Thursday, August 14, 2008

Light of the World

I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life. John 8:12

I can remember being a kid alone in my room at night. My imagination would run wild, especially if it was dark. I would convince myself that I should not have my foot or hand hanging over the edge of the bed because I just knew there was something lurking underneath in the darkness just ready to grab me and pull me out.... Then Mom would come in and turn on my night light. How is it that one little bulb can be so powerful?

Sometimes we can feel as though we're swimming in the darkness of this world just ready to be pulled under. A spiritual darkness brought on by sin. But Jesus came to be our light and our salvation. (Psalm 27:1) The trouble we sometimes run into is staying in the light. Ann Spangler explains:

To put it plainly, living in the light requires effort impelled by grace. At a minimum it means following the lighted path of God's commandments. But even more than laws, we are called to follow the world's true light, Jesus Christ, imitating his life as we are able. It's that simple, - and that difficult. (Praying the Names of Jesus p. 34)

We all have times of spiritual void in our lives. I think the key word Spangler uses is effort. We have to make an effort to walk in the presence of God's light.

Matthew 5:14-16
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 others, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

The Light of the world is also a call to action. He doesn't call us to just bask in His light, but to do our best to also share it with others.

In closing, Ann Spangler writes: (p.38)
What are you waiting for? The perfect mate, your next vacation, a coveted promotion, the kids to graduate from college, enough money to accumulate in your retirement account? Ask yourself that question because whatever you're waiting for is what you're living for.

She goes on to explain that what we are really waiting for is the second coming of Jesus Christ. "We are waiting for him to bring justice to the oppressed, mercy to the suffering, strength to the weak. We are waiting for a time in which our hearts will no longer be assaulted by the headlines we read in the newspaper. We are waiting for a time in which death will lose its hold and the Lord God will be our everlasting light. And while we are waiting, this is also what we are living for."

This was profound to me. So many times I have said "Well, the kids are just too young," or "When the kids are older I'll be able to....". What I've learned is there is no better time than now to share Jesus. It may be by serving in your church, it may be by going on a mission trip or maybe he's put someone on your heart you should talk to. However it is He chooses to use you, don't put it off. Don't wait for something that doesn't matter, but live for Him who does.

I came across a blog entry I wanted to share with you. As I read this May entry from Bring the Rain, it brought to mind this week's lesson. Despite the imperfections, despite the flaws, despite the times of disobedience in my life, God can still use me. His light shines inside of this broken and mended piece of pottery, and it's through those gaping holes he allows it to shine to the world.

So let's hit the ground running! Who's up for smashing some pottery?!

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