The Light of the World
A devotional by Karen Marstaller
Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “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)
In the beginning of the Bible, the first spoken words out of God’s mouth are, “Let there be light” (Genesis 1:3 NIV). God’s first words spoke His own nature into the world He would go on to create. Is it any wonder that we can’t see much in the darkness, but give us daylight and we are good to go? The Creator of the universe planned it that way.
The New Testament was written a long time after the creation, but Jesus Christ’s message is still clear—He is the Light of the World. The One who called light into existence so long ago is one with God. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit brought us into the world, and when we ask Jesus to save us, the Light of God’s presence starts to illuminate our lives. All we can say is, “Wow! Look at what God is doing!”
How does God make such a thing happen? Jesus clearly shows the way in John 3:16. He reminds us of our sinful nature and calls us to be born again because Jesus came to die once and for all so that we could enter His eternal home all clean and pure, covered in His righteousness instead of our own filthy rags. When we believe Jesus and ask Him to save us from our sins, He does exactly that. Because Jesus completed the plan for salvation when He died on the Cross of Calvary, we can have salvation when we give our hearts to Him and call on His Name. The Bible says in Romans 10:9 (NIV), “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
This is good news because sin separates us from God. Without God’s forgiveness we will never become one of His children, and we will ultimately face eternal separation from God, the Creator of our souls, and the Lover of our hearts. But thanks to Jesus Christ’s sacrifice, we can be reconciled to God (2 Corinthians 5:18), and if we choose to follow Jesus, we can have the hope of eternal life in Heaven (John 14:6).
However though this plan of salvation has been completed and is a free gift to all, we still have to choose to receive this gift and accept Jesus into our hearts. God will not force us to choose Him because He created us with a free will. We can choose to follow Him, or to reject Him. To follow Jesus is to “walk in the light, as He is in the light” (1 John 1:7 NIV) and the blessing is that we come into fellowship with Jesus who will make us ready for eternity with God.
As God purifies us, He also recognizes that we are fallen and broken. We wake up in the morning, and as much as we don’t want to mess up, we do. Sometimes I won’t even get out of bed before some awful thought crosses my mind, and there it is—my first sin of the day. With the successive events that transpire, my sin pile grows, and by nightfall, if I haven’t taken my sins to the Father and asked for forgiveness, I toss and turn all night.
However, Jesus made a way for us to repent of all the horrid things we’ve thought and said and done—He shines His light in all the deepest corners of our hearts, roots out all the strongholds where we fall captive, and creates a clean heart in us. Forgiving us is His way to let us see how desperately we need Him. With it, we can keep going. We can draw close to His loving Father’s heart and rest in His unquenchable light.
What a glorious gift! What unstoppable love!
Even though we are sinful creatures, we don’t have to walk in eternal darkness. Christ’s light is enough. If we will follow His light, and accept the enormous gift of His salvation then we are made new. Forgiven. Blessed. God’s precious children. Eternally secure in the Father’s hand.
Bright spotlights, fame, thousands of social media followers, fat bank accounts, and exotic vacation spots are all temporary fixes for our deepest needs. We desire true relationship, real love, and freedom from the guilt we all carry. The only answer is Jesus. His death in our place brings new life to the world—to every person who craves the only things that matter.
In Revelation (the very last book of the Bible), Jesus told the apostle John to write down God’s truths about heaven. John writes, “I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it.” (Revelation 21:22-24 NIV)
Only Jesus makes that possible—Jesus, the Light of the World.
*Note from Alexis: This message from Karen today reminds me of this song, “Light of the World” by Lauren Daigle. Listen to it here.
Let’s Pray: Heavenly Father of Lights, there is no shadow in You. Thank You for Your glorious light in our lives and help us to run to You for forgiveness when we mess up. Please draw us closer to You each day. In Jesus’s Name I pray. Amen.
During this time of quarantine, Karen enjoys reading, writing, and connecting with friends and family via phone calls, texts, emails, blogs, live-streams, and video conferencing.
She is grateful that the Lord has provided so many ways for humankind to stay in community, even when we are all hunkering down in our homes.
Karen says, “In this unprecedented time, we know that He has prepared us for such a time as this! To God be all the glory!”
You can reach Karen by emailing her at this address: firstname.lastname@example.org