Friday, October 18, 2013
The reason for us to seek the light and walk in it
WE HAVE looked at the prophetic promise which Isaiah holds out which points to Jesus, Lord of lords and King of kings, rejected and crucified when He came the first time – but there will be a second time.
“Arise, shine, for your light has come…” was clearly understood by the New Testament writers as being fulfilled in Jesus.
The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it… The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.
Jesus Himself did not mince words when He said:
I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.
Jesus the true Light of the World – people of His time saw that. We who have come to know Him can see that, both in history and in our experience. Light is always being made available to us through Jesus, and particularly through His word. This is what happens for us when we get alone with Him in our ‘listening room’. We hear and we see – revelation – and others can see that in us.
Which is not unimportant. The glory of the Lord rises upon us, as a fellowship, as we devote ourselves to Him and His purposes. And that is attractive. The way church works is both attractive and missional. There is a lot of emphasis on the latter at the moment, and that is a needed correction. However, as we go out in a missional way, we need to be people who have that attractive quality of the light that God gives us in Jesus. It’s both and.
God’s promise is that the glory of the Lord rises upon us. There’s no condition mentioned, but I think we have to look for it, expect it and receive it. There’s usually some sense of condition, and with the condition, a commission – we go with, and give away, what we are receiving. Jesus spelt this out for us in a passage we know by heart, a picture every child can draw. “You are the light of the world, a city on a hill…” (Matthew 5:15).
Jesus said that He was the light of the world, but He also said that we are the light of the world. Is that a contradiction? No, because there’s a big chunk of New Testament teaching and theology which is all about how, when we become Christians, when we allow the Holy Spirit to have some space in our lives and we get free of the old-life bits and bobs and baggage we are carrying, we become new creations, taking on a new nature and growing into new mindset.
And people see this in us, in us as a fellowship, and they begin to experience God a little bit through us and draw closer.
So there you are. This brings new meaning to the old saying: “Lighten up!”