Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Grin and Grow with Kathy 10/13/21

Light and Dark: A Devotional Study on Light

God illuminates darkness so we can see, and then equips us to be shining lights to help others out of their darkness. ~Kathy Carlton Willis

STORY: I Was Naïve

I cherish childhood memories of hide-and-go-seek during the dusk hour of summer. Playtime after dinner and before dark worked perfectly for games of pretend. Then when the sun was snuffed out and the moon started to glow like a nightlight, the fireflies joined us. O how I loved the flickering lights zooming here and there, just begging to be chased! I learned to capture them in a glass jar and watch the faery lights blink on and off like morse code. Then my playmates taught me to separate the firefly’s “glow stick” from the rest of the body and wear it like a gem on my finger. I was so proud to show my ring to the grown-ups. It wasn’t until the next summer before I realized I had killed those lightning bugs. I was so naïve, caught up in the glory of light illuminating the darkness.

We know from our study on light that God illuminates darkness so we can see, and then equips us to be shining lights to help others out of their darkness. Just as the gift of light cost those fireflies their lives, Jesus’s life was temporarily extinguished to give us light and life.

STUDY: Darkness Needs Light in order To Change

Jesus replied, “My light will shine for you just a little longer. Walk in the light while you can, so the darkness will not overtake you. Those who walk in the darkness cannot see where they are going. Put your trust in the light while there is still time; then you will become children of the light.” (John 12:35-36 NLT)
Jesus shouted to the crowds, “If you trust me, you are trusting not only me, but also God who sent me. For when you see me, you are seeing the one who sent me. I have come as a light to shine in this dark world, so that all who put their trust in me will no longer remain in the dark. (John 12:44-46 NLT)
  • Identify the darkness. Identify the light.
  • What does trust have to do with being able to leave the darkness and abide in the light?
The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it. (John 1:4-5 NLT)
  • Have you ever had a dark period in your life? Did you feel like it was snuffing out the light in your life? How does reading this passage give you assurance and peace for those dark times?
  • The Word in this passage is Jesus, not merely the Bible. How do you think his life brought light to humans?
“In the land of Zebulun and of Naphtali, beside the sea, beyond the Jordan River, in Galilee where so many Gentiles live, the people who sat in darkness have seen a great light. And for those who lived in the land where death casts its shadow, a light has shined.” (Matthew 4:15-16 NLT)
  • This passage was first recorded in Isaiah 9:1-2.
  • What is the darkness and death shadow? What is the great light that has shined?
  • Who is the light for?
Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God. You see, we don’t go around preaching about ourselves. We preach that Jesus Christ is Lord, and we ourselves are your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ. (2 Corinthians 4:4-6 NLT)
  • It’s comforting to see that Satan’s blinding effect is limited to those who are not believers. What are they unable to see? What are they unable to understand?
  • What does the light allow believers to see and understand?

STEPS: God Equips Us To Take Action

  1. Show others the goodness of God. “But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.” (1 Peter 2:9 NLT)
  2. Put on the armor of light. “Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light.” (Romans 13:11-12 ESV)
  3. Look to the Lord for help. “As for me, I look to the Lord for help. I wait confidently for God to save me, and my God will certainly hear me. Do not gloat over me, my enemies! For though I fall, I will rise again. Though I sit in darkness, the Lord will be my light.” (Micah 7:7-8 NLT)

Copyright © 2021 Kathy Carlton Willis, used with permission.

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