the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.” (Matthew 4:16)
This whole world lives under the shadow of death, but Jesus is calling each one of us to step out and embrace Him, the light that appeared like the dawn.
Dawn is the beginning of a new day. And Jesus promises that we will become new when we believe and put our faith in Him. “You believe in God; believe also in me” (John 14:1). Jesus, the Son of God who came down from the Father of all lights to give life, eternal, everlasting life to all who will believe, pick up their cross and follow Him.
“Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me” (Matthew 16:24 NLT).
What does pick up your cross mean? I prayed about understanding a while back. Jesus came to the cross sinless. We are to take up this same cross, be dead to sin’s ways, leave our old, sinful lives behind and follow His. Sin must no longer reign over us. Jesus is to take this role and place. Freedom is in Jesus, who defeated the powers of death and everything associated with sin – the devil, trickery, obstinance. Obstinance is a characteristic of being impossibly stubborn. We will walk on the other victory side of the cross with Jesus – risen and glorified – that power can be ours today if we believe and have faith in Him.
How do we have faith? Believe that His Words spoken are truth and put them in action. Don’t be like a blind person who hears but then walks away because they can’t see.
The words in the photo Jesus spoke to me on a day when I was discouraged. He reminded me He is the power of life, light, and the way I should follow – not looking to myself, but to the light that appeared out of the darkness like the dawn. Every day is a new day with Jesus when we trust Him and put our hope in His promises. Both will never fail. God says it’s His Word that will endure forever, and Jesus is alive forever-more! What better hope to put our trust! – Show the world that you’ve stepped out from that blanket of darkness and death and received life and the love of God through Christ. I hope that’s encouragement!