Lights in a dark world
The first recorded words spoken by God in the Genesis of creation were: “Let there be light” (Genesis 1:3). Then God separated light from darkness, and from that time on, they have been opposites. Where there is the presence of one, there is the absence of the other.
God and Satan are opposites as well. God represents light and Satan represents darkness.
The Bible says: “God is light; and in Him is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5).
Jesus said: “While I am in the world, I am the light of the world” (John 9:5). He said this in the context of healing a blind man who had lived his entire life in darkness. Can you imagine coming from a life of total darkness to being able to see?
If that be true physically, it is also true spiritually. The Bible says “the way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know what makes them stumble” (Proverbs 4:29).
Through Christ, light entered our world, but the sad reality is that men love darkness rather than light because their deeds are evil (John 3:19-21).
Everywhere Christ went, he brought light into a world of darkness, both physically as well as spiritually. And he still does.
When Christ comes into our lives, we then become children of the light. The Bible says: “for once you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; live as children of light” (Ephesians 5:8). It also says: “put aside the deeds of darkness, and put on the armor of light” (Romans 13:12).
As we follow Christ, our lives go in the opposite direction from the way we used to live. The Bible says: “if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son purifies us from all sin” (1 John 1:7).
With Christ living in our hearts, we then, become the light of the world. Jesus said: “you are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:14-16).
Is Christ the light of your life? If not, turn away from your spiritual darkness and come into his glorious light.
If he is your light, then carry your light into your dark world. Shine.
You are the only Jesus some people will ever see, so let his light shine through you into their darkness. Be a light in a dark world. The Rev. Wayne Rutherford LifePointe Church
of the Nazarene
The word works
Living and working as pastor on the island of Antigua in the Caribbean has all perks that you might expect. My house on a hill has a sweeping view of the Caribbean out the back and a beautiful view of the island out the front.
One of the aspects of my life in the tropics, though, means hard work more than fun in the sun.
During the rainy season, it pours in Antigua like nowhere else that I have ever lived. During these times I feel like I can almost see the plants, bushes, and trees of my yard growing. This is a problem because I want to do anything and everything I can to maintain those beautiful views. So, I am locked in a constant struggle to keep that tropical growth under control.
These words from Isaiah talk about the results of rain that comes down from heaven. It uses this example not to teach us about gardening, but to teach us about the unfailing results of the word of God.
“As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:10-11).
These words, spoken from God’s perspective, make a few things very clear. God could have chosen to zap us with lightening, but instead he works in human heart through the word. That word “goes out from” the mouth of God. We can read that word and be confident that it comes from God. The effect that God desires from his word is that we put our faith in him, specifically in his son, Jesus Christ as our Savior.
I would hope that you are maybe nodding in agreement with that list, but still, it is so easy to ignore that word when the time is right to use it.
When a friend or family member is sick or has a major problem, the words “it’ll get better” can easily come out of our lips instead of finding the word which, God says, will actually make things better. When we have problems of our own, it is easy to find all of our comfort in all kinds of things instead of finding the “peace that passes all understanding” in Jesus.
Actions that show a lack of trust in the power of God’s word show an inner attitude that lacks trust in God himself. It shows that we do not actually trust God completely. It shows our sin.
Amazingly, God’s word still comes to us, like rain falling from heaven. It comes to us with a message as simple and clear as water itself. That word tells us of those sins forgiven and life eternal in Jesus. It offers us a free and full pardon by what Jesus has done.
Just like the tropical rains that make things grow in my yard, so also God promises that his word will work in us to grow true faith in him.
Missionary Andrew Johnston
Preached at Abiding Grace Lutheran Church