The Light of the World

1 John 1:5-7: This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.

John 3:19-21: This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.

As John writes in his Gospel, and in the subsequent  letter of 1 John, he uses the image of light to represent truth, and that which is good, pure and holy. In contrast, darkness represents evil, falsehoods, and that which opposes God’s kingdom. Two lifestyles are made visible: one represented by godliness and truth and the other by wickedness and lies. In the midst of persecution and false teachings, these early believers were encouraged by John to always walk in the “light.”

What does it mean for followers of Christ today to walk in the light? Walking in the light draws us to places where people are suffering and without hope. When you help out those in need without any kind of personal motive, you are revealing the light of Christ to people who so desperately need that light. When you offer a kind and compassionate word to those that so desperately need it, you are displaying the love of Christ to those that are hurting. When you take the time to listen to someone who needs to share their problems and worries, you are “in fellowship with one another” (1 John 1:7). As you attempt to live out a holy life that leads others to Christ, you live out your life in “truth” (1 John 1:6). You are walking in the light, humbly doing God’s work, without drawing attention to your good deeds.

Jesus didn’t associate much with the rich and well connected people of his day. He spent time with those who were shunned by society and were made to feel like second class citizens. Jesus reminds us as His followers, we are not citizens of this world, but rather citizens of heaven. And as His followers, if we are to walk in the light, we must go and carry His light into those dark and hopeless places in our community and throughout our world. Love and compassion for our fellow human beings should compel us to minister to those who are hurting and in need of some kindness. If we truly love others we must show them the way out of darkness and into the light of Christ.

As you begin to walk more in the light of Christ you become less concerned or focused on the things of this world. You are able to let go of worldly things, whether they are material possessions, fame, pride, etc. Those that seek these things are worldly and their focus is more on this world than on the eternal promises of our future reward in heaven. As you walk more fully in the light of Christ, you realize that you love God the Father more than you love the fame, wealth, or the attention of this world.

1 John 2:15-17: Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – comes not from the Father but from the world.

Do you love the world more than you love God? If you do, then it’s time that you walk out of the darkness of this world and into the light of Christ. The possessions and the desires of this world are fading fast, they are only temporary. This day, you must make the choice to let go of the things of this world and focus your attention on the concerns of God. 1 John 1:17: The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.

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