Light Your World

As a Christian, you have within you the power to overcome darkness.

Have you ever considered how much the world has changed in the last century? Think about the scientific advancements that have made life more convenient and comfortable. We have access to quality healthcare, which was unimaginable throughout most of human history. Information is available instantly, and we can cross an ocean in a few hours by plane. The list of human accomplishments seems endless. And yet not one of those achievements has been able to dispel the spiritual darkness that filled the world when sin entered through Adam and Eve.

 

God alone is the source of light.

The only one who can break through this darkness is God—the source of all light. He’s the one who created the sun, moon, and stars. And since He is holy and dwells in unapproachable light (1 Timothy 6:16), all spiritual understanding originates from Him as well. Even though He shines all around us, only those who have had their eyes opened can see the full revelation of spiritual truth.

Illumined by God

Moments of divine light in Scripture

  • After separating the heavens and the earth, God created light (Gen. 1:3-4). The sun and stars, however, were not created until the fourth day (Gen. 1:14-19), which means light is divine in origin.

  • When Moses came down from Mount Sinai, “the skin of his face shone because of his speaking with [God],” and the people of Israel were afraid (Ex. 34:29-30).

  • During the dedication of the temple, “the glory of the Lord filled the house” (2 Chronicles 7:1-3).

  • As Jesus prayed on the mountain, James, John, and Peter beheld His glory in a moment of transfiguration (Luke 9:28-36).

  • On the road to Damascus, “a light from heaven” flashed around Paul, blinding him for three days (Acts 9:3-9).

  • In Revelation 22, John says in the new heaven and earth “there will no longer be any night; and they will not have need of the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God will illumine them” (Revelation 22:5).

Out of all the nations in this dark world, God chose to reveal Himself to one little group of people called Israel. Yet the nation as a whole eventually drifted into the shadow of legalism. In fact, for 400 years there was no prophet or revelation from the Lord. During the Roman empire all this changed, as predicted by the prophet Isaiah, who said, “The people who walk in darkness will see a great light” (Isa. 9:2). It began when an angel appeared to an old priest named Zacharias as he was offering incense in the temple. The angel told him that he would have a son named John, who would be the forerunner of the coming Messiah (Luke 1:5-17).

A few months later the same angel appeared to a virgin named Mary, announcing that she would be the mother of Israel’s Messiah (Luke 1:26-35). In the fullness of time, Christ—the Light—entered the spiritual darkness of the world: God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, to dwell among us (Gal. 4:4; John 1:14). Yet those who lived in spiritual darkness didn’t comprehend who He was or what He’d come to do (John 1:5). Spiritual darkness is like blindness. But the problem is inside us, not outside. What we need is new eyes, and that’s exactly what Jesus came to provide. Although He healed many physically blind people, the real miracle is His opening the eyes of the spiritually blind.

At one point in His ministry, Jesus said, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in darkness, but will have the Light of life” (John 8:12). What all the world’s empires could not accomplish, God did by providing the revelation of truth, which can lead everyone out of sin and into forgiveness and salvation.

 

Christ transfers us from darkness to light.

All who receive Jesus Christ as Savior are rescued from the domain of darkness and transferred to His kingdom of Light (Col. 1:13). It’s as if we are lit up on the inside. His steady stream of light is now the place in which we live and grow in Christlikeness and increasingly understand God’s Word and His ways. Things we could not grasp before begin to make sense.

Now our responsibility is to walk as children of Light by learning what pleases the Lord and displaying the spiritual fruit of goodness, righteousness, and truth (Eph. 5:8-10). God supplies everything we need in order to stay on course, and His Word is a lamp to guide us as we walk His path (Psalm 119:105). In it we find His principles, commands, and promises to lead us along the way of obedience and guard us from falling into the darkness of sin.

 

You are the light of the world.

While Jesus walked this earth, He was the Light of the world. And in the Sermon on the Mount, He said to His disciples, “You are the light of the world” (Matt. 5:14). We are not the source of light; Christ is. But as believers, we have His presence dwelling within us through His Holy Spirit. We are merely the beacons through which He shines into this dark world. However, we must make sure that the windows of our lanterns are clean, or no one will be able to see Christ displayed in us. Sin is like soot that clouds a lantern, making its light dim and ineffective.

Jesus also commands us not to hide our light but to let it shine in such a way that people will see our good works and glorify God (Matt. 5:15-16). The goal isn’t to gain their praise. People should be drawn to the light—not the lanterns. We are simply the vessels through which a transformed life is seen and the truth of God is heard by those who walk in darkness. The people with whom we live and work should be able to observe a difference in us because of the way we live, think, and act. They should see that Christ is our Lord and that we live for Him, not for our own selfish pleasures and pursuits. Our character ought to reflect His love, patience, kindness, and gentleness.

Perhaps you live or work in a very dark place and feel as if your little light is insignificant in the face of it. But in reality, a tiny bit of brightness can drive away the shadows. Instead of becoming discouraged, ask Jesus to shine even more brightly through you for the sake of those who are lost and wandering around in hopelessness.

As God’s children, we are called to proclaim the greatness of the One who brought us out of darkness into His marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9). Although we have no power to give spiritual sight, we can each shine forth the truth of the gospel with our words and lifestyles and pray that God, in His mercy, will open blinded eyes to the truth.

 

Reflect
 

From a limited human perspective, we can’t see the dramatic shift that took place in us at salvation. Perhaps the closest analogy is the story of the man born blind, who was given sight by Jesus (John 9). A whole new world opened up to him, just as it did for us when we became God’s.

Think about the characteristics of children of Light, as recorded in Ephesians 5:1-17.

  • Could these describe you?

  • Are there any practices of darkness that need to be exposed to the Light so they will lose their grip on you?

  • Do you think of yourself as a light to the world? It sounds like a very big task, but it’s really just a matter of letting Christ shine brightly in your words, attitudes, and actions so that others will be drawn to Him.

  • Has anyone ever mentioned that you seem to be different from other people? How might you shift the conversation to Christ so that He will get the glory?

  • Have you become discouraged because those around you have no interest in Jesus? What insight and encouragement do you find in John 3:19-21?

 

Pray
 

Heavenly Father, thank You for rescuing me from the darkness and bringing me into the kingdom of Your beloved Son. Help me live as a child of Light, pleasing You in all respects. Use me to be a beacon in this dark world so others may be drawn to You. Give them spiritual sight to see the truth of the gospel and be saved. Amen.

 

Meditate
 
  • John 1:5-7
  • John 12:44-46
  • Ephesians 5:8-10
  • 1 Peter 2:9

 

Practice
 

Being a light to the world may seem like an impossible challenge. However, the Lord always supplies the resources you need in order to obey Him. And we have a great resource at our fingertips—God’s Word. As you read Scripture, ask Him to make Psalm 119:130 a reality in your life: “The unfolding of Your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.” The more His Word transforms you into Christ’s image, the more brightly you will shine.

Being a light isn’t something you strive to achieve, but something you pray to be. Ask the Lord to give you opportunities and courage to reflect Christ in word and deed so someone else can hear the gospel and escape the darkness. Then pray for that person to be brought into God’s glory so that Jesus will shine to others through his or her heart.

 

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Photograph by Marina Weigl

Related Topics:  Spiritual Life

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What happens to my notes

16 who alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see. To Him be honor and eternal dominion! Amen.

2 The people who walk in darkness Will see a great light; Those who live in a dark land, The light will shine on them.

5 In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zacharias, of the division of Abijah; and he had a wife from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth.

6 They were both righteous in the sight of God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and requirements of the Lord.

7 But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and they were both advanced in years.

8 Now it happened that while he was performing his priestly service before God in the appointed order of his division,

9 according to the custom of the priestly office, he was chosen by lot to enter the temple of the Lord and burn incense.

10 And the whole multitude of the people were in prayer outside at the hour of the incense offering.

11 And an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing to the right of the altar of incense.

12 Zacharias was troubled when he saw the angel, and fear gripped him.

13 But the angel said to him, Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your petition has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will give him the name John.

14 You will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth.

15 For he will be great in the sight of the Lord; and he will drink no wine or liquor, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit while yet in his mother's womb.

16 And he will turn many of the sons of Israel back to the Lord their God.

17 It is he who will go as a forerunner before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, TO TURN THE HEARTS OF THE FATHERS BACK TO THE CHILDREN, and the disobedient to the attitude of the righteous, so as to make ready a people prepared for the Lord."

26 Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee called Nazareth,

27 to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the descendants of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.

28 And coming in, he said to her, Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you."

29 But she was very perplexed at this statement, and kept pondering what kind of salutation this was.

30 The angel said to her, Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God.

31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus.

32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David;

33 and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end."

34 Mary said to the angel, How can this be, since I am a virgin?"

35 The angel answered and said to her, The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God.

4 But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law,

14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.

5 The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

12 Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life."

13 For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son,

8 for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light

9 (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth),

10 trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord.

105 Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.

14 You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden;

15 nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.

16 Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

9 But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God's OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;

1 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children;

2 and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.

3 But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints;

4 and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.

5 For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.

6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.

7 Therefore do not be partakers with them;

8 for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light

9 (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth),

10 trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord.

11 Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them;

12 for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret.

13 But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light.

14 For this reason it says, Awake, sleeper, And arise from the dead, And Christ will shine on you."

15 Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise,

16 making the most of your time, because the days are evil.

17 So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

19 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.

20 For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.

21 But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God."

5 The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

6 There came a man sent from God, whose name was John.

7 He came as a witness, to testify about the Light, so that all might believe through him.

44 And Jesus cried out and said, He who believes in Me, does not believe in Me but in Him who sent Me.

45 He who sees Me sees the One who sent Me.

46 I have come as Light into the world, so that everyone who believes in Me will not remain in darkness.

130 The unfolding of Your words gives light; It gives understanding to the simple.

3 Then God said, Let there be light"; and there was light.

4 God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness.

14 Then God said, Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years;

15 and let them be for lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth"; and it was so.

16 God made the two great lights, the greater light to govern the day, and the lesser light to govern the night; He made the stars also.

17 God placed them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth,

18 and to govern the day and the night, and to separate the light from the darkness; and God saw that it was good.

19 There was evening and there was morning, a fourth day.

29 It came about when Moses was coming down from Mount Sinai (and the two tablets of the testimony were in Moses' hand as he was coming down from the mountain), that Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone because of his speaking with Him.

30 So when Aaron and all the sons of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone, and they were afraid to come near him.

1 Now when Solomon had finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the LORD filled the house.

2 The priests could not enter into the house of the LORD because the glory of the LORD filled the LORD'S house.

3 All the sons of Israel, seeing the fire come down and the glory of the LORD upon the house, bowed down on the pavement with their faces to the ground, and they worshiped and gave praise to the LORD, saying, Truly He is good, truly His lovingkindness is everlasting."

28 Some eight days after these sayings, He took along Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray.

29 And while He was praying, the appearance of His face became different, and His clothing became white and gleaming.

30 And behold, two men were talking with Him; and they were Moses and Elijah,

31 who, appearing in glory, were speaking of His departure which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem.

32 Now Peter and his companions had been overcome with sleep; but when they were fully awake, they saw His glory and the two men standing with Him.

33 And as these were leaving Him, Peter said to Jesus, Master, it is good for us to be here; let us make three tabernacles: one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah"--not realizing what he was saying.

34 While he was saying this, a cloud formed and began to overshadow them; and they were afraid as they entered the cloud.

35 Then a voice came out of the cloud, saying, This is My Son, My Chosen One; listen to Him!"

36 And when the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silent, and reported to no one in those days any of the things which they had seen.

3 As he was traveling, it happened that he was approaching Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him;

4 and he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?"

5 And he said, Who are You, Lord?" And He said, I am Jesus whom you are persecuting,

6 but get up and enter the city, and it will be told you what you must do."

7 The men who traveled with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one.

8 Saul got up from the ground, and though his eyes were open, he could see nothing; and leading him by the hand, they brought him into Damascus.

9 And he was three days without sight, and neither ate nor drank.

5 And there will no longer be any night; and they will not have need of the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God will illumine them; and they will reign forever and ever.

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