personified. I find it interesting that both darkness and light can be described as blinding. Utter darkness is blindness, only light enables sight. When we encounter overwhelmingly bright light it becomes all we can see, totally eliminating darkness. This is why Jesus taught His disciples that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all. Absolute light eliminates darkness absolutely. There is none left.
God calls us to walk in His light. And the closer we get to His absolute light the more it destroys the darkness within us. God’s light permeates us, soaks in, and is intended to be seen by others. God intends His light to infuse us with His nature, that’s called godliness. That process happens when we deliberately come into His presence to pray, to worship, to read His word, to share in the Eucharist. Our Spirit is designed to soak up His Light, His essence. Then, as we head out into a world ruled by darkness, we are to be like glow-in-the-dark people and release our light wherever we go. The Lord is our light and our salvation.
Get into the presence of God daily and soak up His light. Read His word, because His word is a lamp to your feet and a light to your path. Through His word He will guard your path. Being with Him, reading His word, praying and listening to Him will cause His light to shine brightly upon you. It will affect you. It will infuse you. Then let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
I said earlier that a license to kill was a license granted by a government to a particular person allowing them to initiate the use of lethal force to meet their assigned objectives. The Kingdom of God is a government, and He intends to establish His dominion. To do so, He has issued you and me a license to kill … sin. That’s my current one.
God wants you to put to death the sinful, earthly dark things lurking within you. He tells us to kill them. Don’t be misled, your sin is killing you; so for you to kill it is actually self-defense. If you don’t deliberately kill that which is dark inside of you, those dark desires will find a place to take hold inside of you like a baby that is conceived in its mother. When it has conceived it will give birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown it will bring forth death. Yours.
In Christ you have a license — and the ability, by His grace — to use lethal force to accomplish the mission of becoming holy. To put to death that which is dark and evil within you with God’s help. In Christ you must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
You have a license to kill … sin. Use it.