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John 8:12

Posted 02-28-2015 at 06:55 PM by ardvark71
Updated 10-01-2019 at 12:20 AM by ardvark71

I happened to come across this Verse in a devotional a few days ago....

"Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, "I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life." John 8:12 NLT

But why is Jesus the light and what is darkness? Wasn't He some great teacher who taught that everyone should live in peace and harmony with one another? Yes...but there's a LOT more. There is an article here that touches on that but I thought I would also try to give you one example from my own life.

From events that started in my childhood, which included mistreatment from my father and from my classmates at a middle school I went to, I became angry, mistrustful and much, if not all, of my self-esteem had been lost. I had done fairly poorly in middle school academically but when I was a junior in high school, I discovered that I had a love of history and began to study it pretty extensively. Also, during this time, I developed an interest in the military and warfare and became known among my classmates as a "warmonger." My grades improved markedly, as I now had an interest in school, and was able to graduate the following year. I'm not sure I would have, otherwise. That was in 1989.

But I noticed that my interest in history, which was primarily American or U.S. history began to morph into European history. This trend continued when I started going to a community college two years later, when my interest in European history began morphing specifically into German history, especially the Nazi period. While I had gotten my two year degree from the community college, I had to leave the university after a year and a half because of a financial situation. However, the hurt and anger from years before was turning into a hatred for people and a desire for revenge. I never acted anything out in public but fantasized about war and bloodshed in my mind. I wished I could become president or leader in the United States so I could, in part, get revenge and bring about the changes I wanted to see. From the late 1990's to the early 2000's, my interest in pretty much everything Nazi German intensified and I became enamored with the flags, marches and pageantry. I wasn't really interested in hearing Hitler speak but I sure was impressed with seeing row upon row of German army soldiers march down a street with rifles and flags in hand, along with tanks and other motorized equipment. Having been hurt and abused as well as authority from my father misused, for me, what I saw in the rows of German soldiers and military equipment represented power and being able to exercise it over others instead of the reverse and to punish those whom I felt were enemies and those who had hurt me. It didn't help that I have a lot of German ancestry in my background. I thought to myself, "Now here are some people who didn't let others walk all over them. These guys kicked some serious &%@ and I'm of their blood!" The fact that they killed up to six million Jewish men, women and children (as well as others,) I had read about and saw pictures of but didn't pay much attention to because it didn't allow me to picture the Nazis they way I wanted to.

Although the fantasies were only in my head and I only told about them to less than a handful of people, some things couldn't help but to be seen by others. People could plainly see I was a very angry young man. My mother mentioned a few times during that time period that I looked like I could "bite a nail in two" and looking back at some of the pictures of myself, I definitely had a hard look. When you literally wake up hating the world each day, you can't help but to have others notice and be affected by it.

There was another bad side affect: From an ideology that espoused racial superiority, I was becoming a racist myself and began to look down on hispanic (particularly Mexican) and black people. I saw myself as better than them because I was of German blood and I saw European culture as superior to any other, including our own.

There's more. Around this time I had developed an interest in computers and I had always, going back to age 10, loved to play video games. Computers provided a new avenue for this and to nurse my wounds and to act out my desire for revenge, I began to amass a video game collection that always, in some way, focused on war and usually strategy. I would literally spend four to eight hours a day, most days, usually every day playing these games.

So this was the state of affairs and the mess I was in heading into 2002-2004. Around this time, God was also using the only close friend I had, a Christian woman that I met at a job I had back in 1998, to bring me to Himself. That's a fairly long story in itself, so in the interest of keeping this shorter, perhaps I'll save that for another blog. However, during 2003 and 2004, He used her greatly, along with other folks, to reveal Himself and His love for me, in different ways.

I remember vividly the night in December, 2004 I asked Him to come into my life. Immediately after I asked Him to come on in, I felt a wave of energy (for lack of better words,) like a pebble hitting a very still body of water (the circular ripple effect from where the stone entered,) go outwards in all directions from my heart. My very first words after that were, "Thank you, Lord." I had never used the word "Lord" before in my communication with God (I prayed a couple times to Him in that general time frame as an unbeliever before receiving Him,) or about Him. This was at night.

The next morning when I woke up, I felt very different. I no longer felt hatred or anger towards people and I no longer used a swear word every other word! F-bombs and other swear words were a part of my vocabulary as much as regular words for years prior to that. It was gone! I also had a desire to get rid of the war games I played for hours on end and I threw many of them away, the few that were left were tossed later.

These were immediate changes that He brought about. In the years to come, as I began to walk with Him and obey Him (that's a key word there, you can't experience Jesus and the things He has for you unless you do what He's telling you to do,) we began to tackle other areas of my life that were sinful (see here to learn what sin is,) like lust and sexual fantasy, self-centeredness, fear, lack of trust, anger, frustration and doubt to name a few. Some of these take time to work out and we're still working on them. The goal or aim in this is to experience His life and freedom not only in this life but for all eternity. In spite of what you may have heard or understand, true freedom is not the ability to do whatever you want but have sin and the affects of sin removed from your life. I've learned this personally first hand. But what are the things or qualities of God? What things are sinful? You can find that out, in part, here in Galatians 5:19-23.

I can assure you that I didn't make this up or do this on my own. You can't just change yourself to be who I am today in Him. There's simply no way. Part of the reason why I'm sharing this with all of you is to let you know that I don't belong to an exclusive club, Who Jesus is and what he has done in my life is available to every single human being on this Earth. Whatever's going on in your life or wherever you're at or whatever pain you're going through, He IS the solution! All you have to do is receive Him, walk with Him (have a relationship with Him,) and obey Him. That's it. It won't always be easy but He will get you through where you need to go.

How is this possible? Because Jesus is the Son of God (or God the Son) who came into the world as a man to take the sins of the world upon Himself and became the sacrifice for them on the Cross. The Bible says in Hebrews 9:22 that there can be no forgiveness without the shedding of blood. In the Old Testament days, this was done by sacrificing various animals but when Jesus came, He became the sacrifice for sin for all time. Jesus could do this because He was and is God, lived a sinless life while He was here and was resurrected three days later after His death.

No other religion can offer and/or give eternal life. Jesus Himself said in John 14:6 that He is "...the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me." The opposite of eternal life is eternal destruction in hell. Trust me, this a place you DON'T want to go! It is a place of incredible torment and suffering beyond what can be conceived here. This is where people go who have not received Jesus during their lifetime here. However, this is not what God desires but that everyone should come to and receive Him.

If you don't know Him yourself and you're wondering if my words are true, then I would highly encourage you to ask Him yourself. Ask Him for a revelation of Himself to you.

And that is my testimony and my experience. Thank you for reading this today and may God bless you!
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  1. Old Comment
    Hello Aaron,

    Thanks for the quick reply.

    My wife, who is in charge of banking (and other personal things) and it has been like that since we were married 1969 at my behest. And that is another story!

    As far as the email Jan has no problems leaving the above noted email as is, she is pretty savvy with the computer on that side of things and if anything amiss comes along she can deal with it, so please don't worry about that, Thank you for your idea and concern.

    Many regards

    Tom and Jan
    Posted 03-06-2016 at 01:03 PM by tjmcbor tjmcbor is offline
  2. Old Comment
    Originally Posted by tjmcbor View Comment
    As far as the email Jan has no problems leaving the above noted email as is, she is pretty savvy with the computer on that side of things and if anything amiss comes along she can deal with it, so please don't worry about that, Thank you for your idea and concern.
    Hi Tom...

    No problem.

    Take care and God bless...

    Posted 03-06-2016 at 04:55 PM by ardvark71 ardvark71 is offline
  3. Old Comment
    Originally Posted by rocket357 View Comment
    How do you, as a Christian, bring atheists (non-believers, in general) to a place where they can see the word of God for what it really is, according to your beliefs?

    (This is an honest question, I'm not trying to derail your blog again).
    Hey, my man!

    I was reading through this blog just now and I saw this question and I apologize that I didn't answer it. I think this was an honest question.

    The short answer to this would be that it's not us that does the "convincing," it's God's. Our job is simply to present the truth of Jesus Christ with others. Here are a couple articles that explain that concept in greater detail, if you'd like to read them...

    Again, I apologize for not answering this earlier.

    Take care...
    Posted 04-19-2016 at 03:32 PM by ardvark71 ardvark71 is offline
  4. Old Comment
    Both of those links state that it is God's responsibility for convincing non-believers.

    If I am reading this correctly, would it be right for me to stand on judgement day in front of God and ask God why he didn't convince me?

    It is hard to argue with:

    "that God will convict her of her self-righteousness and her need for Christ"


    "You can’t convince people to enter into that relationship. That is God’s responsibility."

    Am I missing something?
    Posted 04-19-2016 at 05:45 PM by rocket357 rocket357 is offline
  5. Old Comment
    Originally Posted by rocket357 View Comment
    If I am reading this correctly, would it be right for me to stand on judgement day in front of God and ask God why he didn't convince me?

    Am I missing something?
    But ultimately, at the same time, He's given you the free will to choose Him or not. He can convict you of your need for Him but the choice to agree with Him and receive Him is up to you.

    Take care...
    Posted 04-19-2016 at 07:10 PM by ardvark71 ardvark71 is offline
  6. Old Comment
    Studies have shown that atheist and believers brains use different pathways to process religious thought, typically with believers it is either pathways that regulate fear or are used for language, whereas for atheists and agnostics it tends to be with pathways associated with visual processing.

    Would an all powerful loving God cast me into hell simply because my brain is *literally* wired differently than yours?
    Posted 04-19-2016 at 08:45 PM by rocket357 rocket357 is offline
  7. Old Comment
    I can appreciate honest questions but I'm not wanting to get into a debate here again.

    Take care...
    Posted 04-20-2016 at 01:16 PM by ardvark71 ardvark71 is offline
    Updated 04-21-2016 at 12:42 AM by ardvark71 (Correction.)
  8. Old Comment

    Enjoyed your testimony.

    Posted 01-14-2020 at 08:12 AM by greencedar greencedar is offline
  9. Old Comment
    Originally Posted by greencedar View Comment

    Enjoyed your testimony.

    Hi greencedar...

    Thank you, I'm glad! All praise and glory goes to God for bringing about my salvation and life in Him!

    Take care...
    Posted 01-16-2020 at 12:10 AM by ardvark71 ardvark71 is offline


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