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Christian Living

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Grin and Grow with Kathy 09/08/21

Light Lightens Life: A Devotional Study on Light

Glowing Grace Brightens a Dark Place ~ Kathy Carlton Willis

STORY: Midnight Daylight Time

It surprised me yet again—this darkness before dinnertime. It reminds me of a song I sang early in my faith about it being midnight in the middle of the day—the day Jesus died on the cross. In current times, it seems odd weather patterns cause the lights to go out on the sun, and darkness makes an eerie presence.

Also, these days I’m being surprised by how darkness shows up when I least expect it. Interactions with others. Social media posts. News. It startles me and creates a heavy spirit within me.

Shining light is more important now than ever before. We can reflect God’s light and also shine the light he has planted in us. Let’s make a difference by glowing grace and “joying” Jesus!

STUDY: Light of the World

“You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.” (Matthew 5:14-16 NLT)
  • This passage comes from The Sermon on the Mount, where Jesus is teaching truth to his disciples.
  • It is amazing to see that Jesus calls his followers “the light of the world” because he refers to himself with that same description in John 8:12.
  • Where is a light designed to be located? If we want to function best, we won’t hide our light.
  • Who is blessed by this light? This verse says, “everyone in the house”! It’s not a pick-and-choose who gets to experience your light. No! It is for everyone. Equal opportunity.
  • In practical application, what is our light? You’ll find the answer in that last sentence.
  • What is the purpose of light shining?
Six days later Jesus took Peter and the two brothers, James and John, and led them up a high mountain to be alone. As the men watched, Jesus’ appearance was transformed so that his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as light. Suddenly, Moses and Elijah appeared and began talking with Jesus. (Matthew 17:1-3 NLT)
  • This passage is taken from the account of Mount of Transfiguration. Who were the players in this scene?
  • Why do you think Jesus wanted them to be alone on this high mountain?
  • What did the men witness? How would you have felt if you were in that group?
  • Where does the appearance of something similar to light show up in this event? How would that have magnified what was taking place? It certainly let the disciples know something big was about to happen!
  • What happened next?
Simeon was there. He took the child in his arms and praised God, saying, “Sovereign Lord, now let your servant die in peace, as you have promised. I have seen your salvation, which you have prepared for all people. He is a light to reveal God to the nations, and he is the glory of your people Israel!” (Luke 2:28-32 NLT)
  • Can you imagine the anticipation Simeon experienced as he waited to see Jesus? He had a hope of what was to come, then a hope realized, and then a hope that the world would see God’s glory through this Christ child.
  • I wonder, in that culture, if it was common for an elderly man to hold a baby. But Jesus wasn’t just any baby!
  • In this passage, what was the purpose of Jesus being light?
  • How does this proclamation from Simeon bring good news to Israel and all the nations? The mention of this salvation being for all nations is a foreshadowing of what the Jewish nation will discover—the Messiah was not here just for them!
God sent a man, John the Baptist, to tell about the light so that everyone might believe because of his testimony. John himself was not the light; he was simply a witness to tell about the light. The one who is the true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. (John 1:6-10 NLT)
  • What was the purpose of John the Baptist’s message?
  • Is there still a need for people to tell others about the Light?
  • Who does the True Light give light to?
  • Why do you think the world doesn’t recognize Jesus as the true light?
We must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the one who sent us. The night is coming, and then no one can work. But while I am here in the world, I am the light of the world.” (John 9:4-5 NLT)
  • In this passage, Jesus was referring to himself as the light of the world (but in other passages he also says we are).
  • Who sent Jesus to earth on assignment? What was his assigned task? Do we have assigned tasks?
  • What is the sense of urgency?
“For the Lord gave us this command when he said, ‘I have made you a light to the Gentiles, to bring salvation to the farthest corners of the earth.’” (Acts 13:47 NLT)
  • I can envision a light that is strong enough to displace the darkness that hangs out darkest in those farthest corners. A regular light creates a circle of light that shines out in front of the lamp or candle. But an effective light doesn’t leave room for darkness in the corners!
  • What was the Lord’s command to the apostles? Who might be considered in the farthest corners of the earth today?

STEPS: Let There Be Light!

  1. Let your good deeds shine. How can you turn up the light on your actions, so others see Jesus?
  2. Let the Light transform you. What is in the process of being transformed in you?
  3. Let your words tell others of the True Light. What message do others hear from your lips?

Copyright © 2021 Kathy Carlton Willis, used with permission.

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