At the same time, it is a new commandment that I am writing to you, which is true in him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining. – 1 John 2:8 ESV
Light penetrates and permeates. Light illuminates and eliminates the darkness. Just as physical light has a transformative nature, so does the Light of the world. Jesus said, ““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 ESV). Those who have placed their faith in Jesus Christ have had the darkness of their lives penetrated by the Light. We have been given the Spirit of God, resident within us, to enlighten us and empower us to live our lives in such a way that we make a difference. “You are the light of the world. A city located on a hill cannot be hidden. People do not light a lamp and put it under a basket but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before people, so that they can see your good deeds and give honor to your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:14-16 ESV). But if we are going to have an illuminating impact on the world around us, we first have to allow the Light to have its full influence on us. John made the claim that the darkness is fading. It is a statement of fact. As light grows, darkness diminishes and fades. Yet, it would be easy to look around the world and conclude that the darkness is winning. Evil appears to be increasing. But could the problem be that we, as children of light, have allowed the darkness to overtake the light in our own lives? Are our lamps too feeble? Is our faith too small? Is our light too weak to penetrate the darkness around us?
Paul gives us words of encouragement. “The night has advanced toward dawn; the day is near. So then we must lay aside the works of darkness, and put on the weapons of light” (Romans 13:12 ESV). We must live with a realization that the light wins. The darkness loses. There is a movement of God going on that is moving the world from darkness to light. We may not be able to see it. We may not feel it. But as soon as Jesus entered the world, the light of God penetrated the darkness and began to spread. But we have a responsibility to see to it that we don’t end up loving the darkness more than the light. We must live as children of the light, fanning the flame of faith through regular time in the Word, fellowship with other believers, and a reliance upon the Spirit of God for strength, wisdom and ongoing exposure of any darkness that remains in our lives. The darkness still resident in our lives should be passing away. The light – the righteousness and holiness of God – should be increasing. Everywhere we go, our lives should provide light in the darkness. Our lives should be proof of the transforming power of God made available through Jesus Christ. When Jesus commissioned Paul to take the good news regarding Jesus Christ and His offer of salvation to the Gentiles, He said, “I am sending you to open their eyes so that they turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a share among those who are sanctified by faith in me. (Acts 26:17-18 ESV). So not only is the light in our own lives to be increasing, slowly and steadily eliminating the last vestiges of darkness; but it is to be shining out of us into the darkness around us. “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. But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us” (2 Corinthians 4:6-7 ESV). We have the light of God in our lives. That light should be increasing in intensity and influence. It should be shining through all the cracks and flaws our lives, revealing the power of God at work in our lives. When people look at us, they will still see clay jars; flawed, cracked and seemingly without value. But they should also see God’s light shining through us and around us. We are simply receptacles of His glory. We are the conduits of His life-changing, darkness-diminishing light. As the children’s song says, “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine! Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine!” But we must never forget that our ability to illuminate others and eliminate darkness is not self-produced, but a by-product of walking in the light.