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JOHN 8:12 (ESV)
“Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’”
THE LIGHT OF LIFE
In 1882, the Edison Electric Illuminating Company brought electric light to homes for the first time in history. Since then, electricity has become commonplace for billions of people throughout the world. Cities are constantly lit up. Roadways are always visible. Light-pollution is a term which has been added to our vocabulary. True darkness may be found in the shadows, or miles away from a town, but rarely in portions of our communities. Therefore, we may rarely think about ‘lesser’ forms of light (like candles or lanterns) unless circumstances temporarily disable our networks of energy. But even then, we have cell phones with bright screens to light up the darkness until utilities are restored.
When it comes to our spiritual senses, people usually have the opposite problem. Instead of growing accustomed to perpetual light, we commonly grow accustomed to spiritual darkness. When left on our own, we prefer the darkness because we can hide the sinful activity which comes so naturally to us (Jn 3:19-20). That is until the light of Jesus shines upon our hearts. Then, we begin to see the life which we were meant to live.
Jesus made it clear throughout His public ministry that He came as the ‘light to the world.’ He was the Savior who displayed true life by modeling holiness, truth and complete victory over the darkness of sin. His death, resurrection and Holy Spirit now serve as the perpetual ‘beacon of light’ which brings life to all who receive Him by faith.
If someone were to ask you about this ‘light of life’ which dwells in you, how would you describe it? or....What makes the Christian life different from one who strives for a ‘lesser’ light and still lives within the shadows of hopelessness, fear and self-justification?
The Holy Spirit led the Apostle John to devote his first epistle to describing what it looks like to walk in the light and life of Jesus. Here are just a few examples of this kind of spiritual freedom.
First, the light of life includes a deep conviction that Jesus has truly forgiven every sin (1 Jn 1:9, 2:12).
Second, the light of life includes unhindered access to God, allowing His very words to dwell inside the human spirit (1 Jn 2:13a, 14a).
Third, the light of life includes victory over the schemes of Satan and the natural, fleshly desires (1 Jn 2:13b, 14b, 16).
Fourth, the light of life includes a deep love for other Christians and the fellowship found within local church (1 Jn 1:7, 10).
Fifth, the light of life includes the desire to reject all sin and yearn for purity (1 Jn 3:9).
By contrast, the life of darkness is one which is hoping to overcome brokenness and bad habits by shear effort, is fearful of God’s active presence, is blinded to self-destructive sin, hates others easily and has no real desire for ‘light’.
Even if the world grows darker, the light which Jesus offers continues to shine with everlasting life. How are you abiding in His light, demonstrating His life, and bringing words of hope to those who still live in darkness?
Lord help us to be the lesser light of the world and point others to the true light of Your life. Through Jesus, Amen!