Friday, September 5, 2014

A Light In The Darkness Of This World

"In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it." -John 1:4-5

     John 1 talks a lot about the darkness of the world, and how it contrasts with the Light of Jesus. In verse 9 it even talks about how Jesus being the light, gave light to everyone. Jesus came to this earth not only so that He could die on the cross, but also that He may give light to the others around Him. The verse says that He is the true light who gives light to everyone. But do we accept that light? Or are we staying in the darkness? 

     What is the darkness? How can we tell that we are in the darkness? Have you ever been reading outside and realized that you can't see the words on your page any more because the sun has set? You were so focused on your reading that you didn't notice that you couldn't see it any more. That is what sin does to us. Sin is so slow and subtle that if you aren't paying attention, you can't even see God any more. Darkness is subtle. Darkness is the ways of this world. Darkness is sinning and not knowing because you have not been enlightened by the Word. Darkness, unfortunately, is what most of the people in this world are in. 

     "How do I stay away from the darkness?" Staying away from the darkness is as simple as looking towards the light. We have to look to the light constantly without wavering from it. Not only do you have to look towards the light, but you cannot look at the darkness. Movies, music, books, social media, billboards, and so many more things that are shoved in our faces are covered in worldliness. I'm not saying that there is anything necessarily wrong with any of these things, but unfortunately it can be very difficult to avoid worldly things when these are everywhere. I live in a city, so there are billboards everywhere. Sadly, a lot of those billboards are promotions for "gentlemen" clubs and alcoholic beverages. When we are trying to stay in the light, we need to avoid these things. If we can't go outside our homes without seeing those things, how much worse is it when we go to the internet, where there are no limits? I'm not hating on the internet, but it is important for us to limit ourselves to the things we expose ourselves to before we get used to it and don't even notice the darkness of sin any more.

     So how can you be a light in this world of darkness? How can you specifically be a light to others and enlighten them in the ways of our Lord? First you have to know what you're teaching. Are you just going by what your parents taught you? By what about your preacher or your elders taught you? Those are still people and people are imperfect. You have to read the Bible for yourself so you can make sure that they aren't wrong. Don't just take everything everyone says to be the truth. Also, you have to live your life outside of the dark. That means maybe not going to that movie with your friends. That may mean maybe not reading that book, or not hanging out with that group of people. We shouldn't just avoid everyone, as we see in Matthew 5:15 where it talks about putting a light under a basket. We need to spread the light to others. But we need to separate ourselves and stand out. We need to be a contrast from the world. 

     Today I would like to encourage you all to check your lights. Are you going dim? Are you contrasting with the darkness of this world? Are you looking towards God and spending your time with the right people? Are you in the darkness? I'd like to encourage you all to ask yourselves these questions daily, and study your Bible often so you don't find yourself one day completely in the dark and unable to find the light again.