Monday Reverb – 08May2023


We’re now in the fifth week of the Easter season.

Our theme this week is entering into the wonderful light of God.

The selected passages are Psalm 31:1-5,15-16;  John 14:1-14;  Acts 7:55-60; 1 Peter 2:2-10    




Our theme for this week is entering into the wonderful light of God

What does that mean to you? 

  • When does one enter the light of God? 
  • How does one enter?  

What do the following passages tell us about  entering into the wonderful light of God.


Psalm 31:1-5, 15-16   

A Psalm of David.

In You, O Lord, I put my trust; Let me never be ashamed; Deliver me in Your righteousness.  Bow down Your ear to me, Deliver me speedily; Be my rock of refuge, A fortress of defense to save me.  

For You are my rock and my fortress;  Therefore, for Your name’s sake, Lead me and guide me.    Pull me out of the net which they have secretly laid for me, For You are my strength.   
5 Into Your hand I commit my spirit; You have redeemed me, O Lord God of truth. 

15 My times are in Your hand;  Deliver me from the hand of my enemies, And from those who persecute me.  16 Make Your face shine upon Your servantSave me for Your mercies’ sake. 

      • In Psalm 31, King David commits his spirit to God, and, knowing it is safe in the divine hands, professes the unfailing love of God.


John 14:1-6,7-11,12-14
        • In John 14 we witness Jesus reassuring Thomas that he already knows the way into the Father’s housethrough Jesus, the Way, the Truth and the Life.

Acts 7:55-60  
      • Stephen has a vision of Jesus at the right hand of God at the end of Acts 7, and even as he is stoned to death, he commits his spirit into Jesus’ hands and asks God to forgive his murderers.

1 Peter 2:2-10


      • In our sermon passage for today we are told that the only stumbling block on the path to faith is Jesus himself – and Peter reassures us that, by the Holy Spirit, we have not stumbled, but rather we have left the darkness and entered into God’s wonderful light.



  • Title:  Describing the Indescribable
  • Text:  Acts 7:56
  • Presenter:  Greg Williams, GCI President

From the transcript:

Luke shares with us Stephen’s final impassioned message. It’s filled with relevant references and helpful comparisons for his listeners and concludes with a convicting call for accountability. The response of those who heard Stephen’s skilled oratory was one of anger, rage, and violence. At this point it might seem like the story of Stephen was included as a cautionary tale about a man who chose poorly his moment to become confrontational and inflammatory.

But this is no cautionary tale, Luke makes this clear when he begins and ends the account of Stephen by stressing that Stephen was Spirit-led.  This is a story of encouragement, meant to remind us of how to share the Gospel both powerfully and graciously.

Before he was dragged out of the city to be stoned, Stephen described his vision of Christ’s glory:

Look … I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.  Acts 7:56

This was neither eloquent nor deep in theological exposition – this was a simple declaration of the Gospel so powerful that those present gnashed their teeth and blocked their ears!

Stephen was not the problem; the problem was who he was talking about – Jesus.

In the midst of being stoned to death, Stephen shows his godly love for his assailants by asking God to forgive them – imitating Jesus to the very end.

People will oppose us when we preach Jesus. Nevertheless, let’s be like Stephen, Spirit-led even unto death.




The Only Barrier

1 Peter 2:2-10 (NIV)

In The Far Side, the cartoonist Gary Larson pictures a pair of trappers trying to catch a frog in the middle of the night.  One trapper shines a light into the eyes of the frog saying to his companion “See Frank?  Keep the light in their eyes and you can bag them without any trouble at all.”  Meanwhile Frank is standing next to him staring straight up into the light coming down from what you’d assume is a UFO above him.  The comic humorously highlights the power that light has in the midst of darkness.

In our sermon passage today, Peter recalls to his readers how we too have been caught staring into a light we could not escape from.  But unlike Frank or the frog, we have been caught by something good – we have been brought out of the darkness and into the wonderful light of God.  And we remain in his light, not because we’re paralyzed or blinded, but because we have tasted the goodness of God.

Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.

As you come to him, the living Stone — rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him — you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 2:2-5 NIV)

Craving the Goodness of God

Much has been made over the years as what counts as pure spiritual milk; lists of spiritual disciplines have been created with in depth analyses of which ones count as milk versus which ones are more …  meaty.  Is theological discourse pure spiritual milk?  Are Bible studies?  What about spiritual retreats?  Any such conversation misses the point Peter is trying to convey; we have taken a simple analogy and ran beyond sight of its original context.

Peter here is speaking in the context of the believer’s new life in Christ.  Babes crave milk because it’s what they need for growth, and Peter is telling us that as Christians, we should crave what we need for our spiritual growth.  What that looks like is dependent upon our own spiritual needs in any given moment, but in every case the answer will be whatever draws us deeper into a relationship with God.  Peter is asking us to remember that we ought to be craving a deeper spiritual life, and if we’re not, that’s a warning sign that our spiritual diet might be lacking.

We know that a life in tune with God is a good thing, and so we can use that truth as a North Star for our spiritual lives.  If we do find ourselves craving things that are not healthy for us, we can remind ourselves of the goodness of God, and the memory will draw us back to healthier spiritual cravings.  

Peter continues by telling us that we are being transformed into a spiritual house for the Lord.  Here our attention is drawn to what happens when a healthy group of believers pursue the goodness of the Lord.  When we indulge our spiritual cravings as a community we are built into a spiritual house in service to God.  By being in tune with the Lord, and acting on our spiritual cravings while in community, we will find ourselves fulfilling our spiritual purpose to praise and worship God as was always intended!

Our takeaway from this passage is simple, when you feel the urge to further your spiritual life with God, do not put it off – instead seek the means to fulfill your Spirit-led cravings for time with God.  We do this because of that first taste of God’s goodness, a sign to us that God has prepared great things for us – as Peter explains in the next verses …

For in Scripture it says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.”

Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe, “The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone,” and, “A stone that causes people to stumble and a rock that makes them fall.”

They stumble because they disobey the message — which is also what they were destined for. But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.  Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.”” (1 Peter 2:6-10 NIV)

The Blinding Light of Christ

To explain why we can have confidence in the incredible work of transformation Jesus is performing in us, Peter draws from Isaiah and the Psalms to contrast the reactions of those who crave God’s spiritual life vs. the reaction of those who reject that craving.   It is the response to Jesus that distinguishes the two groups.  One views him as precious and beautiful, while the other rejects him as not fit for purpose – Jesus becomes a stumbling block for them.

This idea that Jesus is a stumbling block to those who do not believe is a core part of the worldview that Peter is calling on believers to adopt.  It places Jesus firmly at the centre of our understanding of the world, a place he must remain in for us to be able to praise God effectively as we ought.

Christians who engage in apologetics must heed this passage to avoid getting lost in the weeds when offering the reason for our faith.  Jesus is the stumbling block over which those who do not believe must stumble to reject the love and light of God.  There is no sin, no lifestyle and no worldview that can lead someone to reject the Gospel – rejection of the Gospel requires a rejection of Jesus.  He should be the only stumbling block on the road to faith.  Everything else is a red herring – a distraction used to avoid looking into the light for fear of what it might reveal.

We know that the light of God is a wonderful thing, but that is because we have tasted the goodness of God.  Those who reject the gospel without having had that taste are like toddlers refusing to even try something, despite their parents assuring them it’s delicious!

For those rejecting Jesus, his light in the darkness is like the shock of a light switched on in the depth of the night.  Most of us have experienced that discomfort.  The light is at once overwhelming and painful.  The very thing that lets us see – light – for a brief period takes our sight away as we lose our night vision and our irises contract to filter out the excess light.  To reject Christ is to experience his startling light and shut tight our eyes, refusing to open them again.

A People Defined by Mercy

So then, if Jesus is the chief (and only) stumbling block, what does this mean for those who did not stumble but instead accepted the gracious goodness of God that we have been given?

Peter tells us that we have been called out of the darkness and into the wonderful light of God.  In his light we are no longer at risk of stumbling, and we are no longer alone.  Instead, we are now part of a group of people defined by God’s mercy and grace.

Peter has been sharing with us the consequences of being a child of God.

  • First, we will begin to crave  the good spiritual life  God has prepared for us.
  • And then as we draw closer to God, we will be built into  the community of royal priests in service to God, praising and worshiping him as we were always intended to do.

But if we fear that we are not up to such an esteemed task, he has good news for us. The fact that we have been able to accept Christ rather than stumble over him is enough to be sure that we have become part of God’s chosen and precious people.  

This passage is one of great encouragement, it is a declaration of the new life God has created for us in JesusA life of worship and praise, a life in community where we fulfil our created purpose.

We have looked into the blinding light of Jesus Christ and come away knowing that he is good.

Now that we are out of the darkness and in his wonderful light, let us enjoy the incredible new life we have been given.





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