“…I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life…I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness.”
John 8:12; 12:46
Over the past 241 years, America has meant much to many people. I am reminded of something Alabama Congressman Bradley Byrne said two years ago on his website. He had written of visiting Israel with some other members of Congress and how his Israeli tour guide had told them that they, “as Americans, are the light of the world and a beacon of hope for all those in despair.” The United States has been a beacon of light and hope to many in this world who long for freedom from tyranny and oppression. Men and women from all over the world have come to our shores because they want to experience the joy of having the opportunity to exercise their God-given right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Yet this nation, while a blessing from God in many ways, is not the brightest light shining in this dark world. The freedoms and opportunities America provides, while great, are not the most valuable blessings one can possess. In reality, there is only One whose light shines the brightest and Who offers all of humanity the blessing of a freedom far more valuable and precious than any liberty offered by the United States Constitution.
Sin blinds us. It clouds our thinking. It interferes with our ability to reason. When we become involved in sinful habits, our lives and families are destroyed…and yet we blame everyone but ourselves. In truth our choice to practice sin allows the god of this world to blind us (2 Corinthians 4:4). We “go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived” (2 Timothy 3:13). All of us have seen not only ourselves but also our friends and loved ones in this terrible predicament. When it happens to those we love, it is all but impossible for us to sit idly by and watch this happen to them without getting involved. Even if it means suffering ourselves or being hated or blamed by them or others, we must do something.
Jesus is like that too. He has looked down from heaven and saw us, those whom He loved, darkened and tainted by the corruption and blindness of sin…and He had to do something. He could not sit idly by and watch this happen, and so He got involved even though He knew the result would be being “despised and rejected by men” (Isaiah 53:3). Yet He came anyway because He was on a mission to restore the spiritual sight of His lost children. He came to be the true Light of the world (John 8:12; 12:46). He knows that when we are left to ourselves, we wander in the darkness of sin because we don’t know where to turn even if we think we do (Proverbs 14:12). So Jesus fulfilled Old Testament prophecy (Isaiah 42:16) by setting out to accomplish the mission of bringing light into a world blinded by sin.
When we turn to His Word and obey it, His light illuminates our lives, no matter how darkened by sin they may be (Psalm 119:105). It’s tragic that many refuse this Light because they refuse to obey God’s Word. Don’t be one of them! Accept what His Word says about receiving the salvation He offers through His grace and our confessed faith, repentance and baptism into His body which is His one and only church (Titus 2:11-12; Romans 10:9-10; John 3:16; Luke 13:3; Acts 2:38; Mark 16:16; 1 Peter 3:21; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Colossians 1:18; Ephesians 4:4-6). Once you’ve come up out of the waters of baptism having obtained His gift of grace, keep it by continuing to obey His Word, penitently confessing your sins when you commit them (John 8:31-32; Hebrews 10:26-31; 1 John 1:7-9; 2 Corinthians 7:9-11).
Followers of Christ do not walk in darkness (John 8:12), so walk in His light by obeying His commandments. Only then will you be able to see the narrow path which leads to Heaven (Matthew 7:13-14).