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September 12, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.”—1 Timothy 1:5 (ESV)
My summers in high school were spent working for my dad, who owns a pest control company. Every day I would get to put on my uniform, grab my flashlight, and crawl under a stranger’s house. As I crawled, I would shine my flashlight around looking for anything creeping or crawling. Whenever I would come across something—a cockroach, spider, etc.—the first thing the bug would do is try to get out of the light. It was a mad dash in any direction except the light. They loved the darkness and wanted to stay there.
In a similar way, when Jesus’ love for us intersects with the darkest parts of our heart, our initial reaction is to run and hide. We want the dark places to stay dark! But Jesus’ mission is to expose the darkness in us, because in Him—the “light of the world” (John 8:12 NKJV)—John tells us that there “is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5 NKJV). Jesus’ mission is to eradicate the darkness in us, but we have to be willing to let Him in.
Do you know how Jesus often exposes the dark areas of our life? More often than not, it is through other people. This is why in today’s verse Paul says, “the aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart.” He has written to Timothy that there are some issues with the church in Ephesus, and because he loves and cares for them, he is going to address these issues. They didn’t see what they were doing as wrong and someone needed to step in and address it, but it had to be done with a pure heart and the love of Christ.
Each of us has things in our lives—dark places—that we are not proud of. Some of them we are aware of, but some of them are blind spots. We have to be willing and vulnerable enough to let other people into our lives to help point these out—expose them to the love of Christ—so He can have all of us. Each of us needs a few honest, godly, trustworthy people that can see us for who we truly are. If we’re not willing to allow others to speak into our life, we are not allowing Christ to fulfill His mission in our life.
DIG: What are the dark places in your life that you don’t like people to point out?
DISCOVER: Who in your life knows about your dark places and is willing to speak into those areas?
DISPLAY: If you do not have anyone, pray and look for godly, honest, trustworthy people to confide in.