Lucia's Blog: THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD
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Isaiah 55:8-9

Isaiah 55:8-9

Thursday, April 22, 2021

THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD

"In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.  6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. 8 He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light.  9 The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him… "
John 1:4-14



Jesus came to a world full of darkness, and only He can overcome it with the Light of His Message, the teachings of His Gospel.  Jesus, our Lord, is the Light of the world, and God’s Word is a lamp and a light that shines in the darkness, directing us to godliness and righteousness.  The light must shine so that we may see what direction to walk amid so much darkness (John 1:4-14). 

The Light, our Lord Jesus, shows us the way and illuminates our path, for it provides the Way.  Thus, we’re obliged to show others (those who live in darkness) the Way to illuminate their path and give them direction.  And though many dwell in darkness, they can still see the Light when it crosses their path. Jesus is the Light, and we must shine as lights in this world of darkness. Jesus warned that salt is useless when it loses its saltiness. Our salt is our influence. If we lose our saving influence, we become useless. So it is with light. If it is not shining and is covered up, it is useless. It is sad when we willfully choose to hide our light! 

The lampstand as the only source of light points directly to Christ, for He is the Light of the world.
"Again 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.'"  (John 8:12)
"As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world."  (John 9:5)

Jesus is the “true light that gives light to everyone” (John 1:9) and the only way for anyone to come to the Father.
"Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."  (John 14:6)

Jesus also calls His church the “light of the world” because He abides in the church.
"You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden."  (Matthew 5:14)
"In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it." (John 1:4-5

When Jesus ascended to heaven, the Gospel continued to reveal that same Light.
"And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake. 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.'" (2 Corinthians 4:3-6)

Since we Christians have this light planted in our hearts, we must be light-bearers because we are children of light, not darkness.
"For at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light."(Ephesians 5:8)
"For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness."  (1 Thessalonians 5:5

The church, therefore, must shine the Light of the Gospel, the Light of God, everywhere to both individuals and communities. A church must reflect the Light of God to be the lampstand that God intends it to be. To substitute the Light of God, the teachings or doctrine of Christ for the traditions, creeds, and doctrines of men will only bring darkness.
"Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son."  (2 John 9)

Thus to be the Light of the world, we must preach and teach the Word rightly and faithfully in season and out of season.  The world desperately needs the Light to be guided into the paths of righteousness.  The church holds the Light, for it is the pillar and support of the Truth of God.
"If I delay, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of the truth." (1 Tim. 3:15

The Bible overflows with examples that contrast light and darkness, believer and unbeliever through the Book of Revelation. The Bible testifies about Christ and God’s merciful plan of redemption to take mankind out of darkness into His marvelous Light from cover to cover.
"But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light."  (1 Peter 2:9

The Word of God draws us and points us to Christ, for He is the "light of the world" (John 3:19-21; 8:12; 17:17).  Jesus is the eternal Word, the Message of God.  Jesus is the life, and that life is the Light for all people.  He came as a witness to the Light. The world could not see; thus, John was appointed by God to be a witness to the Light.  And though John was not the Light, he was a witness so that all could believe in Jesus through John’s testimony.  The Light shined, illuminating the whole world, for it was not limited.
"You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven."  (Matthew 5:14-16

In verses 14-15, Jesus gives us two illustrations.  
  1. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.
  2. Christ’s faithful followers must be lamps that give light to all.  

We cannot hide our lamps under a basket. We must put them on a lampstand! The light must give light to all in the house. A true disciple must be a city set on a hill, for they cannot be hidden.
"Again 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.'"  (John 8:12)

To have light is to have life.  God is the Light. His Word is the Light that provides direction and guidance for our lives in the darkness.
"Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path." (Psalm 119:105)
 
 Jesus is the true Light that enlightens everyone.  Our good works make our light shine brightly amid darkness.  We must shine so that others can see and glorify our Father in heaven.   God stands in contrast to darkness, evil, error, and imperfection. Light determines what is right and what is sin. The Light unveils our spiritual identity.
"I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness." (John 12:46)

It does not matter if one claims to be a follower of Christ.  What really matters is how we’re living our life, reflecting His light.  There is no such thing as a Christian who lives in habitual sin. The Light must change our way of living and compel us to imitate Christ, for He is the Life that must govern our lives!  

We’re walking in darkness when we refuse to follow God’s commands, not walking in the Light.  We have fellowship with God and one another when we walk in the Light.
"But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin." (1 John 1:7)

When we walk in the Light, the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin.  God’s Grace works with our obedience.
"For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries."  (Hebrews 10:26-27)

When we stop striving to live righteously as lights, Jesus’ sacrifice for sins no longer remains. Then the blood of Jesus does not cleanse us from our sins.  We cannot claim to walk in the Light ignoring the reality of sin and sinfulness. If we refuse to repent of our sins, we are avoiding the Light, for we’re breaking fellowship with God because He is Light, not darkness. Walking in the Light means admitting our sins and asking for forgiveness. God is faithful and will forgive us if we repent and bear fruits of repentance.
"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9)

 We are a holy nation, called out of darkness into God’s marvelous Light.
"But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are God's people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.  11 Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. 12 Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation." (1 Peter 2:9-12)

We must shine our light and keep our conduct honorable amid this crooked and twisted generation. We must walk as children of Light, exhibiting the fruit of Light.  We cannot be lights and behave, talk, dress, and party like the world.  There’s enough darkness in our world already!  So, we must shine as lights and be distinct! In doing this, we can rest assured that we will influence this world of darkness with graciousness in our words and actions (salt) and shine with our good works, pointing them to the Way, Jesus (the Light). 


CONCLUSION:

So, the question at stake is, 
  1. What is the condition of your heart? 
  2. Are you light or darkness? 
  3. Is the light of your lampstand burning brightly?  
  4. Is your light shining amid so much darkness?  
  5. Are others seeing your good works as you shine your light brightly?  
  6. Are you living a righteous life that is distinct from the world?  
  7. Are you hindering the Gospel Message because you are walking in darkness?  
  8. Are you pointing others to Christ, the Light, by your godly example?  
  9. Do people look at your marriage and see a God-glorifying marriage? 
  10. Do people look at your family and see a God-glorifying family? 
  11. Do people look at you at work and see a God-glorifying employee? 
  12. Do people look at you on vacation and see a God-glorifying life? 
  13. Do people look at everything you do, big and small, and see God glorified? 

That is what it means to be the Light of the world!  The Light makes us live radical lives that move people to want to know God, for He is the Light.

"And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. 4 Whoever says 'I know him' but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, 5 but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: 6 whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.  7 Beloved, I am writing you no new commandment, but an old commandment that you had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word that you have heard. 8 At the same time, it is a new commandment that I am writing to you, which is true in him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining. 9 Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness. 10 Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him there is no cause for stumbling. 11 But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes... 15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. 17 And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.'"  (1 John 2:3-13)  

May the light of our lampstand shine brightly amid so much darkness.  May the church hold the Light, for it is the pillar and support of the Truth of God (1 Tim. 3:15).  May others see our good works as we shine our light brightly.  May we point others to Christ, the Light, by our godly example.  May we never extinguish the Gospel Light by walking in darkness.
"But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded; who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them. For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus' sake. For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." (2 Corinthians 4:3-6)


Luci


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