Dr. W. Mike Runion is senior Pastor of City View First Baptist Church of Greenville, South Carolina. He and his wife Gail have served churches in North Carolina and South Carolina. A native of Greer South Carolina, Dr. Runion holds degrees from North Greenville University (A.A., B.A.,), and Southeastern Theological Seminary (M. Div., D. Min. in Expository Preaching).
Dr. Runion has preached in churches, crusades and revivals throughout North and South Carolina. In addition, he has served preaching alongside missionaries in foreign lands. Russia; Novgorod, Chechulino. Romania; Cluj-Napoca, Bistrita-Nasaud, Campia-Turzi. Brazil, Bocaiuva Do Sul; Indonesia, Malang and surrounding environs.
“He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love,in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins” (Col 1:13–14).
Darkness—not the tranquil beauty of nightfall where we find rest but we are delivered from the power of evil (darkness figuratively) and the look of rebellion that represents such a dark life. Darkness in Scripture is the representation of a life without God. Darkness is not a thing in itself; darkness can only be explained as the absence of light. Spiritually, it is a life void of the Spirit and light of God. The Bible not only says “God is love,” (1 John 4:8) but also, “God is light and in him is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5). In His love Christ came to deliver us from the penalty of sin. In His light he came to deliver us from the power of sin—that is, deliverance from a life of dark addiction to sins of the flesh that promise happiness but in reality rob us of all the light and life God really offers. In the end, sin leaves us in a really dark place, lonely, addicted and void of the light of life. Jesus offers freedom and power over that darkness. He offers every blessing and the freedom to walk in the light as He is in the light.
Happy New Year and here’s to a life of freedom from the power of darkness.
What a wonderful time of year—Christmas. I do not know if John had Christmas in mind when he wrote 1 John 3:1 “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!” However, since the same apostle wrote John 3:16 it stands to reason that the love of God was never far from his mind.
It is foreign to me that so many, this time of year, wonder if they are loved by God. Let’s settle the issue. “God is love,” (1 John 4:8). To clear your doubts, just follow Christ through the Scriptures from the manger to the cross. Knowing that all he did for you he did because he loved you. On the cross He took your sin that you might have his righteousness. He died your death that you might live His life.
I can look forward to today and a new year along with all the wonderful possibilities that come with it because the God who is love—loves me. I pray you have a Christmas Day filled and flooded with the love of God.