“Are you walking in the Light today or are you still in darkness? Unless you have believed in Jesus as your only Savior…Unless you have repented, decided to leave a life of sin and have chosen to dedicate the remainder of your life to please Him…Unless you have verbally confessed your belief that Jesus is the Son of the Living God…And Unless you have been baptized – immersed in water – to wash away your sins…You still are living in darkness and have yet to know the full benefits of His light. You make the call.”
The seven ways in which Jesus Christ blesses us as the Light of the world.
Technology has come so far so fast during the last 100 years. Even in my lifetime, I am amazed at the advances that have been made. I am equally amazed at how much we take for granted modern technology with all of its benefits and conveniences.
One technology which we take for granted is the electric light. Most of us do not remember a time before electric lighting and, therefore, do not fully appreciate what a change that made to daily life. Yes, I dare say that it would be hard for us to imagine the huge difference there would be in our lifestyle without electric lighting.
Another Light that many take for granted, today, is Jesus. The coming of that Light changed the world forever. It is hard for us to appreciate His impact on the world because we have no recollection of the world before Jesus. Unless you read history books, the only hint of the impact made by Jesus – the Light of the World – is provided in the changed life of those who have truly been converted by Him.
I want us to consider the importance and blessings of Jesus as the Light of the world.
1. Light Brings Sight and Understanding.
If you look in the dictionary, the first definition for “light” is “something that makes vision possible.“ In other words, light makes it possible for us to see. Without light, we are hopelessly blind – blind to our surroundings, blind to our situations and circumstances, blind to even ourselves. Light makes it possible for us to see clearly – things as they really are.
Did you know that an absence of sunlight causes blindness? Animals who live out their lives in a complete absence of light are commonly blind, even eyeless. Mules kept in mines also become blind. Horses kept in dark stables and denied sunlight become blind. Those who live in dungeons, cellars, prisons, mines, and similar places that are denied sunlight lose their sight.
Before Jesus, most of the world was spiritually blind. It was unable to see spiritual reality. The world had became blind because it had rejected God. You see, as the apostle John says, “God is light.” If you push God out of your life, you will become blind. That is what the world did. Romans 1:21, “For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God, or give thanks; but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.” Mankind was spiritually blind and, therefore, spiritually lost. As Jesus said, in John 12:35, “he who walks in the darkness does not know where he goes.”
Mankind lost sight of who we are, where we come from, why we are here, and where we are going. Jesus came as light to help a blind world regain its sight. John 12:46, “I have come as light into the world, that everyone who believes in Me may not remain in darkness.” John 9:39-41, “And Jesus said, ‘…I came into this world, that those who do not see may see.’”
1 John 5:20, “And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding.”
Yes, through Jesus, we now know and understand we are created by a God Who loves us and wants a relationship with us. We now know and understand that our sin and rebellion has severed our relationship with our God. We now know and understand that we can regain that relationship now and forever through Christ Jesus. We now know right from wrong. We now know and understand the marvelous place prepared for those who strive to walk in His light and the terrible destiny of those who reject the True Light.
Thanks to Jesus, we can say ‘Once we were blind but now we see.’
II. Light Brings Life.
We learn in grade school that without sunshine there would be no life possible on earth. The sun provides the basis for all life on earth. The sun is the source of energy for all plants, and indirectly, for all animals. Take away the sunlight and all life on earth would soon perish. Sunlight sustains our lives not only due to the energy it gives us in our food but also because it helps our body synthesize vitamins. Too, it brings vitality to our red and white blood cells. Shut up the strongest man in a dark dungeon and he becomes pale like a corpse, loses physical vigor and strength, loses the power to resist disease and he will waste away.
As vital is sunlight for physical life, even so the Light of the Son of God is vital for spiritual life.
Paul says, in Romans 3:23, “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Furthermore, Romans 6:23 declares that “the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Matthew 4:16 tells us that the coming of Jesus fulfilled the prophecy given in Isaiah 9:2, “the people who were sitting in darkness saw a great light, and to those who were sitting in the land and shadow of death, upon them a light dawned.”
Jesus, as the Light of the World, brings us that light that quickens or restores our spiritual life. John 8:12, “Again therefore Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world; he who follows Me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life.’”
Spiritual life can be found in no other than in Christ. Just as He is the Giver of all physical life so He is the Provider of spiritual life. He is Life itself. Thus, He proclaims in John 14:6, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.” 1 John 5:12, “He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life.” John 3:36, “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”
Spiritual life, eternal life is possible in Christ when we consider the next blessing of light…
III. Light Removes Stains and Purifies.
Sunlight will remove stains from spotted garments. When a garment or anything else with spots is cleansed by the purifying effects of the sun, we say it is ‘sun bleached’.
Not only does sunlight remove stains but it purifies. In 1877, it was discovered that sunlight kills bacteria. Before we had all our modern germ-killers the only way to purify a thing was to hang it out in the sunlight. We now know that the ultraviolet rays of the Sun purifies the air, water and surfaces of bacteria and germs. By purifying air and water, and by destroying bacteria on surfaces such as the skin and bed sheets, sunlight destroys germs in man’s environment before they enter the body. Furthermore, sunlight also aids in destroying germs within the body. After exposure to sunlight, the ability of cells to eat and destroy invading foreign substance (a process known as phagocytosis), is greatly increased.
Just as the light of the Sun removes physical stains, so Jesus the Light of the World removes the spiritual stain of sin from our souls. Isaiah 1:18, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Though your sins are as scarlet, they will be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they will be like wool.’” Yes, even as sunlight purifies, so also Jesus purifies us. 1 John 1:7, “the blood of Jesus…cleanses us from all sin.”
Jesus instructed Paul to preach the Gospel to all, Acts 26:18, “to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, in order that they may receive forgiveness of sins.” Peter, in Acts 2:38, speaks of how one correctly responds to the Gospel that allows one to be cleansed by Jesus – “Repent, and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.” Acts 22:16, “Arise, and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His name.”
How wonderful is the cleansing we receive when we accept Jesus into our lives when we obey His Gospel. Not only is our soul purified but are conscience is cleansed of all guilt.
Even after we become Christians, the continued cleansing of Jesus is required. For, though we strive to obey His Will, we stumble and sin from time to time. 1 John 1:8-9, “If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
IV. Light Heals.
Another wonderful benefit of light is that it heals. There is healing in sunlight. Sunlight therapy has been found to be highly effective in the treatment of tuberculosis, streptococcal infections, pneumonia, mumps, fungal infections and more. Tiny flashes of infrared light can play a role in healing wounds, building muscle, turning back the worst effects of diabetes and repairing blinded eyes.
Whereas natural light may heal physical wounds and afflictions, the light of Jesus’ love and compassion brings healing to emotional wounds and afflictions of the heart and mind. In the very first sermon Jesus ever preached , recorded in Luke 4, He declared that the prophecy of Isaiah 61:1 spoke of His ministry – “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent Me to bind up the brokenhearted.”
Many have been wounded by the words and deeds of others in this cruel world. Many feel rejected and dejected. Many have been broken by adversity, affliction and loss. Many carry great burdens borne as a result of past bad decisions. For all these things and more, Jesus is the great Healer. Shining brightly, Psalm 34:18, “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalm 147:3, “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”
Jesus beckons, Matthew 11: 28-29, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for you souls.”
Not only does light heal…..
V. Light Cheers.
When there are long periods without sunshine, people get depressed. Folks who live in western Oregon and Washington State and in Southern England where there is lots of cloudy and foggy weather conditions over extended periods of time, have a higher incidence of depression.
People who live in those parts of the world where the winter cold keep them indoors a lot, they suffer significantly more depression. They even have a term for it – Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). People with SAD are effectively treated by going into artificially lit rooms called ‘sun rooms.’ The light mimics sunlight and decreases the brain’s production of melatonin and picks up the people’s spirits. Bright light cheers us.
Speaking of the coming of Jesus, Isaiah 60:20 prophesied, “Your sun will set no more, Neither will your moon wane; For you will have the Lord for an everlasting light, and the days of your mourning will be finished.”
There is good reason why people have had trouble discovering true and lasting happiness. The problem is in the nature of happiness. Happiness depends on what happens. Happiness is linked to our circumstances. When things are going great, then we may be happy. When things take a turn for the worst, our happiness evaporates.
What people really want is a happiness that lasts. People desire a happiness that does depend on happenstance. Such a thing does exist. But it is not called happiness. The Bible calls joy. Joy is deeper and more abiding than happiness. Joy is something that the Lord gives. It is a mark of someone who has been truly redeemed. Listen to how D. L. Moody describes this difference. “Happiness is caused by things that happen around me, and circumstances will mar it; but joy flows right on through trouble; joy flows on through the dark; joy flows in the night as well as in the day; joy flows all through persecution and opposition. It is an unceasing fountain bubbling up in the heart; a secret spring the world can’t see and doesn’t know anything about. The Lord gives His people perpetual joy when they walk in obedience to Him.”
Joy comes from the knowledge that you are right with the Lord. It comes from knowing that He is your loving and loyal Friend and not your angry enemy. It comes from the knowledge that your life, each day, has an exalted purpose. It comes from knowing that you are pleasing your Creator and Savior and Lord. It comes from the experience of Christ working through you to bless the lives of others around you. In sum, it comes from fellowshipping with Him and bathing in His light each day.
Psalm 16:11, “In Thy presence is fullness of joy; In Thy right hand there are pleasures forever.“
VI. Light Gives Security.
Are you afraid of the dark? Many people are. Children are especially fearful of the darkness. I remember being afraid of the dark as a child myself.
I recall reading an interview with Stephen King, best selling author of many tales of horror. In the interview he talked about his daily writing routine. He said that he only writes in the morning. When he was asked whether he ever wrote at night, he replied, “Are you kidding? Not with the stuff I write.” Apparently, even Stephen King knows the power of darkness.
Light dispels fear. It provides us with security. That’s why we light our streets and our homes at night. That is why our children often times request night lights. It keeps those ferocious monsters and the boogie men at bay.
When you have Jesus, the True Light, in your life, you do not need to fear anything. He offers the best protection. He provides true security. Nothing can unknowingly penetrate the wall of defense which He builds around His own.
Hebrews 13:5-6, “He Himself has said, ‘I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,’ so that we confidently say, ‘The Lord is my Helper, I will not be afraid. What shall man do to me?’”
We don’t even need to fear our Spiritual Enemy. 2 Thessalonians 3:3, “But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.” It is the job of the shepherd to guard and protect the sheep. Jesus is the Good Shepherd. Hear what He says, in John 10:27-29, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they shall never perish; and no one shall snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.”
Romans 8:38-39, “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
VII. Light Brings Hope.
For good reason, light has been a symbol of hope for ages. Think of the sense of hope we feel when we see the dawn’s first light after a long, difficult night.
Jesus is the embodiment of hope. Hope of salvation, hope of righteousness, hope of peace. But the greatest hope He gives is that which pertains to the afterlife.
Perhaps you have heard of the famous poet and short-story novelist, O. Henry. His real name was William Sydney Porter. When he lay dying, he called out to his nurse, “Pull up the shades, Mary. I’m afraid to go home in the dark.”
For many, death is dark and foreboding. Death is dreaded rather than something to be viewed with hope and anticipation. Jesus can change that. Yea, He is the only One Who can grant us cheerful light when we are in the valley of the shadow of death. For, if you belong to Him, death is but an illusion.
John 11:25-26, “Jesus said…‘I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me shall live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?’”
John 6:40, “For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him, may have eternal life; and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.”
John 14:1-3, “Let not your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”
Revelation 21:23, “And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine upon it, for the glory of God has illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb.” 22:5, “And there shall no longer be any night; and they shall not have need of the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God shall illumine them; and they shall reign forever and ever.”
While on maneuvers, a battleship lookout noted a light in the dark, foggy night. After noting the light’s coordinates, the captain recognized his ship was on a collision course with the other vessel. The captain instructed, “Signal the ship: We are on a collision course, advise you change course 20 degrees.” The return signal countered, “Advisable for you to change course 20 degrees.” The captain signaled, “I’m a captain, change course 20 degrees.” The response was, “I’m a seaman second class, you’d better change course 20 degrees.” By this time the captain was furious. His signal curtly ordered, “I’m a battleship. Change course 20 degrees.” The reply: “I’m a lighthouse. You make the call.”
John 8:12, “Jesus spoke….saying, ‘I am the light of the world; he who follows Me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light.’”
Are you walking in the Light today or are you still in darkness? Unless you have believed in Jesus as your only Savior…Unless you have repented, decided to leave a life of sin and have chosen to dedicate the remainder of your life to please Him…Unless you have verbally confessed your belief that Jesus is the Son of the Living God…And Unless you have been baptized – immersed in water – to wash away your sins…You still are living in darkness and have yet to know the full benefits of His light. You make the call.