Monday, December 24, 2018

Let God's light shine through you

As Christmas approaches, the nights grow longer. Clouds often dim the little available daylight. This is a time when we celebrate light. We light advent candles in church and hang lights on our Christmas trees and houses and drive around to see our neighbors' decorations.

We love light. Flashlights, nightlights, porch lights, refrigerator lights; they make us feel safe. The first recorded word that God spoke was, “Let there be light!”

God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.” (I John 1:5)

Sometimes, however, the darkness is within us. Sorrow and despair cloud our minds and our hearts. Christmas isn't merry for some. They look around and see a hurting world.

During a time when half of Israel has taken into captivity and the remnant was oppressed by other nations and their own cruel leaders, the prophet Isaiah wrote of a future hope, “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned...” (Isaiah 9:2)

Jesus is that promised light. He said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)

The Gospel of John proclaims that the darkness cannot overcome the light. (John 1:5) Darkness is negative. It is the absence of light. It has no power of its own. All the darkness in the world can't put out a single candle. However, the smallest light shines brightest when it is darkest.

Light is greater than darkness and God’s good news is always greater than Satan’s bad news. Jesus' crucifixion could not extinguish the light, the cross would transform evil into good; a curse into a blessing.

The promised Savior had come to earth. He would love the world and bring his light to it. He would teach us his ways, and become the sacrifice for our sins.

Jesus told his followers, “You are the light of the world...” (Matthew 5:14)

The Bible says that Jesus' followers are “... a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light...” (1 Peter 2:9)

Darkness stunts growth and leads to death. Light, on the other hand, promotes growth. Bring the light wherever you go.

Let your light so shine before men,
that they may see your good works
and glorify your Father in heaven.
Matthew 5:16

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