April 10, 2020
Are You a Glow-in-the-Dark Believer?
By Skip Heitzig
Did you know there's a phenomenon called light deprivation? During the time of the year when there's less sunshine, a person can become moody and even depressed. The scientific name for this is seasonal affective disorder, or SAD. It turns out that as human beings, we actually need sunlight, both physically and emotionally.
In the same way, people can't survive or thrive spiritually without Sonlight—the light of God's Son, Jesus Christ. Make no mistake—we're living in dark, uncertain times. But in John 8:12, Jesus said, "I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life." This means several different things for those of us who follow Him.
First, it says something about our internal condition: we have confidence. Think back to the Israelites in the wilderness. As long as the cloud by day and the fire by night was with them, they didn't have to worry about where they were going; they would just follow (see Exodus 13:21-22). Following Jesus Christ is like that: Even in dark times, the way is lit up. Your life makes sense. You have the light of life.
It also says something about our external behavior. The word walk in John 8:12 is used figuratively to refer to one's entire lifestyle (see Romans 8:1; Galatians 5:16; Ephesians 5:2). The idea is that your external behavior changes when you come to Christ. It's not all about you anymore. You're no longer self-centered. The worship of yourself is replaced by a pure, bright, God-obeying, God-honoring lifestyle.
Third, this verse says something about our spiritual influence. It's not just that the light helps you navigate your way through life; it's that you now reflect that light. Jesus told His followers, "You are the light of the world" (Matthew 5:14). You and I are now to be that light.
Finally, it says something about our eternal destiny. The Bible promises that if you follow Jesus and reflect His glory now, you will be celebrated in the kingdom forever (see Daniel 12:3). After the sun burns out, all the constellations die, and there's a new heaven and earth, you'll still be shining. Jesus said as much: "Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father" (Matthew 13:43).
It's easy to complain and even feel hopeless about the current state of the world. Times are tough, and we're good at keeping track of all the bad things that are happening. But this world needs more glow-in-the-dark Christians who will say, "Yes, it's dark—but what a great opportunity for light." The darker it gets, the more noticeable the light is.
What are some practical ways you can shine the light of Christ in someone's life this week? Especially with it being Easter, it's never been a better time for you to point others to "the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning" (James 1:17).
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