What is the most important thing in your life? What is at the center? Is it your spouse? Your job? Your recreational activities? Your electronics and gadgets? Or is it Jesus Christ?
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light… (Ephesians 5:8)
Have you invited Jesus into the center of your life? If not, what are you holding onto? Until He is the center of your life, providing light to all areas of your life, there will be dark areas in your life. Sometimes it is when our lives seem darkest that we are most able to experience God’s light. When Jesus is the center of your life, darkness is dispelled.
Sometimes Christians go through difficult times. Jesus said these things would happen. But He also said He loves us. He wants to be the center of our lives so that no matter what is happening to us, we are filled with His light, and others can come to His light. John testifies to Jesus, the Word and Light of God:
In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
2 He was with God in the beginning.
3 All things were created through Him,
and apart from Him not one thing was created
that has been created.
4 Life was in Him,
and that life was the light of men.
5 That light shines in the darkness,
yet the darkness did not overcome it. (John 1)
Then Jesus spoke to them again: “I am the light of the world. Anyone who follows Me will never walk in the darkness but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)
The Light is the truth, the Word of God – Jesus. Satan wants us to stay in darkness, but Jesus wants to deliver us. If you have dark areas of your life, you will always justify what you’re doing to make it seem ok. But if Jesus is at the center of your life,
Right believing will cause you to live right. If you believe wrong, you won’t see the things in your life you’re hoping for. If you were a tree, what fruit would you bear? Good or bad?
Right believing requires trust in Jesus. Right understanding starts with hearing the Word. You don’t do a bunch of things to get holy. Rather, as you hear the truth, your beliefs will change, and produce right living.
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not rely on your own understanding;
6 think about Him in all your ways,
and He will guide you on the right paths. (Proverbs 3)
Are you living with a fear? God is greater than ANY sin. He is greater than ANY problem or emotional burden you struggle with. If you’re afraid, that is a dark area where the Light is required. Make Him the center of your life, and He will be able to bring Light into these areas of your life.
6 There was a man named John
who was sent from God.
7 He came as a witness
to testify about the light,
so that all might believe through him.
8 He was not the light,
but he came to testify about the light.
9 The true light, who gives light to everyone,
was coming into the world. (John 1)
Do you carry a burden from your childhood? Placing Jesus at the center of your life will prevent you from walking the same painful path a parent walked. People will always let you down. Even a great friend, parent, or mentor will fail you at some point. But when Jesus is at the center of your life, He will not fail you.
The one who lives with integrity is righteous;
his children who come after him will be happy. (Proverbs 20:7)
“I have come as a light into the world, so that everyone who believes in Me would not remain in darkness.” (John 12:46)
Let me experience
Your faithful love in the morning,
for I trust in You.
Reveal to me the way I should go
because I long for You. (Psalm 143:8)
How do we bring Light to others? By sharing Jesus. It isn’t fancy. Jesus Christ is all that is required. Can you pray for someone? Can you encourage them?
“The One who holds the seven stars in His right hand and who walks among the seven gold lampstands says: 2 I know your works, your labor, and your endurance, and that you cannot tolerate evil. You have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and you have found them to be liars. 3 You also possess endurance and have tolerated many things because of My name and have not grown weary. 4 But I have this against you: You have abandoned the love you had at first. 5 Remember then how far you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. Otherwise, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent. (Revelation 2)
Contrast the church described above (the church of Ephesus) to this church of the Thessalonians:
2 We always thank God for all of you, remembering you constantly in our prayers. 3 We recall, in the presence of our God and Father, your work of faith, labor of love, and endurance of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, 4 knowing your election, brothers loved by God. 5 For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power, in the Holy Spirit, and with much assurance. You know what kind of men we were among you for your benefit, 6 and you became imitators of us and of the Lord when, in spite of severe persecution, you welcomed the message with joy from the Holy Spirit. 7 As a result, you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. 8 For the Lord’s message rang out from you, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but in every place that your faith in God has gone out. Therefore, we don’t need to say anything, 9 for they themselves report what kind of reception we had from you: how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God 10 and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.
Faith, hope and love – these are the things of the Light. There is no magical formula, no preset actions you must go through.
5 For you are all sons of light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or the darkness. 6 So then, we must not sleep, like the rest, but we must stay awake and be serious. 7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. 8 But since we belong to the day, we must be serious and put the armor of faith and love on our chests, and put on a helmet of the hope of salvation. 9 For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we will live together with Him. 11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up as you are already doing.