Day by Day by Grace
by Pastor Bob Hoekstra
Sunday, May 19th
The Miracle of Our Ministry
For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (2 Corinthians 4:6)
As new covenant servants, we proclaim "the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ" (2 Corinthians 4:4). While holding forth this magnificent message, we earnestly pray that God will prepare darkened hearts to embrace the redeeming light of His grace. Each person who responds will experience a miracle more distinct than when light first shined into the darkness of creation.
On the first day of creation, the earth was in darkness. "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep" (Genesis 1:1-2). The Lord spoke light into existence in that darkness. "Then God said, 'Let there be light;' and there was light'" (Genesis 1:3). By the word of His mouth, He caused light to shine where there had been none. What a majestic miracle!
When Jesus came to this world, light was penetrating darkness. "The people who sat in darkness saw a great light, and upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death light has dawned" (Matthew 4:16). When the light of the gospel of grace is proclaimed, it is shining upon spiritually darkened hearts. "Although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened" (Romans 1:21). When darkened hearts respond to that light, they are given new life. "I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life" (John 8:12).
This is what has happened to those of us who follow Christ. The God of creation, who spoke forth physical light into physical darkness, has spoken forth spiritual light into our spiritual darkness. "For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness who has shone in our hearts." This light that was shining through the gospel. This good news of God's grace painted a portrait of the Lord Jesus Christ. In that portrait of words, we saw the glory of God and His great salvation. We saw by faith "the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." Now, we are called to proclaim this gospel of grace that others also may come out of darkness into His splendid light. "You are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light" (1 Peter 2:9).
Dear Lord of light, I praise You for bringing me out of darkness into Your gracious light. Grant me grace to proclaim Your excellencies. Shine Your light into the hearts I hope to reach. Grant them the miracle of new birth, in Jesus name, Amen.