Saturday, December 06, 2008

Turn on the LIGHT!

We live in a dark world. You watch reports of the growing darkness every night on the evening news. We are no stranger to darkness. Yet in the midst of darkness, there shines a light that dispels darkness. In the beginning of creation, God created light. He called the light day and the darkness night. And though we still have both to remind us of the creative hand of God, we often forget about the power of the light. God first reminded the Children of Israel in their flight from Egypt that light has great power over the darkness…. They watched as God in the tenth plague, at the command of Moses, brought darkness down upon Egypt. It was not just a momentary storm or and it lasted for three days. It was a supernatural darkness so thick you could feel it. Then later after they fled from Pharaoh, God gave them “ by night...a pillar of fire to give them light” (Exodus 13:21) Just like the people of God who were coming out of the darkness of sin and bondage of Egypt, so today, we need the light of God, the pillar of fire in the darkness of the night around us to give us light.
That Light came after 4000 years of waiting for the promised One… the Light of the world. First it was just a flicker...a star shining in the eastern sky, noticed by some astronomers who recognized its significance. They were willing to travel great distances to find the One whose Light was about to shine in the darkness. The prophet Isaiah has spoken of this One, hundreds of years before it ever happened...The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: but the LORD shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory. Isaiah 60:19 and The people who walked in darkness Have seen a great light; Isaiah 9:2 and I will make darkness light before them, And crooked places straight. Isaiah 42:16
Then along came John the Baptist who declared to his followers about the ‘light’ that was coming..... 6There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John. 7He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe. 8He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. 9The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world. (John 1:6-8)
The Purpose of Light
God made light to dispel the darkness. It would be impossible to see what we are doing down here on this earth without light. Without light, nothing would grow, and life would be so limited. Without the light in our physical lives, some often suffer from depression, and some from Season Affective Disorder or SAD. Without the Light in our spiritual lives, we walk in despair and darkness. We all have a choice about whether we walk in darkness or in light. In the natural, we can turn on a light switch and the darkness of a room leaves us. If we light just a single candle, the darkness is dispelled. Jesus told his followers, in John 8:12 "I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life"
We must choose to follow the Light of the world. Those who think they can be their own light continue to walk in spiritual darkness. Jesus was not just the light for Israel, not just the light for Jews, not just the light for the time when He lived on the earth...but He is a Light of the whole world. His light shines wherever people give him an open door….wherever folks open their hearts to the Light of lights.
It amazes me that some folks love darkness when they can have light. I have been in homes where they have beautiful sunny windows covered by dark and depressing draperies. They never open the curtains and let the sun shine in. Some folks do that in their spiritual lives too. Fear paralyzes them and keeps them from trusting in the One who is Light, who brings light into the darkness and who overcomes the fear generated by the enemy.
There is coming a wonderful day for all who will trust the Savior and let Him shine the Light of Life into their lives. The world around us does not have much to offer when considering eternity. Folks often live with just a ‘hope’ that after they die, they will end up in a good place. We can do more than hope. We can know! We can anticipate a glorious future living in a city that needs no sun to light it… no moon at night...for there is no night there… and yet there is no darkness at all. There is One who will radiate the glory of God.
Revelation 21:23 And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. It’s soon Christmas again...and though the world seems dark and bleak, though the economy is suffering and folks wonder how they can celebrate the season with joy, there is One who gives us a reason to rejoice! Life was not easy for Joseph and Mary when Jesus came into their lives. They were living under a repressive Roman regime, taxed beyond measure, and without much hope for a reprieve. Yet in the midst of the political turmoil of that age, Jesus came...the Light of Life! And in a stable in Bethlehem, a light shone through the darkness that few understood. Few were even sensitive to what was happening around them. Are we any different today? Do we listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit as He speaks into our hearts? Are we obedient like the shepherds were? Do we follow His leading as the wise men did? Do we give to the Lord with their kind of generosity? Are we trusting as Mary and Joseph were? Do we recognize greatness in our midst as the prophetess Anna and the devout Simeon did when his parents brought Jesus to the temple after His birth? For many of us, we would have to be honest and say, “No”. Today we are a skeptical lot. We rarely trust others. We tend to believe the worst before we even know the truth. We hoard our resources instead of giving as Jesus did. We tend to do our own thing instead of walking in spiritual obedience. Thank God, Jesus is not like us!
Turn on the Light! We desperately need His Light! Yes, even today, His Light still shines. The darkness still goes. The path is made clear, the fear is dispelled! No darkness can remain in His presence! As you gather with your families around the story of His birth, make Him the focus of your day. It’s not the goodies on the table or under the tree that matter. It’s the Light that counts! Without Him, we would all be walking in darkness without hope, without a future…! Just as the Light shone brightly into the darkness of Bethlehem on that night so long ago, His light still shines brightly, not dimmed by the years, not overcome by darkness...shining to our churches, our homes, our businesses, our families and our own hearts—-if we let Him.
The Power of the Light
While the sun above us radiates both heat and light on our world, the Son also is an endless source of energy and power. From Him, all power is available to meet the needs of humans who will turn to Him for help. Divine energy flows from His limitless source and empowers believers to stand strong in the face of the enemy. Healing power flows down from the Son to enrich and bring vibrant health and strength to His children. The anointing flows through this power to meet the need. It is power to heal, to witness, to be bold, to pray, to worship, and to serve.
Does your world seem a little dark lately? Turn on the Light! Let the Son shine in! J. Johnson

From our house to yours, we wish each of you a blessed and Christ-filled Christmas season. Thank you for your faithfulness and prayers throughout the year. God Bless you all!

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