Jesus is the Light - First15 - November 7, 2017

Jesus is the Light

Weekly Overview:

We live in the reality that there is both light and darkness around us at all times. This world has both good and evil, right and wrong. As believers we must grow in both our acceptance of this reality and our pursuit of the light. We must allow God to mold and shape us into those who rid ourselves of any darkness, become fully known to God, and allow his light to transform us into reflections of his Son. May the Lord open our eyes to see the glorious light before us this week.

Scripture:“Your sun shall no more go down, nor your moon withdraw itself; for the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your days of mourning shall be ended.” >Isaiah 60:20

Devotional:

To live in the light is to center our lives wholly around its only true source: Jesus. Jesus powerfully declares in John 8:12, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” As those committed to following Jesus, we are constantly being led by him into the light. He is constantly beckoning us away from the darkness of this world and calling us to a life centered around him and his kingdom.

In and of ourselves, we have no light. Left to our own devices, we would live our entire lives in darkness, void of the abundance of joy and peace available to us in God. But through Jesus the light has come. The Holy Spirit now dwells within us, the glory of God in the hearts of men. If we will simply surrender our lives to God and the light he brings, we will experience a life of freedom and joy founded in his unconditional love. If we will choose to place Jesus at the center of all we do and who we are, we will receive mighty deliverance from the constraints and bonds of darkness.

You see, the path out of darkness always begins by looking to the light. We can’t escape darkness if darkness is all we’re looking toward. We can’t escape sin by just focusing on it and trying to fix it, heal it, or set ourselves free. Freedom comes by turning our attention to the God who conquered sin and death and fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.

2 Corinthians 4:6 says, “For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” The light of God is within you. Your life as a Christian is hidden in Christ. The darkness will not overcome you. Your freedom has come in the person of Jesus. The love of God is real, available, and powerful enough to set you free from whatever darkness entangles you.

Turn your attention fully toward Jesus today. Center your life around his loving-kindness. Open your ears and heart to this good God who would lay down his life to save yours. Follow him wherever he guides you in full faith that he will only ever lead you into more abundant life. Cease striving for your own freedom and wrap your life up in Jesus that he might be your great deliverer, healer, and source of comfort and strength.

God has abundant grace in store for you today if you will simply position yourself to receive it. Take time in guided prayer to reflect on the light that has come through Jesus, turn your attention completely toward him, and receive the freedom and healing that comes from union with the God of light.

Guided Prayer:

1. Meditate on the light that has come through Jesus. Allow Scripture to stir up your desire to truly open your heart and center your life around Jesus.

“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12

“For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” 2 Corinthians 4:6

“In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.” 1 John 4:9

2. Turn your heart completely toward Jesus and focus your attention on him. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you into an encounter with your Savior.

3. Talk with Jesus about any areas in your life that seem to have darkness. Lay down any sin and darkness at his feet and ask for his forgiveness and healing. Ask the Spirit to help you follow him as he leads you out of the darkness and into the light by focusing on Jesus.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2

“Your sun shall no more go down, nor your moon withdraw itself; for the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your days of mourning shall be ended.” Isaiah 60:20

“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” Psalm 27:1

There is most definitely a place in freedom for discipline and the practicalities of stepping away from that which normally tempts you. But the foundation for freedom will always be encounters with the living God. There is a reason we sin that goes past the temptation to a wound, misconception, or lie that must be healed by God. To not place ourselves in situations that have habitually caused us to stumble is crucial, but it will not provide healing. Look to Jesus today. Come to him continually with your sin and ask him to heal whatever is the root of it. Ask him to correct any lies and heal your pain. May you experience freedom today that comes from seeking the light of Jesus.

Extended Reading: 2 Corinthians 4

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