Have you ever heard of a “Come As You Are” party. It’s an impromptu affair, a last-minute get together. The host says, “Don’t bother getting all fancy, just come on over now.” There’s a spiritual lesson or two we can pull out of that.
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The previous lives of the children of light form a list of disgusting attributes.
Sexually immoral folk who took unfair advantage of the weak. People who made idols out of anything they loved; from jobs, to riches, to physical pleasures, to 1001 other things. Adulterers who abandoned their marriage vows, and often their families. Men who practice homosexuality, and women who have abandoned natural affection and become consumed with lust for other women. Thieves who take what is not theirs, often by force; causing both physical loss and emotional turmoil. Greedy. Drunkards and addicts. Revilers and persecutors of the faith. Swindlers, lying to benefit themselves.
And that’s just Paul’s list from a couple of verses in his letter to the Corinthians! You and I could spend hours listing the nasty ways our lives were messed up before Christ entered in!
Sometimes friends will throw an impromptu party, inviting guests to “come as you are” and not worry about getting “all dressed up.” Those can be fun. But no believer I know would enjoy being invited to a “come as you WERE” party that highlighted their sinful past.
God’s grace is amazing. He alone has the ability to change hearts.
Left on our own, there is no sure pathway out of a life controlled by addictions, abuse, sexual deviations and other destructive behavior. I’ve known people who didn’t want God to intervene, but just wanted “out” of the cycle of destruction. Possible? Yes, sometimes. But not always.
Today’s verse says HE CALLED YOU OUR OF DARKNESS INTO HIS WONDERFUL LIGHT
Not long ago i saw a post of two friends of mine. Now serving Jesus but formerly trapped in a life of drug addiction, prostitution and lots of other crimes. The guy was holding one of his many booking photos, and he looked like the typical meth-head. The gal was holding the alluring photo of her from years ago that used to be posted on the escort site that employed her. Today they look nothing like their former selves. In their post, they were talking about being freed from a life controlled by sin, sex and drugs – a life totally out of control and spiraling towards destruction. But they got called out of darkness and brought into Christ’s wonderful light.
These two didn’t need to be “accepted” and affirmed. They needed to be loved enough to be set free.
I know men who were trapped in homosexual sin that were miserable; and God has set them free. They now enjoy normal sexual relations inside of a marriage relationship; and have a peace in their hearts that has restored them.
I know men who were trapped in a pattern of adultery, and almost destroyed their marriages. Then Christ stepped in. He changed their hearts, delivered them from their destructive behavior, restored their marriage, and protected their children from a devastating divorce. WHAT AN AWESOME GOD !!!!!
I know former prostitutes, former murderers, former terrorists, former lots-of-nasty-things. All of them called out of darkness and into HIS wonderful light. All of them set free.
I could go on and on. But the point is made. God takes us OUT of the kingdom of darkness and into His kingdom of light.
Let me wrap up with the same illustration I started with. One day YOU will be invited to a “Come As You Are” party, and Jesus will be the one sending the invitation. You’re going to find yourself standing before Him. If you’re still trapped in the kingdom of darkness that’s where you’ll spend eternity. But if you have accepted His invitation, if you are among those He called out of darkness into His wonderful light – well then you and Jesus and the rest of the people in the Kingdom of Light get to spend forever together.
“I was once darkness; now I am light.”
Can you say that? Or are you still trapped in darkness? Jesus is the LIGHT of the world, and He can bring you from darkness to light, too.
Message me if you want help with that!