Category Archives: Light in the Darkness

Light In The Darkness: April 10, 2013

by Pastor David Grey

“You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” — Acts 1:8

After His resurrection, Jesus showed himself to more than 500 of his disciples and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.

During this time, he emphasized the importance of waiting for the Holy Spirit, whom he had promised before to send in his place.

With the Holy Spirit would come the power the disciples would need — power to be his witnesses to the ends of the earth and power that would enable them to live the holy lives.

As the Holy Spirit indwelt each one he would give the ability (power) to walk victoriously over sin. As they walked in the Spirit, they would live as Jesus did, having a foretaste of the final victory that would come when at last they passed into his presence.

They waited and we know the result. They were indeed filled with the Spirit and with power and in that power turned the world upside down for Christ. The gospel spread throughout the known world in a remarkably short time.

Where is that power in the church today?  Where is that miracle working power? And I do not mean the power that so many crave as they seek signs and wonders. Jesus said that it is an evil generation that seeks a sign (Luke 11:29).

I am talking about the power of the Spirit that results in holy living and the conversion of souls. The power of the Spirit that results in joyous, sacrificial service to the Master.

The power that enables Christians to thrive, their lives setting a standard of purity and holiness for all the world to see.

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Light In The Darkness: April 3, 2013

by Pastor David Grey

“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.” – John 14:1-3

We have mourned through what we now call, Good Friday, though it was anything but that for those who watched Jesus suffer and die on the cross. And we have celebrated His resurrection, though undoubtedly without the same level of incredulous emotion experienced by those who witnessed that day.

Nevertheless, we are among those of whom Jesus said, “blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20:29).

He told his disciples that “many prophets and righteous men longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.” (Matthew 13:17). There are many who would like to have been there during those dark and then wonderful days but there is much to be said for coming after, as well.

We have the testimony of those who witnessed those momentous events first hand and benefit from all their experiences. Furthermore, Jesus calls those of us who would come after and believe their testimony, “blessed.”

In scripture the word, blessed, means to be “happy, fortunate, and to be envied” (Amplified Bible). That is you, dear believer. Oh, the pagans do not consider you to be happy or fortunate and they certainly do not envy you, but who are they to know?

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Light in the Darkness: March 27, 2013

by Pastor David Grey

“What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? – James 2:14

God instructed Moses to cast a bronze serpent and raise it high above the camp so that anyone bitten by a poisonous snake could stare at it and be healed.

He gave Noah a specific blueprint and told him to build an ark. He laid out a strange battle plan for Joshua to take Jericho and He told Gideon to pare his army down to a mere 300 men before going into battle.

Can you imagine any of those men responding, “Thank you, Lord. I believe you. I have faith in you” and not doing just as God had instructed? Of course not.

True faith has always been accompanied by obedience. This is precisely what James means in the above verse. Faith that is not accompanied by obedience is not faith at all. James says that there is no life, it is dead.

The problem many have with this statement in James stems from misunderstanding the word, works. Martin Luther, coming from a ‘works for salvation’ background was so thrown by the word that he concluded the book of James did not even belong in the Canon of scripture. Many have been confused about this ever since.

After all, are we not told in Ephesians that we are saved by grace and “not by works”?  So, are works important or aren’t they?

The answer is simple when we understand that the writer of the Ephesians and James are talking about two different kinds of works, or more accurately, works which stem from two different motivations within us.

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Light In The Darkness: March 20, 2013

by Pastor David Grey

“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit — fruit that will last.” — John 15:16

I was looking through the Gurney’s spring catalog the other day, practically drooling over the pictures of luscious raspberries and other fruits.

Then I thought of my own raspberry plot and the comparatively pitiful fruit it produces.

The difference between those I see in the Gurney’s catalog and those produced in my own raspberry bed can be summed up in one word, care.

Luscious fruit is produced when great care and attention is given to the plants needs. My raspberry bed does not produce because I simply do not do what I know I ought to do to produce a good crop.

I do the right things with our apple trees and each year harvest bushels of wonderful apples. But my raspberries suffer from neglect.

Jesus said that it is similar to this in our Christian lives. Many suffer from sheer neglect.

Just as every fruit-bearing plant was created to bear fruit, God says that we too have we been chosen to bear fruit.

It is the purpose for which we have been called into the Kingdom. As with any plant, the fruit we produce depends in large part upon the care given. We must be careful to feed upon those things the spirit life within us needs in order to grow and flourish.

The Word of God, prayer and meditation upon the good things of God feed that life. They strengthen it and cause it to grow and produce the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5).

But there is another important consideration, as well. Not only must we feed our Spiritual life what it needs, but we must get rid of those things that compete with that life for sustenance.

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Light in the Darkness: March 13, 2013

by Pastor David Grey

Speaking of many of the great men and women of faith who have passed, the writer to the Hebrews said, “All these people died still believing what God had promised them. They did not receive what was promised, but they saw it all from a distance and welcomed it. They agreed that they were foreigners and nomads here on earth.  Obviously people who say such things are looking forward to a country they can call their own.  If they had longed for the country they came from, they could have gone back.  But they were looking for a better place, a heavenly homeland. That is why God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.”  — Hebrews 11:13-16

This passage refers to those who had turned from the world and its illicit pleasures in favor of a life of faithful obedience to the Lord. They followed the same path Moses did, who “chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time”, (v. 25).

This speaks to us, today, for it is both the same and only path for those who want to know that “God is not ashamed to be called their God.”

Those who choose this path do not long for the “country they came from.” They do not long for the old life and its ways. They may experience its tug from time to time, but they know that such desire comes from the flesh which is weak and is constantly at war with the Spirit (Galatians 5:17).

They understand that that old way of life is a way that leads only to destruction and death and so they resist such temptation in the Spirit.

It says clearly that if they had longed for it, they “could have gone back.” God does not remove our ability to make choices even after we set out hearts to obey Him. He never does that.

How are you doing, dear Christian? Are you faithfully and confidently looking forward to dwelling in that city which has been designed and built on eternal foundations by God Himself?

If so, you know the joy and sense of security that comes from a faithful relationship. You have the assurance that this city is being prepared for you and you have your eye set steadfastly upon it.

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Light In The Darkness: March 6, 2013

by Pastor David Grey

“It was by faith that Noah built a large boat to save his family from the flood. He obeyed God, who warned him about things that had never happened before. By his faith Noah condemned the rest of the world, and he received the righteousness that comes by faith.” — Hebrews 11:7

Noah believed God when he was told of things that had never happened before and then did everything exactly as God instructed him. He chose to trust God rather than his experience.

He believed God even though it could not be confirmed by anything that he could see around him. He did not permit his own reason or intellect to trump what God had said. He simply believed and obeyed.

As a result, he, “received the righteousness that comes by faith.” Noah is an example of how any of us are declared righteous by God today. It is never by the works that we do. Though it may seem a fine line, Noah was not  declared righteous because he built the ark.

He was declared righteous because he believed God had said to him and building the ark was simply the natural expression of that belief.

Noah is an example of what James tells us in the New Testament when he says that faith and works cannot be separated.

Had Noah claimed to believe God but gone about his normal life without ever building an ark, he would have shown that he did not truly believe.

It is the same for us today.  True faith is demonstrated by the way we live. The one who has faith will “walk as Jesus did.” (1 John 2:6).

Our obedience to what we hear from heaven proves that we truly believe and is the faith that leads to God’s declaring us righteousness.

“We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. The man who says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him.”  (I John 2:2-4).

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Light In The Darkness: February 27, 2013

by Pastor David Grey

“But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who suppress the truth by their wickedness.  They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them.  For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.  Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks… as a result, their minds became dark and confused.” — Hebrews 11

This passage helps us understand what is taking place in our nation today, a perspective many miss completely. There are only two responses a man may have to God.

The first is to acknowledge that He is God and to worship Him with thanksgiving. Hebrews 11:1 calls this “faith.” The second response, described in the passage above, is to reject God and all that He has revealed.

This response results in the mind becoming dark and confused.  Having chosen not to embrace the light there is only darkness left.

Not everyone on this path of darkness is at the same place as everyone else on that path, but they are all walking in darkness, headed in the same direction, away from the light.

Knowing this helps us understand what is transpiring in America today.

The policies and ideas that we today call “conservative” had their roots in the Biblical positions adopted by our Founding Father.

They are the remnant which has survived the onslaught of an increasingly godless populous. People of faith (those in the light) understand these conservative remnants from the same perspective of our faith-filled forefathers who originally adopted them.

However, those whose minds are darkened and confused look at the same conservative principles and see them from an entirely different perspective.

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Light In The Darkness: February 13, 2013

by Pastor David Grey

“Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law.” — Romans 13:8

I don’t usually use so many quotes in my weekly column, but this week there are a couple that explain this debt we owe so well.

Charles Spurgeon, in his devotional for Feb. 3, wrote,  “As God’s creatures, we are all debtors to Him: to obey Him with all our body, and soul, and strength. (However) having broken His commandments, as we all have, we are debtors to His justice, and we owe to Him a vast amount which we are not able to pay. But of the Christian it can be said that he does not owe God’s justice anything, for Christ has paid the debt His people owed; for this reason the believer owes the more to love.

“I am a debtor to God’s grace and forgiving mercy; but I am no debtor to His justice, for He will never accuse me of a debt already paid. Christ said, “It is finished!” and by that He meant, that whatever His people owed was wiped away forever from the book of remembrance. Christ, to the uttermost, has satisfied divine justice; the account is settled; the handwriting is nailed to the cross; the receipt is given, and we are debtors to God’s justice no longer. But then, because we are not debtors to our Lord in that sense, we become ten times more debtors to God than we should have been otherwise.”

The debt is, of course, not only to love God for what He did, but to love my neighbor as myself. These are what Jesus called the two greatest commandments which He said are of equal importance. (Matt 22:39, NLT).

To read the rest of the column, pick up a copy of The Valley News or subscribe today by calling 598-6397