- Men are perishing
- God loved so He gave
- Believing in Jesus brings salvation
- Salvation is eternal
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Light of the World
I love candles.
Love, love, love them.
My children know this well and every birthday and Christmas I am showered with candles. And I love all of them. I burn them constantly, use them up and then restock at the next gift-giving event.
Right now I am a little low on candles, but with Christmas less than two weeks away, I am confident my pantry will be restocked (hint, hint kids).
In John 3 contains the most famous scripture ever in verse 16 - "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life." Within this one verse, the gospel is clearly seen:
A few verses later Jesus said this:
"This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God."
Summary - when our deeds are evil, we want to hide them in darkness. When our deeds are righteous, we want the light to reveal them because they have come from God.
I like that phrase, "he who practices truth" because it implies that our default position is practicing lies, but when we move away from lies, darkness, and practice truth, we are drawn to the Light.
Jesus is the Light of the world (John 8:12) and we are called to be lights in this dark world (Matthew 5:15). We are sons of light (I Thessalonians 5:5), we are children of light (Eph. 5:8), God is the Father of lights (James 1:17), God dwells in unapproachable light (I Tim. 6:16), we are to care for our light (Luke 11:35) and Satan even imitates the light to deceive the world (2 Cor. 11:14).
The imagery of light versus darkness is a powerful tool throughout scripture. The truth is that men loved darkness rather than light - they didn't want their deeds exposed. Yes, walking in the light exposes our sin but it also enables us to deal with our sin and choose something better - something that brings glory to God, that sows a good harvest, that imitates our Savior.
How do you walk in the Light? By walking with Jesus - every day, in His Word, talking to Him, hiding His Word in your heart, using His Word as a measuring rod for truth versus lies and by faith acting on that truth.
This season, when candles abound, remember Jesus. Remember that He is the Light of the world and that His gift to us was life-saving Light. Remember that the more we walk with Him, the more we will reflect His light. Remember that our natural tendency is to hide from the Light, so fight it with every ounce of strength you have. And finally, remember that God is revealed when we choose to practice the truth we find in the Light.