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The Light of the World 

“You are the light of the world.” Matthew 5:14. “I am the light of the world.” John 8:12

“Brightly beams our Father’s mercy from the lighthouse evermore;

But to us he gives the keeping of the lights along the shore.

Let the lower lights be burning, Send the gleam across the wave;

Some poor fainting, struggling seaman, you may rescue, you may save.” 

Jesus is the Lighthouse, the source of the light.  We are the lower lights, reflecting His lightWe have seen and received the light of this glorious gospel.  It is a darkness-shattering, truth-revealing light, a marvelous light.  G. T. Haywood sung: “There shall be light, in the evening time. The road to glory, you shall surely find. Through the water way, it is the light today. Baptized in Jesus name.” But the light that shines from Jesus Christ cannot replace the need for the lower lights.  It is incumbent upon us to let our lights shine, and even more so in a world that keeps getting darker.  

Darkness precludes light.  Physical darkness came first.  In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth …and darkness was upon the face of the deep.” Genesis 1:1-2.  Next, God sent darkness as judgment. “And the LORD said unto Moses, ‘Stretch out your hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt.’” Exodus 10:21-23. Last, spiritual darkness manifested itself as an utter lack of truth and righteousness. “The way of the wicked is as darkness.” Proverbs 4:19. It was darkness vs. light. “And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” John 1:5-6. In the Greek, comprehend is katalambano, or overtake, seize, apprehend. Darkness tries to cover, discredit or hide from light. Darkness is a kneejerk, emotional, visceral reaction against light.  This is why the Jewish leaders reacted to Jesus’ teachings with violence.  “Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple … and so passed by.” John 8:59. 

Professor Dallas Willard states: “Almost all evil deeds and intents are begun with the thought that they can be hidden by deceit. The kingdom of evil is built on lies, secrets, and darkness. It requires the absence of light to survive. Thus, for all its fearsome appearance, the kingdom of evil is structurally very weak. Turn on the light, and the cockroaches scramble to go under the refrigerator.” The light must shine in you before it shines out from you. If your spiritual light does not shine out from your life, it will shine on you to reveal the true you. 

We are not told to “shine our light” but to “let our light shine.” Big difference. Illuminate, don’t intimidate. You do not fully appreciate the light until you’ve known the terror of the darkness.  “We have renounced secret and shameful ways… For God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.” 2 Corinthians 4:2,6 (NIV). God wants to lead you into an increasingly brighter day.  That’s the beauty of the Spirit-filled life.  He has given the church the gifts of the Spirit.  God doesn’t want you to walk in any kind of spiritual darkness.   

Bottom line:  There is no other way to walk with God than to walk in light!  “God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:5-9 (KJV). The light makes all the difference! 

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