Saturday, Dec. 8 – Matt Walters

8 Dec

Saturday, Dec. 8 – PEACE

Today’s Scripture:
Psalm 1:1-6
Ephesians 5:6-14

When Lindsay and I moved back to Boiling Springs two years ago, I went to my first ever Monday night Guy’s Time. I was amazed not only by the openness and vulnerability I saw among the saints there, but also by how far away from them I felt spiritually. The previous two years had been the most tumultuous of my life, a roller-coaster ride of valleys and mountaintops, and to be honest, I could barely remember what it was like to truly know Jesus.

When I finally worked up the courage to speak, I told the guys the only thing I could think to say: “I’ve been sleepwalking. For too long, I feel like I’ve been asleep.” And while the guys prayed over me, I felt the Holy Spirit call a verse to mind that I hadn’t read since college: “Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”

I can’t say this any more candidly: I know what it means to have been a slave to darkness. I confess that openly. I’ve lived the double life, playing at righteousness on the outside while nursing an addiction to death in secret. I sometimes still feel the twinge of guilt and shame that Paul describes in verse 12–a stubborn remnant from my life among the accused. There’s a reason why my students’ favorite text this semester was Jekyll and Hyde–I teach it with conviction.

But thanks be to God, I now know even more what it means to have been united with Christ in his death, and so to be united with him in his resurrection! (Rom. 6:5) I know in my soul that there is no longer any condemnation for those in Christ Jesus (Rom. 8). I know the awesome, transformational power of confession, prayer, and friendship. I know what it means to wake up and step from the darkness into the light.

See, we weren’t intended to be sleepwalkers, and we certainly weren’t created for a life of brokenness and regret. Bound as we were to sin, God intervened in our brokenness that first Christmas night. Christ came, lived among us, exhibited the fruits of light, paid our debt with his blood on the cross, and proved His power to resurrect even the dead! I am living proof that if we let Him, God will work a ministry of reconciliation in our lives, bringing us peace with ourselves, peace with others, and most important, peace with Him.

Best of all, we now have the chance  to be agents of reconciliation–ambassadors of the Kingdom of Light–to those who may otherwise never know the joy that comes in the morning. After all, Paul explains in the first chapter of Ephesians that our adoption was part of God’s greater purpose:

“For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his children through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will–to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment–to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ” (Eph. 1:4-10)

May it be so! May we accept the gift of grace and forgiveness. May we “make the most of every opportunity” (Eph. 5:16). May we die to the darkness and choose to live as children of Light! O come, O come Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel!

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One Response to “Saturday, Dec. 8 – Matt Walters”

  1. Jane Woods December 8, 2012 at 11:12 am #

    O Matt, this is powerful! Thank you!

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