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  • Writer's pictureAlan Fong

How Not to Stumble

Today’s Verse:

Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world. ~John 11:9


There have been many mornings when I have been up when it is still very dark outside. Thinking I know my surroundings well, I will make my way downstairs, then to the kitchen to brew my morning coffee. On some occasions, I have stumbled on an object on the floor or on a chair leg because I tried to find my way without turning on the light. Stumbling is not fun. Stumbling can result in injury. Stumbling can be dangerous. Stumbling teaches that you should not walk in the dark when you cannot see. This morning, let us see how not to stumble.

We see the picture.

“Are there not twelve hours in the day?” Daytime is a picture of the opportunities and time we have left in life. We all know that it is important to get as much done as we can as the sun starts to rise and before the sun sets. Paul said that the day is at hand. We are called children of the day. Jesus called to His disciples’ attention that Lazarus was very sick and it was time for them to travel to Bethany to minister to him and his sisters. During daytime, we can see clearly. Jesus wanted people to clearly see the works of God. We have “twelve hours in the day”: let us walk in the day and seize the opportunities while they are clear to us.

We see the promise.

“If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world.” Jesus promised that the man who walks in the day will not stumble. This means he will not fall or fail. First, this man follows the Light. This means he is following the Lord and His Word. He is a man who has faith in God’s Word to lead. “The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.” Second, this man places a premium value in his life. He understands the importance of redeeming the time. He fills his time wisely and does not fritter time away on things that are meaningless. The Light of this world is our Lord Jesus Christ. “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” The choice is left to us to walk in the light or to walk in darkness.

We see the peril.

“But if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there is no light in him.” Walking in the night is trying to do things our way. It is reliance on ourselves or the advice of another person. Walking in the night is living in disobedience. Night is symbolic of not living in honesty and holiness before God. Walking in the night means we will stumble. We will fall and fail. Years ago at a Family Camp, I thought I could see my way well enough to get from my cabin to the fireside without a flashlight. I was wrong. I stumbled on rocks and loose twigs. Fortunately, I did not fall and injure myself, but until I got back to my cabin, I thought about how foolish it was to try and find my way in the dark. Walking in the dark can be filled with perils.

We see the practice.

Jesus led His disciples to Bethany. He told them in advance that Lazarus had died. These men, as well as many who gathered at the house of Mary and Martha, saw Jesus raise Lazarus back to life. I believe that Jesus was teaching these disciples and Jews that all of them had been stumbling in the area of faith in God. They had a limited faith in Jesus’ authority and power. After Lazarus was brought back to life by Jesus’ power, their sin of unbelief was shaken and they understood the true power of God. We stumble with unbelief as well because we are trying to do God’s work in our way. Let us walk in the light and have faith in His leading and power.

Have a stumble-free God Morning!

Bible Reading Schedule: 2 Kings 6-8

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