Monday, December 23, 2013

Come, Lord Jesus [Week Four]

By Kristen Leigh Evensen
"I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen; not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else." -C.S. Lewis

Christ is our light.

Think about the function of light. The dictionary says that light is "something that makes things visible or affords illumination." 

Light really only makes sense if there is darkness to illuminate; one does not know light but for the darkness that surrounds it. Even in a totally blackened football stadium, just one candle can be distinctly viewed when burned from afar. So can one magnificent star displayed above the shepherd's fields in the middle of the night. So, too, the True Light appearing to a dark, lost world. 

Lately, I have been entrenched in reading the final Harry Potter book. Give me grace because I may not have a full understanding of a "patronus," but to my knowledge it is an animal-like, illuminated protective charm that wards off Death Eaters (who represent evil). When Death Eaters enter a room, hopelessness and sadness weigh heavily upon a person's soul; they become engulfed with evil. But when a "patronus" is conjured, perhaps in the form of an otter or a horse, the illuminated animal-charm eradicates the present darkness, offering hope and protection from evil.

Now, a "patronus" is clearly not an exact representation of our Savior...but there is a metaphor here worth examining. 

So what does it mean to say that Jesus is our Light? Let's look at a few passages and unpack them:

Jesus, our Light, is the glory of the Father revealed.

"And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth" (John 1:14).

Jesus and the Father are One. When God sent His Son into the world to save the lost, He revealed Himself, his very nature, to mankind. In Christ, we know the Father's glory, the true essence of who He is. Because Christ made a way for us to see God's glory, we find everything we need to know about ourselves and our need for saving help. The glory of God, His perfect uprightness and justice and love and on and on, illuminates our desperate need for the gospel--that we cannot save ourselves from sin and death. What an act of love that God would allow sinners to see His glory and then respond to it through faith! 

Today, meditate on the gospel--Christ's perfect life, atoning death and powerful resurrection--and consider how it reveals God's glory.

Jesus, our Light, eradicates the darkness of sin and death, once for all time.

"In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it...The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world" (John 1:1-9).

Jesus' eternal, God-glorifying life is the light of sinful, darkened men. His defeat of sin and death upon the cross offers hope and peace to sinners, who would not know hope and peace otherwise. His light guides sinners to willing repentance and humble, joyful obedience--to a life of daily surrender, which is pleasing to the Father. Jesus, our Light, has accomplished victory over evil and delights to enlighten mankind by the truth of His Word. 

Today, praise God that Christ has overcome the world, and thank Him for victory over sin!

Jesus, our Light, guides us in truth and helps us know what is pleasing to God.

"...for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord..." (Ephesians 5:8-15).

Just like a torch guiding a person through dark streets at night, the light of Christ guides God's children into all truth. How can we know if an action is following Christ's light? It will be "good and right and true," according to the above verse; it will reflect Christ, Himself, who is the Light. The transformation of our heart when we believe in Jesus means that our motivations and desires change. We are compelled by God's merciful grace towards us to walk as Christ walked, and to please the Father in all we say and do. The light of Christ gives us an example by which to imitate, not by mimicking action only, but by a total regeneration of the heart by the power of the Holy Spirit.  

Today, know that whatever decisions or actions you face, Christ guides you in truth. Ask Him for help, wisdom and guidance to know what pleases Him. Then follow Him with all joy! 

Merry Christmas, my sisters in The Lord! I thank God for you all today and pray your holidays involve a deepened love for Christ and hunger to know Him more fully. May you be filled with all the fullness of God, your Father, who loves you tenderly and yearns to transform you for eternity. 

Amen!

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