Dark Corners – Luke 11:33-36

darkcorner“Make sure that the light you think you have is not actually darkness. If you are filled with light, with no dark corners, then your whole life will be radiant, as though a floodlight were filling you with light” (Luke 11:35-36, NLT).

These verses from Luke are an extension of Jesus’ well-known teaching from the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 6:22ff. Light and darkness are metaphors for good and evil.

But, Dr. Luke develops the metaphor more richly in his account by elaborating on the properties of light, specifically, the magnitude and direction of the light. Light travels in a straight line and if it is not bright enough or is deflected by a surface, its radiance diminishes and it can leave dark corners in a particular space.

Continue reading

Shine! – Matthew 5:14-16, Part 4: Clandestine Christians

light-under-a-basket“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; 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. 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” (Matthew 5:14-16, NASB).

Are you a Light-Under-A-Basket Christian? A Clandestine Christian? A good gal or guy but people don’t know why?

A lot of Christians are Clandestine Christians. They want to conceal the fact that they are Christians because it might be uncomfortable for them or others . More often than not, I am! And, sometimes, maybe you are too…

Continue reading

Shine! – Matthew 5:14-16, Part 3: Good Works

Light of the World-Good Works“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; 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. 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” (Matthew 5:14-16, NASB).

This familiar verse is from the Sermon on the Mount. You’ve probably read it, sung about it, had it taught to you in Sunday School lessons, or had it preached to you in sermons on many occasions.

I know I have. And I’ve even expounded on it more than a few times myself in these Meditations. But in all my elucidations about being the light of the world, there’s one very important point I haven’t explained very well–how to emit light.

What do I actually do to radiate light so that people will glorify God? How do I shine?

Continue reading

The Edge of Darkness – 1 John 5:17

Gate_from_darkness_to_Light“We know that we are of God, and the whole world is under the sway of the evil one.” (1 John 5:17, HCSB)

The book of I John is a book of contrasts.  John begins his letter by contrasting darkness and light. He declares that “God is Light and there is absolutely no darkness in Him” (vs. 1:5).

Continue reading

Shine! – Matthew 5:14-16, Part 2: Shining Jesus

Shine my Light“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; 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. 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” (Matthew 5:14-16, NASB).

When Jesus said to let your light shine on people, He didn’t mean His light should reflect off me. He meant that His light should be emitted from me.

Continue reading

Be Prepared – Ephesians 5:15-17

Prepared_For_Life“Pay careful attention, then, to how you walk—not as unwise people but as wise— making the most of the time, because the days are evil. So don’t be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is” (Ephesians 5:15-17, HCSB).

One of the recurring themes in my book, The Kingdom Order: Living for the Future in the Present, is that we should live our life in the present as though it is preparation for eternity. We must allow our hope for an eternal future to impact the way we live in our present reality.

Continue reading

Lighting the Way – Psalm 43:3-4

“Send out your light and your truth; let them guide me. Let them lead me to your holy mountain, to the place where you live. There I will go to the altar of God, to God—the source of all my joy” (Psalm 43:3-4, NLT).

In this prayer for God’s redemption, light and truth are viewed as guides and the Temple on the mountain in Jerusalem symbolized God’s holy presence among his people.

So the psalmist prayed for God’s light and truth to lead him into God’s presence where he could find happiness.

This verse is a Messianic promise because it ultimately finds fulfillment in Jesus Christ.

Jesus is the light that leads us to the truth of God, where we can live in His presence and the joy He gives us through the indwelling Holy Spirit.

On several occasions during His earthly ministry Jesus explained that He was the fulfillment of this Messianic promise.

Jesus said that He was the light of God and, as such, He would drive out darkness and bring truth to people’s lives so they would do what is right and be a light to others: “But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants” (John 3:21, NLT).

Jesus told His disciples that He was the light of the world and if you follow Him you will find God’s truth: “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life” (John 8:12, NLT).

When Jesus told His disciples that He was going to die, they were anxious and He reassured them by telling them that He Himself was the way to God: “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6, NLT).

Remember, God sends His light to you to illuminate the way to Him so that you can guide others to Jesus, God’s Light, so they also can find their way to God!