Sermon on the Mount: Dark Eyes, Black Heart

22“The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. 23But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!” ~Matthew 6

Whatever

My eyes see

I desire it

All for me

And I reach out

To take hold of what I want

But there’s nothing there

There never was

.

Empty is life

Without the LORD

And blind are my eyes

Without Your Word

I battle always between

Flesh and Your Spirit

Take hold of me, LORD

Take hold of me

Today

.

I think on the wickedness

Of the world

And I wish that they would

Wash their hands

But murder and deceit

They aren’t muddying my skin

They come from my heart

Right now

They come from the world’s

Heart

What do we desire?

Is it good or bad?

Which is stronger?

Conscience or what you have?

No one’s looking

No one will ever know

But the LORD

He is watching

Fused to my soul

.

Empty is life

Without the LORD

And blind are my eyes

Without Your Word

I battle always between

Flesh and Your Spirit

Take hold of me, LORD

Take hold of me

Today

.

It’s dark in here!

I’m shivering!

It’s dark in here!

And I can’t get free

It’s dark in here!

With my heart

All alone.

God shine Your light

Inside of me

Let me see and desire You

My LORD

My God

Teach me Your Laws

My Light

My King

Today

~

“16So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. 18But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

19The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” ~Galatians 5

“Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain.” ~Psalm 119:36

“17You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.” ~Revelation 3

‘20He went on: “What comes out of a person is what defiles them. 21For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, 22adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. 23All these evils come from inside and defile a person.”’ ~Mark 7

“20Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter. 21Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight. 22Woe to those who are heroes at drinking wine and champions at mixing drinks, 3who acquit the guilty for a bribe, but deny justice to the innocent. 24Therefore, as tongues of fire lick up straw and as dry grass sinks down in the flames, so their roots will decay and their flowers blow away like dust; for they have rejected the law of the Lord Almighty and spurned the word of the Holy One of Israel. 25Therefore the Lord’s anger burns against his people; his hand is raised and he strikes them down. The mountains shake, and the dead bodies are like refuse in the streets.” ~Isaiah 5

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Holy God: My Light

Be Light
In the dark place
Be Light
Don’t walk in darkness
Be Light
Though in myself I cannot
Be Light
Not at all

If I be not Light
Am I His?
Him who is Light
Through and through?
If I be not Light
Am I forgiven now?
For He is Light
He cannot abide darkness

I hope in the Light
Of my Savior
He is my Light
He is my salvation
I have His Light
I do not fear the darkness
Oh LORD be my Light
Save me from the darkness

Oh the Holiness of Light
Be Holy as He is Holy

~

“5This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. 7But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
8If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.” ~1 John 1

“1The Lord is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?

2When the wicked advance against me
to devour me,
it is my enemies and my foes
who will stumble and fall.
3Though an army besiege me,
my heart will not fear;
though war break out against me,
even then I will be confident.” ~Psalm 27

My Inspiration: Revelation 3:20

I opened my eyes, blinking in confusion. How long had I been sleeping? I wondered. It felt like it’d been– forever.

My eyes wandered around the room, but there really wasn’t much to see. In fact there was almost nothing to see. The room was pitch black, a blackness that only seemed to get thicker the more I tried to peer through it. But there was one exception. Small streams of light were poking through the cracks in a door at the far end of the room.

Funny, I didn’t remember a door being there before. I didn’t remember really much of anything before I’d fallen asleep– only my room that continued to grow darker and darker. I’d fallen asleep to dream of more darkness, and really I hadn’t expected to wake up again. If I’d ever really been awake ever in my life, that is.

Speaking of which, what had woken me now? Nothing here would have made a noise that I could tell. It hadn’t for the longest time. So what had changed?

The door, I thought.

Just then I heard it, and I jumped, startled. It was a knocking at the door. For some reason I felt fear fill me. Who could that be? What did they want? Whoever they were, they were where the light was coming from, and I didn’t really want my room or myself to get exposed by it. But still the person knocked. It wasn’t a hard, angry knock. Nor was it a timid knock. It was the knocking you’d expect a friend to make who knew you were inside and wanted to be there for you, comfort you, talk to you.

But I had no friends. Who could it possibly be? I considered just falling back asleep, but curiosity was soon overcoming my complacency and my fears. Perhaps I would just open the door a crack, see who it was, and then just ask them to go away. Besides, my room wasn’t really in any state to be entertaining guests.

I stood up, moved my foot, and instantly tripped over something. I crashed to the floor, getting a mouthful of dust. I coughed and spluttered, my arms and legs stinging from making contact with objects on the floor. I really had been sleeping a long time. I had no idea what was in my room anymore and there had to be piles of dust everywhere. I wasn’t going to get to the door without bringing danger to myself. I should just try to return to bed. It was safer there.

“Do not give up, Violet.”

I started. The voice had come from the door– a gentle, beautiful voice. And somehow he knew what I’d been thinking. “How do you know me?” I asked.

“I was there at the beginning,” he said simply. “Please, come to the door.”

“But I’ll get hurt,” I said.

“I will guide your feet. First, stand up.”

How is he going to guide my feet? I can’t see anything and he isn’t even in here, I thought. But I decided to try. I had a growing desire to see this man. I stood up.

“Good. Now, turn left and take three steps.”

I turned and walked three steps, convinced I was going to trip again, but I didn’t. He continued to direct me, the path weaving this way and that, but I never once stumbled. Finally I made it to the door. I felt for the door handle. I hesitated. “I’ve never been exposed to a lot of light,” I said, trembling. “Can you make it go away?”

“Violet, if the light goes away, I go with it. Trust me, when all things are made clear then you will know the joy of the truth.”

I didn’t understand. I closed my eyes and pulled open the door.

It didn’t matter that my eyes were closed, I could see everything perfectly. My shivering, frail, pale body sunk to the ground in fear. The man standing before me wasn’t surrounded with light– he was the light. His hair was white as wool, his eyes burning with fire, his robe tied with a golden sash. The brightness of him drove all the darkness away to reveal the dirtiness of my room, and I felt ashamed.

He reached down and touched me. I flinched, but his hand was gentle and kind. In his palm was a strange, round wound. He spoke again to me in his beautiful voice. “Do not fear, my child. I have come to make all things new.”

He lifted me up from the ground, wrapping a protective arm around my shoulders. For the first time I felt like I was safe, like I was in the presence of a good man, a friend. I trusted him. “Open your eyes,” he said softly.

I did so. My dirty place of abode had been transformed into a room fit for a princess, full of gold and jewels. I looked down at myself. I had been clothed in a beautiful dress. “I don’t deserve any of this,” I said.

“You deserve it,” he said, “because I love you. Now, let us sit and eat together.”

There was a table in the room, filled with a variety of food. All I wanted to do was sit with him, eat with him, and talk with him for all eternity.

And that is what we did.

“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.” ~Revelation 3:20

“But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for it is light that makes everything visible. That is why it is said: ‘Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” ~Ephesians 5:14

“Since then you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” ~ Colossians 3:1-5

I opened my eyes, blinking in confusion. How long had I been sleeping? I wondered. It felt like it’d been– forever.

My eyes wandered around the room, but there really wasn’t much to see. In fact there was almost nothing to see. The room was pitch black, a blackness that only seemed to get thicker the more I tried to peer through it. But there was one exception. Small streams of light were poking through the cracks in a door at the far end of the room.

Funny, I didn’t remember a door being there before. I didn’t remember really much of anything before I’d fallen asleep– only my room that continued to grow darker and darker. I’d fallen asleep to dream of more darkness, and really I hadn’t expected to wake up again. If I’d ever really been awake ever in my life, that is.

Speaking of which, what had woken me now? Nothing here would have made a noise that I could tell. It hadn’t for the longest time. So what had changed?

The door, I thought.

Just then I heard it, and I jumped, startled. It was a knocking at the door. For some reason I felt fear fill me. Who could that be? What did they want? Whoever they were, they were where the light was coming from, and I didn’t really want my room or myself to get exposed by it. But still the person knocked. It wasn’t a hard, angry knock. Nor was it a timid knock. It was the knocking you’d expect a friend to make who knew you were inside and wanted to be there for you, comfort you, talk to you.

But I had no friends. Who could it possibly be? I considered just falling back asleep, but curiosity was soon overcoming my complacency and my fears. Perhaps I would just open the door a crack, see who it was, and then just ask them to go away. Besides, my room wasn’t really in any state to be entertaining guests.

I stood up, moved my foot, and instantly tripped over something. I crashed to the floor, getting a mouthful of dust. I coughed and spluttered, my arms and legs stinging from making contact with objects on the floor. I really had been sleeping a long time. I had no idea what was in my room anymore and there had to be piles of dust everywhere. I wasn’t going to get to the door without bringing danger to myself. I should just try to return to bed. It was safer there.

“Do not give up, Violet.”

I started. The voice had come from the door– a gentle, beautiful voice. And somehow he knew what I’d been thinking. “How do you know me?” I asked.

“I was there at the beginning,” he said simply. “Please, come to the door.”

“But I’ll get hurt,” I said.

“I will guide your feet. First, stand up.”

How is he going to guide my feet? I can’t see anything and he isn’t even in here, I thought. But I decided to try. I had a growing desire to see this man. I stood up.

“Good. Now, turn left and take three steps.”

I turned and walked three steps, convinced I was going to trip again, but I didn’t. He continued to direct me, the path weaving this way and that, but I never once stumbled. Finally I made it to the door. I felt for the door handle. I hesitated. “I’ve never been exposed to a lot of light,” I said, trembling. “Can you make it go away?”

“Violet, if the light goes away, I go with it. Trust me, when all things are made clear then you will know the joy of the truth.”

I didn’t understand. I closed my eyes and pulled open the door.

It didn’t matter that my eyes were closed, I could see everything perfectly. My shivering, frail, pale body sunk to the ground in fear. The man standing before me wasn’t surrounded with light– he was the light. His hair was white as wool, his eyes burning with fire, his robe tied with a golden sash. The brightness of him drove all the darkness away to reveal the dirtiness of my room, and I felt ashamed.

He reached down and touched me. I flinched, but his hand was gentle and kind. In his palm was a strange, round wound. He spoke again to me in his beautiful voice. “Do not fear, my child. I have come to make all things new.”

He lifted me up from the ground, wrapping a protective arm around my shoulders. For the first time I felt like I was safe, like I was in the presence of a good man, a friend. I trusted him. “Open your eyes,” he said softly.

I did so. My dirty place of abode had been transformed into a room fit for a princess, full of gold and jewels. I looked down at myself. I had been clothed in a beautiful dress. “I don’t deserve any of this,” I said.

“You deserve it,” he said, “because I love you. Now, let us sit and eat together.”

There was a table in the room, filled with a variety of food. All I wanted to do was sit with him, eat with him, and talk with him for all eternity.

And that is what we did.

“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.” ~Revelation 3:20

“But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for it is light that makes everything visible. That is why it is said: ‘Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” ~Ephesians 5:14

“Since then you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” ~ Colossians 3:1-5

My Anger, My Darkness

I feel a deep
Sure footed misery
Lay its cold hand upon me
And unbidden ugliness
Fills my inward parts
I see that look in your eye
My hackles raise
I hear that tone in your voice
My tongue is quick to
Outdo your hard voice
And as the moment of rage
Passes away
I am left guilty
And you are left hurting
And so the flood waters rage
Between us
Until the hurricane is
Let loose
Leaving destruction and
Tears in its wake
Words of sorrow and forgiveness
Are spoken
At least momentarily genuine
Yet my heart is hardened
Against you
When will the winds of terror
Begin again to rise?
~
I see you trembling
I see you struggling
I hardly know what terrors you face
But I know that indeed you feel
Its deadly embrace
I myself am no stranger
To the darkness
And its cold grip of fear
Clings to my skin
Yes, I should not scorn
The monster in your closet
When I look closely
I recognize it
It is brother to my own
~
How ugly are these monsters
We must daily face
Morbid and deformed
Yet no face do I find
They are pictures of agony
With no true form
And I yearn to sweep them away
But they always return
Why oh why
Do I seem so paralyzed?
Blackened and bloody
By no solid fist
Stabbed and ripped to pieces
By no true claws that exist
Yet still I run into the darkness
When there’s light to be had
I know I want to choose the good
But right now all I hold is bad
~
Mother soothes back my skin
Her humming a reminder of peace
And father leans back with a pipe in his mouth
A little twinkle in his eye
And there is my sister smiling as she knits
Her mind is not clouded like mine
And slowly I’m reminded that God is here
And where He is there is peace
Peace for all that are His
~

1“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

3“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” ~Matthew 7

“25To the faithful you show yourself faithful,
to the blameless you show yourself blameless,
26to the pure you show yourself pure,
but to the devious you show yourself shrewd.
27You save the humble
but bring low those whose eyes are haughty.
28You, Lord, keep my lamp burning;
my God turns my darkness into light.

29With your help I can advance against a troop;
with my God I can scale a wall.” ~Psalm 18