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God is Light (10) Your Righteousness as the Light, and Your Judgment as the Noonday
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쏞ommit your way to the LORD, trust also in Him, and He will do it. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light and your judgment as the noonday. (Psalm 37:5-6) ...
       
 
  
 

God is Light (7) The Fruit of the Light

Manmin News   No. 718
226
May 22, 2022


쏤or you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth(Ephesians 5:8-9).



쏧 urge you to receive reprimands with joy and thanks and thereby come to the Light. I hope that by doing so you will practice the truth, bear the fruit of the Light, and become the source of joy to God.

God, who created the heavens, the earth, and all things in them and formed man in His image, has the power to make everything beautiful.

He can turn disorder and chaos into order, give life to people on the way to death, and give peace to the place where people are in discord. That is why people come to have beautiful hearts of goodness and truth and enjoy happy and healthy lives after they meet Jesus Christ though they could not before.

As 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, 쏷herefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come, when you are in Christ, any one of you can come out of darkness and be born again as children of God who is Light. As He is Light, He wants His children to bear the fruit of the Light.

Let셲 then delve into the fruit of the Light written in Ephesians 5:9, and how we can perfectly bear the fruit.


1. The Fruit of the Light Consists in All Goodness, Righteousness, and Truth

First of all, goodness is the beautiful heart of goodness void of evil intention. It is the heart that seeks others benefits and not your own, even when you yourselves have some difficulties. With such a heart, you are able to act with goodness toward your neighbors in need, the sick, and the poor without doing harm to anyone. You can recall the grace of your parents and obey them. You may feel the love of God the Creator and obey Him. In addition, you will not behave rudely to anybody and try to abide by the law and order of the society and keep promises with others.

The heart of goodness also includes the heart that does not fret because of evildoers. It allows people to lower themselves and serve others, to keep peace in all situations and give up what they have for others. It prevents one from having greediness, and it is to resist temptation to boast or show off and to rejoice in the truth.

Next, 쁱ighteousness generally refers to the heart that is able to give up even one셲 life for something right without seeking his/her own benefit. But the righteousness in the truth is at an even more advanced level. It refers to the heart to believe God셲 promise and to obey His Word.

That is, it encompasses the casting away of sins, keeping all commandments written in the Bible, keeping oneself clean from anything unrighteous and being faithful even in being able to surrender one셲 life. Furthermore, seeking the righteousness and kingdom of God according to His will, acting decently and temperately, not forsaking the duty of men, and sticking to righteousness in any situation; such are the things belonging to the righteousness in the truth.

Lastly, the 쁳ruth can be explained in three aspects. The three are 쁭ot lying, 쁪eeping promises, and 쁥earts unchanging in any kind of situation. Many people break promises they made or do not practice what they said because the fruit of the truth has not been borne in them. But truthful people keep their promises in any kind of situation and maintain their unchanging hearts when it comes to what they decided.

Now check your deeds. You must increase your love for God and love for souls day by day. You need to evangelize people more diligently and pray harder. You should throw away every form of evil, cultivate your heart into goodness, and come into brighter and brighter light of the truth over time.

When we are unchanging and truthful in doing things of goodness and righteousness, God셲 blessing will come upon us (Galatians 6:9; Hebrews 3:14). We also need the fruit of the truth in order to bear the fruit of goodness and righteousness.


2. To Walk as Children of Light

Good people have beautiful hearts with no evil intentions and their deeds are also good. They may give money to beggars, take care of people with disabilities, and do hard work that others do not want to do. But even if they do good, if the purpose or the result does not belong to goodness, it cannot be deemed as goodness in the sight of God.

Let셲 say you helped those who steal others money or those who are lazy and prodigal, they may cause bigger problems for other people. Then, you cannot say you did good. Therefore, for your good deed to be borne as the fruit of the Light, your goodness needs to involve righteousness, that is, the righteousness of God.

In other words, you must discern what is true and right in the sight of God, and do good according to the Word of God. But still it is not perfect to have only goodness and righteousness. You need the truth. It is because without the truth, both of them turn out to be not beneficial in the end.

Suppose a TV station or a news agency conducted a fund-raising campaign to help the victims of a flood. Many people joined in the campaign, but it is well known that some celebrities or business owners gave money to gain personal reputation for themselves or that of their companies and not with the desire to help the people. In this case, people might praise the celebrities or the companies but God who looks at their inner hearts may say they lacked in truth. Then, it is not the fruit of the Light.

Therefore, to walk as children of the Light and bear the fruit of the Light, we need to do good in the sight of God. And only when we show the good deeds truthfully, that is, unchangingly until the end can it be regarded true, and then we can bear the perfect fruit of the Light.


3. Try to Learn What Is Pleasing to the Lord

Ephesians 5:10 states, 쒋쫡rying to find out what is pleasing to the Lord. This verse means we can please the Lord by bearing the fruit of the Light. And then God will fulfill our hearts desire and give us answers to our prayer just as Psalm 37:4 reads saying, 쏡elight yourself in the LORD; and He will give you the desires of your heart. We will also then be able to live a blessed life that lacks nothing.

Cornelius, who appears in Acts 10, bore the fruit of goodness and mercy by helping many poor people. He had the fruit of goodness in his heart. Although he was not a Jew but a Gentile, when he heard about God, he revered God together with all his family. This was seen as the fruit of righteousness. Moreover, he was unchanging in helping the poor and praying until his heart reached God, which was the fruit of the truth he had borne.

Since he had borne such beautiful fruit of the Light in his heart, God took delight in him and allowed him the amazing blessing of being the first Gentile to receive baptism from Apostle Peter and reach salvation.

The life of Abraham the father of faith was full of the fruit of the Light itself. He gave a better land to his nephew Lot pursuing peace and unwittingly served angels because he always served other people. He did not take even a thread or sandal thong or anything that was not his. He had such a good and clean heart.

In addition to such goodness, he also pleased God with his righteous deeds. When God told him to 쁤o forth from his country, from his relatives, and from his father셲 house to the land which He would show him as recorded in Genesis 12:1, he obeyed and left even though he did not know where to go because he completely believed God. He believed the Word of God so completely he left without the slightest doubt though it seemed impossible in reality. Though he and his wife were already too old to have a baby, he believed God when He showed him the countless stars in the sky and said that his descendants would be as many as the stars.

God reckoned it to him as righteousness (Genesis 15:5-6). It was what was unbelievable in human thought, but since it was the Word of God, Abraham believed it. It was true faith. And believing the Word of God without looking at the reality was viewed as righteousness in the sight of God.

His faith and deeds towards God never changed nor swayed in any kind of situation, which was an attribute of the truth. When he was told to offer up his only son who he had gained at the age of 100 as a burnt offering, he did not have grudge against God and did not even hesitate. He just obeyed as written in Genesis 22. When he stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son, the angel of the LORD called to him from heaven and said, 쏡o not stretch out your hand against the lad, and do nothing to him; for now I know that you fear God. Abraham had not known that God prepared a ram for the burnt offering instead of his son Isaac. This incident shows how truthful his heart was.

Since Abraham had such fruit of goodness, righteousness, and truth abundantly in his heart, God set him as the father of faith and recognized him as the friend of God.

God also walked with him everywhere he went and blessed him in everything he did so that he lacked nothing. As in his case, when we walk in the Light perfectly, we can bear the fruit of the Light and be followed by the evidence that God is pleased with us in our lives.


4. To Bear the Fruit of the Light, the Unfruitful Deeds of Darkness Must Be Exposed

Ephesians 5:11-13 says, 쏡o not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret. But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light.

Here, 쁢xposing the unfruitful deeds of darkness means reprimanding for wrongdoings. But the ultimate purpose of it should be in having people come into the Light through the reprimand. In order to bear the fruit of the Light, we should find darkness in our hearts first through reprimands. And then by casting it away, we can come to the Light.

God reprimanded David for his transgression and gave him trials to perfect him. In the same manner, we should decisively rebuke our beloved ones when they did something against the truth and guide them to walk in the Light. It is true love.

Therefore, if you want to come to the Light, you must not hate to be rebuked. You must give thanks and rejoice when you are rebuked, and you must quickly turn back from your wrongdoings and come to the Light.

But we need to be careful when we rebuke others. We must rebuke in the Lord. It is because the result can be different depending on our hearts when we rebuke other people. If we reprimand someone with ill feelings, it cannot result in the fruit of the Light. It may just hurt his feelings, give him a hard time and make things even worse. Moreover, the enemy devil and Satan may work, leading to strife and fighting. Having ill feeling itself is not right in the sight of God, so this kind of reprimand brings about no benefit at all.

Thus, when we need to reprimand someone, we must do it from our love for him and a serving heart to help him throw away the sin and come to the Light even through the reprimand.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, true love is not simply about covering others transgressions. Sometimes we need to expose them so that they can correct their wrongdoings and perfect themselves. It is true love and perfect love.

I pray in the name of the Lord that you will become the source of joy to God by receiving reprimands with joy and thanks, coming to the Light, living only by the Word and bearing the fruit of the Light.


 

 

 
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