Introduction to "Considering Issues" (in the light of Jesus)
Updated: Jan 14, 2022
“For [Lord,] with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light” (Psalm 36:9).
There is a saying in Spanish, “Cada cabesa es un mundo,” which translates literally, “Each head is a world”; it essentially means each person is unique. Singular in understanding and outlook, talents and skills, experiences and ways of dealing with life, and more.
Most people are familiar with the image, “The Young Woman, Old Woman,” drawn by William Hill, a British cartoonist (above, right). It was based on an earlier figure created by an anonymous German illustrator that was entitled, “My Wife and My Mother-in-Law” (above, left) * This image was meant to show how a person’s perspective really does color — even sepia or black and white — what one sees in life.
This blog is not only an exploration into some current issues and questions which arise from them, but also a look at ways people view them depending on the light source or perspective they choose.
The sunflower keeps its face toward the sun all day long.
What is the light that you and I follow?
What about Jesus’ claim to be the light of the world (John 8:12) and the only way to God the Father for all humankind (John 14:6)?
How do you or I process the issues of our times? Who or what most influences how each of us views things and even what each of us sees?
What does Jesus' light expose?
So much of what we call life goes on in our minds, emotions, and spirit — within our souls. That is where our part in relationships first begins, continues, or ends. That is where attitudes and character are formed. It is where most real battles begin and are fought and won — or lost. It is the seat of the human consciousness and of the sense of what is good or evil. It is the root of personality. It is the source of all that comes out of us into other people’s lives — into the world.
This is why wise King Solomon said: “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it” (Prov. 4:23, ESV).
Jesus taught, “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness! (Matt. 6:22-23, NIV).
He also warned:
“No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers. A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.
“Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like. They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete” (Luke 6:43-49, NIV).
It is in the unseen realm of one’s mind and heart where God (through His Spirit and Angels), and other unseen entities (spirits or angels that are not from God), as well as humans (individuals and groups or organizations) have their sometimes very powerful sway. Their influence for good or evil is played out in this world by each of us depending on what you or I individually allow or chose can remain to work on us in this inner world.
I contribute toward the good or evil in the world based on what I keep or nurture in my heart. The things I have allowed or disallowed, the choices I have made about what goes on in my inner life have certainly affected my own life and the lives of others both for good and for evil. This is true of everyone else I know too.
It’s important to have a True Light shining on and in one’s heart.
Devout Christians past and present have concurred that what a person believes about God — the way one sees God — determines how that person sees everything else, including themselves. And that true identity and an authentic life can only flow from coming to see one’s self and others, more in line with God and how He sees us.
As a note before I go on, I need to qualify that when I say, “God,” I don’t mean the false images of God that I or others may have inherited or that others have tried to impose on me.
I don’t mean the false images that have I tried to impose on others before realizing they were not true.
I also don’t mean the false images of God people might have attributed to me that I don’t in fact hold or that I don’t hold anymore.
I don’t mean the ideas of God held by any single human being alone — except Jesus Christ.
Nor do I mean a collective image from any group or organization unless their image essentially accords with the combined Bible witness of Jesus Christ — a unique witness, which I am fully convinced was inspired by God’s Spirit.
I do mean God as He exists independent of every human, and yet Who is also somehow reflected, in part, in every human being — except Jesus Christ, in whom God was and is reflected wholly, and not only in part.
I do mean the God who is revealed in the united witness of the Old and New Testament (the Bible) and personified—represented perfectly—in human form by Jesus Christ alone.
Through this blog, I would like to explore how Jesus might/would approach the current issues of our day and some of the questions that they raise. What does the light of His life and teachings expose about each of us, about our collective culture, about human nature? What does Jesus teach us about God? And about each one of us in relation to God and to other people?
On this theme, I am inviting you with me, and it is my prayer that you and I would “…walk in the light of the Lord.” (Isaiah 2:5, NIV). Also,
“Let the one who walks in the dark,
who has no light,
trust in the name of the Lord
and rely on their God.
all you who light fires
and provide yourselves with flaming torches [your own human lights],
go, walk in the light of your fires
and of the torches you have set ablaze.
This is what you shall receive from [God’s] hand:
You will lie down in torment [the consequences of your choices]”
And I with John, one of Jesus’ chosen messengers (apostles), declare:
This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
“If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us” (1 John 1:5-10).
With me, do “not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. [So] Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:2, NIV).
May it be said by you and I in Spirit and in truth, “The Lord is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1).