April 23, 2014
Today’s Text and Thought of Encouragement:
“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear.”
Psalm 27: 1
The Light That Is felt
“We older children grope our way,
From dark behind to dark before,
And only when our hands we lay,
Dear Lord, in Thine, the night is day,
And there is darkness nevermore.”
John Greenleaf Whittier
Today’s Study Text:
“All things were made and came into existence through Him, (the Word), and without Him was not even one thing made that has come into being. In Him was Life, and the Life was the Light of men. And the Light shines on in the darkness, for the darkness has never overpowered it (put it out or absorbed it.)”
John 1: 3-5
“Behold The Man” – Part 3
“Light and Life”
“We beg You, make us really alive. Give us the spirit of light, that we may know You.”
How has the light from the “Word” illuminated my journey?
What do the words “everlasting life” mean to me?
“Christ is the Morning Star who, when the night of this world is past brings to His saints the promise of the light of life and opens everlasting day.”
“The light of Christ burns away the shadow of the soul, throwing wide the windows of our lives, that others might enter in and they, too, find light and love.”
Several months ago, I ran on to a book which contained prayers spoken by young teens. The words below, recorded by one of the young girls named Jenny, are so appropriate for our topic today:
“The light is so bright and warm. It is overwhelming and so welcoming. I walked in and felt Your power, God. Thank You.”
Saint Matthias High School
Light. It is defined as “electromagnetic radiation that has a wavelength in the range from about 3,900 to about 7,700 angstroms and that can be perceived by the unaided, normal human eye.” Now if you think I understand this definition, you are wrong. What I am able to comprehend is that light provides us with illumination. The world is brighter, even cheerier, when there’s light. Maybe you have heard this comment before, “WOW! She can sure light up a room with her presence. It is almost as if she brought life into the place with her!” This is how “light” can make us feel at times.
Interestingly enough, when I began to study John 1: 3-5, our study texts for today, while my initial focus was directed on the word “light,” it became evident, very shortly, that in Scripture, there are repeated times when the reference to light is combined with the word life, just as John states when he wrote that “the light was the life.”
This statement required me to think about the practical ways light brings life. A few weeks ago, I received an email from my niece Bethanie. She had asked me if I would like to assist her with the purchase of several special pots which were designed uniquely for the cultivation of vegetables. Well, what a surprise I was in for when she sent me pictures on my email of leafy lettuce, small cauliflower plants, corn, potatoes and of course, cherry tomatoes. It wasn’t just the fact that these were well-watered plants growing in fertile soil that made the rapid growth possible. What was key to Bethanie’s “green thumb” results was the warm Arizona sun that at this time of year is perfectly suited to help a garden grow.
No wonder the Apostle John was so keen to make the point that “the Word,” that was from the beginning, brought light which resulted in life. This particular piece of information takes us back to something I touched on yesterday which directs our thoughts back to the first book of the Bible, Genesis. As we found, the “Word” was from the beginning and the “Word” was not only with God, but was God. But then the Apostle John continues by sharing with us the fact that the “word” made “all things” because “in Him was life; and that life was the light of men, and women, too!” Professor Robert Redman offers this fantastic explanation which helped me grasp what John tells us about life and light and the “Word.” Here are his thoughts:
“Humanity did not drain life from Jesus; rather, He injected dying humanity with life.” (WOW! Praise God for this!) “The ‘Word’ is also the light (phõs) that enlightens life. This reality of revelation through the incarnation of God in Jesus Christ is particularly important…Jesus is not merely a human word among many words; He is uniquely the Word of God by virtue of the incarnation.”
With this pertinent piece of information, I want to look at three critical moments in time when life and light have and will transform not only our world but our lives as well.
First Transformation: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, ‘Let there be light and there was light…And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into His nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul’” (Genesis 1: 1-3, 2: 7, K.J.V.).
Notice: Light comes into a dark void – then life comes to this earth.
Second Transformation: Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us, to give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace” (Luke 1; 78, 79, K.J.V.).
Notice: Light comes into our dark earth – then new life comes to earth through Jesus Christ
Third Transformation: “And the city had no need of the sun, neither the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof…And He shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations” (Revelation 21: 23, 22: 1-2, K.J.V.).
Notice: Light comes from the Lamb! - Eternal life because of the Lamb! Hallelujah!
On a personal note, as I’ve spent hours studying God’s Word over the last ten years, something that always grabs my attention is when God chooses to reveal Himself and His divine way of working, not only repeatedly, but in the same manner. No where do we find more clarity than when God created this world, that was totally dark and without form and void, or as the Hebrew tells us “confusion, desolation, nothing, emptiness, undistinguishable ruin,” and when He brought light…He brought life, too. And then again in history, at the time before the “Word,” God Himself, came into human history, born of a young teen girl, light confronted the darkness and new life was given to all who accept the “Word”. But there’s even more to this amazing story for today, you and I look forward to a new day when light again ends the desolation, the emptiness, the ruin brought by the darkness of sin and we will live throughout eternity with the Lamb as our light and because the Lamb gave His’ life. No wonder this message is called the Gospel – the Good News!
Right now in the history of planet earth, there are more people than I have ever heard before questioning the existence of God, claiming He is a force dreamed up by helpless people. And as for Jesus, well yes, maybe He was a good teacher, even a great one. But divine? That’s just going too far.
I have to tell you, when I think of the light bursting into the darkness of my world and giving me the gift of eternal life, I can tell you that there is nothing on this old planet that would keep me so enticed or would stop me from giving up some earthly possession or passionate pleasure and miss out on hearing these words: “I will be your God, and you shall be My daughter for all eternity” (Revelation 21: 7, K.J.V.).
And just to add a special touch to John’s words, he wanted to assure every child of the Kingdom, “the darkness has never overpowered (the light) or put it out or absorbed it” (John 1: 5, Amplified Bible). What a promise for each of us, sent directly to the heart of every struggling child of God from the “Word,” the “Light” and our eternal “Life.” The Light will never be put out by the darkness!
“Lead, kindly light, amid the encircling gloom,
Lead Thou me on;
The night is dark, and I am far from home,
Lead Thou me on.
Keep Thou my feet: I do not ask to see
The distant scene; one step enough for me.”
John Henry Newman
Lighten Our Darkness
“Lighten our darkness, Lord! In bygone years
Oft have I prayed and thought on childish fears,
Glad in my heart that, when the day was dead,
God’s four white angels watched about my bed.
Lighten our darkness, Lord! Kneeling in the mud
My hands still wet and warm with human blood.
Oft have I prayed it! Perils of this night!
Sorrow of soldiers! Mercy! Give us light.
Lighten our darkness! Black upon the mind
Questions and doubts, so many paths that wind,
Worlds of blind sorrow crying out for light.
Peace, where is Peace? Lord Jesus, give us light.
Lighten our darkness! Stumbling to the end,
Millions of mortals feeling for a friend,
Shall not the Judge of all earth do right?
Flame through the darkness, Lord, and give us light.”
G. A. Studdert-Kennedy
“Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world: he (and she) that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”
John 8: 12
Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
P. S. Thank you so much for the gifts you send to Transformation Garden which continue to assist our ministry here in the United States and in 192 countries around the world. 100% of your donation goes directly to providing for our daily devotionals and gift bookmarks. Transformation Garden is a non-profit organization so your gift is tax-deductible and you will receive a receipt for any gift you send.
Also, if you should happen to miss a devotional for some reason, you can go to www.transformationgarden.com and you will find archived devotionals. We also place the daily devotionals on Facebook so you can find them on that site also.
My book, When A Woman Meets Jesus, is available wherever books are sold and on the internet at www.amazon.com and www.Christianbook.com or by calling toll-free, 1-800-Christian. Thank you so much for your support of Transformation Garden.
For more from Dorothy, please visit transformationgarden.com.