Today we’re sharing an excerpt from Mary Demuth’s new study, Into the Light. Order your copy or see a free sample today at Lifeway.com/IntoTheLight.
You don’t have to venture far from your phone or the screens in your life to find pain. It’s everywhere. Trauma has permeated our feeds on a micro and macro scale. Everywhere, people are suffering. It’s overwhelming, and it’s pervasive. And because of the fall of humankind, it’s (sadly) to be expected.
When I turn through the pages of the Bible, I see a similar chaos. Violence, predation, annihilation of people groups, crucifixion, betrayal, strife within families, double crossing, war, famine, poverty, prejudice, wrath—all this within the pages of the sacred text.
These are not the passages we post on Instagram, but they are instructive. The Lord meant for the story of Job to be in the Bible, after all. Why? Because in this world we will suffer.
The entire narrative of the Bible is the story of a God who relentlessly pursues His people, despite their infidelity, waywardness, and penchant for worshipping idols and themselves. It is a divine rescue mission, inaugurated in God’s mind, where He would dare leave the beauty of heaven to pitch a tent with humanity. And as He did, Jesus taught us how to love each other. He showed us what sacrifice looked like. He sought out the least, the last, and the lost because it flowed from His nature.
The life, death, and resurrection of Jesus are our coursework. How He encountered everyday people like you and me is wholly and beautifully instructive. Not only that, but the gospel is clear: Jesus not only loved us, but He fully carried out the rescue mission of the Father. He bore the weight of every one of our sins on the cross, an innocent One dying for the guilty, His blood pouring from a crowned brow of thorns. He did this for me. He did this for you. Because of love and justice.
The resurrection proved His promises, divine nature, and rescue mission. God met humanity, conquered death, and ushered in a brand-new kingdom, this age of grace we live in today.
This is the place we find ourselves, balancing like a teeter-totter between the now and the not yet. Now, we are kingdom workers seeking to love God and serve others as we bumble through life. Now, we long to see people experience the very real redemption of Jesus. Now, we are still encumbered by sin, and we have to grapple with the sad reality that people can act inhumanely toward others—yes, even in the church, yes, even when the person is a leader in the church. Now, we encounter seemingly senseless suffering as a result of our world’s brokenness.
This should not be, but it is our reality. All this confusion, cover up, and pain will be vanquished gloriously on the other side, but now? We must learn what it means to live in this current world.
Jesus put it simply: “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The Lᴏʀᴅ our God is the one and only Lᴏʀᴅ. And you must love the Lᴏʀᴅ your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these” (Mark 12:29-31).
Love God. Love others.
Want to learn more about this new study? Watch the short video below or view a free sample and teaching video clips at Lifeway.com/IntoTheLight.
And here are some fun wallpapers for your desktop and phone! Click the images below to download!