This devotion was originally published in December 2017.
Our nation and our world are growing darker by the moment. Ignorance, defiance, rebellion, deception, violence, greed, anger, dishonesty, immorality and murder have become almost commonplace. As I was wondering what you and I could do that would make any difference, I was reminded of Genesis 1:1-3 by a Christian brother, Sammy Rodriguez, in a message he delivered to the American Association of Christian Counselors.
Genesis 1 tells us that in the beginning, God created everything. As planet Earth dangled like a shapeless blob in space, it was covered in darkness. The first words that God spoke were not, “Let there be love,” or “Let there be hope” or “Let there be faith.” His first words were, “Let there be light.” As a result, this planet and the cosmos were forever changed.
God’s response to darkness was to turn on the Light. Thousands of years later, on a dark, starry night outside of Bethlehem, once again God spoke into the darkness and in essence said, “Let there be Light.” And a Baby was born—a Baby who was Himself the Light of the world. And human history was forever changed.
What should be our response to the darkness in our world? For myself, I want to turn on the Light. Because …
When a light is turned on, it immediately makes itself known, and it reveals objects not seen in the darkness.
Light reveals itself
- How is God described in 1 John 1:5? What do you think this means?
- Would it be possible to know God if He chose not to reveal Himself? See 1 Timothy 6:15-16.
- Which two ways does God reveal Himself to us? Read John 1:1-2, 14; Revelation 1:1-2, 16; 19:11-13.
- What are some primary things God has revealed about Himself? See Genesis 1:1; Isaiah 40:28; 43:15; Exodus 3:13-15; Mark 1:9-11; John 3:16.
- Who specifically is the Light? Consider Matthew 4:16; John 1:3, 18; Colossians 1:15-17; John 8:12.
- When Jesus said that His disciples—you and me—are to be the light of the world, explain what He meant simply, as to a child. Read Matthew 5:14-16.
- Write a brief summary of anything God has revealed to you personally in the last four weeks about Himself through His Word or through His Son.
Light reveals ourselves
- What has His Light revealed to you about yourself that you hadn’t known previously? Look at Psalm 90:8; Proverbs 20:27; Psalm 139:23-24.
- What have you done about the revelation? Consider 1 John 1:8-10.
- If the Light has come, why is the world so dark? See John 3:19-21.
- Is there anything or anyone that can hide from the Light? See Luke 12:1-3; 1 Corinthians 4:5; Psalm 139:11-12.
- When did the Light penetrate the darkness of your life? Write a brief account of how you came to faith in Christ? Colossians 1:13-14.
If we want to make a difference in our world, instead of attacking the darkness with more darkness, we simply need to turn on the Light.
- What encouragement do you receive from 2 Samuel 22:29 and Isaiah 42:16?
- How are we to combat darkness? Read 2 Corinthians 10:3-5; Ephesians 6:17-18; John 13:34-35; 1 John 1:7-8.
- While the Light is more powerful than darkness and can dispel it, how can the Light be defeated? See what’s implied in Matthew 5:15 and Matthew 26:69-74.
- What are some other ways you have observed the Light being hidden?
- Have you witnessed darkness being dispelled from someone’s mind, heart or life through the Light of the Gospel? Write a brief description.
Light and darkness cannot abide together.
- When God created light, what was one of the first things He did? See Genesis 1:3-4, 14, 16-18.
- What similar effect did Jesus have? John 1:4-5; 7:40-43; 12:46.
- Think about it: Is the light divisive? Read 2 Corinthians 6:14.
- How will this division be played out in eternity? Consider Matthew 8:12; 25:29-30; Revelation 21:22-27.
- Give some examples of people who have let their light shine, and have been labeled intolerant and divisive.
- When you hold up the Light and it causes division and separation, why do you think you did something wrong?
Anyone who gets up in the middle of the night understands the necessity of turning on a light.
- Describe how God used light to direct the children of Israel when they were wandering in the wilderness in Exodus 13:21 and Nehemiah 9:12.
- How does God direct us? See Isaiah 48:17; Isaiah 30:21; Psalm 119:105.
- What does it mean to walk in the Light? Read 1 John 1:6.
- What do we need to do to walk and live in the Light? See Psalm 56:13; Isaiah 2:5; John 10:1-5; 1 John 1:7; 2:9-11.
- How evident is it to your spouse, best friend, children, co-worker or neighbor that you are walking in the Light?
Like moths drawn to a flame, people are attracted to light.
- Who is the Light who attracts others in John 8:12?
- Who is attracted to the Light? See Isaiah 60:1-3.
- Why is the Light so irresistible? Read John 6:44.
- What one event above all others draws people to the Light? See John 12:32.
- How do the above verses underscore the power of the Gospel? Consider Romans 1:16-17.
My gift to the King this Christmas is to renew my commitment to persevere in punching holes in the darkness … exalting Jesus, sharing the Gospel, speaking the truth, living a holy life … by simply turning on the Light. ©2017 Anne Graham Lotz
Anne Graham Lotz has proclaimed God’s Word worldwide for more than 30 years. Her latest book, The Daniel Prayer, and the accompanying video Bible study, is available from major booksellers.