2 Corinthians 4:6 (ESV)
6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
Here the Bible compares the action of God shining his light in our hearts, with the very creation of light itself. Just as creation was totally dark before God created the light, so too our hearts are dark with sin, grief, guilt, shame, resentments, evil thoughts, self-centeredness, self-pity, and more. God boldly enters this creepy room of our hearts, and brings his own light and truth. This is scary, because it means that our sin is exposed. But knowing that Christ has covered the penalty for our sin, we don’t have to be afraid of God’s judgment. We can let God into our secret places, and let him help us clean up the mess.
Psalm suggestion: Psalm 80: In addition to the readings below, try reading and reflecting on Psalm 80 each day this week. Three times prayer asks “let your face shine, that we might be saved.” When God’s face shines on us, it means we are in a personal, face-to-face relationship with God. This personal relationship changes everything in our world. It is like turning on the spiritual lights: when we know God personally, we begin to know the truth about God, ourselves, and our world.
Psalm 80 (ESV)
Restore Us, O God
To the choirmaster: according to Lilies. A Testimony. Of Asaph, a Psalm.
80 Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph like a flock. You who are enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth. 2 Before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh, stir up your might and come to save us! 3 Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that we may be saved! 4 O Lord God of hosts, how long will you be angry with your people’s prayers? 5 You have fed them with the bread of tears and given them tears to drink in full measure. 6 You make us an object of contention for our neighbors, and our enemies laugh among themselves. 7 Restore us, O God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved! 8 You brought a vine out of Egypt; you drove out the nations and planted it. 9 You cleared the ground for it; it took deep root and filled the land. 10 The mountains were covered with its shade, the mighty cedars with its branches. 11 It sent out its branches to the sea
and its shoots to the River. 12 Why then have you broken down its walls, so that all who pass along the way pluck its fruit? 13 The boar from the forest ravages it, and all that move in the field feed on it. 14 Turn again, O God of hosts! Look down from heaven, and see; have regard for this vine, 15 the stock that your right hand planted, and for the son whom you made strong for yourself. 16 They have burned it with fire; they have cut it down;
may they perish at the rebuke of your face! 17 But let your hand be on the man of your right hand, the son of man whom you have made strong for yourself! 18 Then we shall not turn back from you; give us life, and we will call upon your name! 19 Restore us, O Lord God of hosts! Let your face shine, that we may be saved!