Living in the Light

We saw it, we heard it, and now we're telling you so you can experience it along with us, this experience of communion with the Father and his Son, Jesus Christ. Our motive for writing is simply this: We want you to enjoy this, too. Your joy will double our joy! This, in essence, is the message we heard from Christ and are passing on to you: God is light, pure light; there's not a trace of darkness in him. If we claim that we experience a shared life with him and continue to stumble around in the dark, we're obviously lying through our teeth-we're not living what we claim. But if we walk in the light, God himself being the light, we also experience a shared life with one another, as the sacrificed blood of Jesus, God's Son, purges all our sin. If we claim that we're free of sin, we're only fooling ourselves. A claim like that is errant nonsense. On the other hand, if we admit our sins-make a clean breast of them-he won't let us down; he'll be true to himself. He'll forgive our sins and purge us of all wrongdoing. If we claim that we've never sinned, we out-and-out contradict God-make a liar out of him. A claim like that only shows off our ignorance of God.

1 John 1:3-10 (The Message)

Read verse 5 again: God is light, pure light; there's not a trace of darkness in him. And this isn't made up. It's the message from Christ, passed on to you and me.

God is light...without a trace of darkness. That darkness in your life? Not God. That lost friend, lost job, lost opportunity, lost loved one? Not God. God is in it, and God can work through it, but God isn't the author of it. We are. You and I and all of humanity, when we choose to live as if WE are God, when we act like WE know it all, when WE try to control it all, when WE don't trust God.....that's our sin. And only darkness can come from it.

Living in the light is so much easier than stumbling around in the darkness, but it requires of us one of the most difficult things of all - surrender. We have to surrender what is most precious to us - the idea that we know best and can make life work best on our own. And when we do, we see how backward that idea was all along.

But every morning we wake up in the darkness and have to struggle all over again to admit how, in our darkness, we drive a wedge between ourselves and God (that's sin....driving that wedge in and pounding it deeper and deeper). Every day we have to pull that wedge out, and it goes in a lot easier than it comes out, especially if we're trying to pull it out on our own.

We have to admit our sin - make a clean breast of it - bring it all out into the light where God can bleach it clean with the power of His light. And an amazing thing happens. Somehow when we let God's love and light dissolve the wedge between us and God, the wedge we drive between ourselves and other people gets dislodged too. When we trade the darkness in us for the light that is God, the gates are suddenly wide open for God's love and light to move through us and into and around and through other people.

And that's the joy that drives the authors of this passage to write

 

We saw it, we heard it, and now we're telling you so you can experience it along with us, this experience of communion with the Father and his Son, Jesus Christ. Our motive for writing is simply this: We want you to enjoy this, too. Your joy will double our joy!

Truly our joy is complete when we give up the wedge and experience that sense of communion with the Father and the Son. But when we experience it with each other, incredibly, our joy is doubled. May our joy be doubled today!

Things to think about:

1. Do you believe what the gospel says about God's nature....that God is light, and that there is not a trace of darkness in him? In your heart of hearts, where do you believe the darkness in your life comes from?

2. What's the biggest wedge between you and God today? How can you take the first step toward dissolving it?

3. What are the wedges between you and other people? Fear of rejection, past hurts, misunderstandings? What can you do to take a step toward dislodging those wedges today?

Prayer:


Lord of Light and Love, today and everyday I want to live in your light. When I stumble in the darkness, pick me up and draw me back to you. When I'm ready to start pulling out the wedge I've driven between myself and you, I trust you to be true to yourself and purge it from our existence together. And I pray that as the light of your love comes into my heart, it will melt away the darkness of my insulation and isolation from other people. May my joy in you be doubled as I share it with others. Amen

Kim Turnage

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