Minister’s Message: Be a light in the midst of darkness

Our world is very dark for our children now

Every other year in June, our church hosts a boy’s and dad’s ministry on the Kenai Peninsula. We schedule their trip, so that these boys and dads arrive at the height of the red salmon season. They also trout fish, canoe, camp and view wildlife in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge.

Last week, I was in Ohio as the speaker for a three-day Christian retreat for these boys and their dads. What a blessing it was to see dedicated dads focusing and supporting their children in Christian growth through this outdoor ministry called “Skywatchers.” In anticipation of going, I was concerned that my messages during the three-day retreat would be meaningful to them. Some things I discussed with the dads were today’s dangers to youth. In the last few months the leading cause of death to young people 10-24 years old has changed from suicide, to gun violence, to fentanyl. The world has turned into a deadly place for our children. Our children need to choose God’s protection and love. They need to be in the world, but not of this world.

The Bible continually refers to being in darkness or light. Our world is very dark for our children now. So many today are so distant from the Word of God that they do not even see darkness where it exists. In John 8:12, the Bible tells us:

“12 Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; the one who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.”

I related to the boys and dads that Christ came as the light of the world. Jesus told us to “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added.” Matt. 6:33.

The apostle Paul wrote: “17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” 2 Cor. 5:17. This is means we have a new life and become different. The apostle Paul described it as intentionally putting on the new man or the new self in Colossians 3. In Colossians 4, Paul tells us to put on a new speech! The way we talk changes! Imagine! In Christ our speech changes to be gracious but seasoned. That is because the fruit of the Spirit is shining through in our everyday lives.

Galatians 5:22-23 tells us how living in the Spirit of God changes us:

“22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”

Isn’t a person with the fruit of the Spirit the kind of person you would like to be? Doesn’t the fruit of the Spirit describe the kind of friend, spouse or child you would like to have? Let’s train up our children in the light of the Lord.

Dr. Roger Holl is Pastor at Sterling Grace Community Church. The church meets Sundays at 10:30 a.m. at the Sterling Senior Center. All ages are welcome. A Bible Study is held Wednesdays at 1 p.m. at the Sterling Senior Center.

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