February 22, 2018

This Week…John 3:19-21

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…The light has come into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light because their actions were evil.  Everyone who practices wickedness hates the light and does not come to the light, so that his actions may not be exposed.  But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may become evident that his actions have God’s approval.

John 3:19-21

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How encouraging it has been to read the Seeking Him devotionals each day during this Advent season. This week we focused on the theme of Jesus being the Light of the world.  The Scriptures and the encouragement shared have helped me to prepare my heart for the celebration of Jesus’ birth.   Please click on the individual links to read each complete devotional; here are a few excerpts from their thoughts….

In Light Exposes the Darkness, Clella gave us an excellent example to compare being with or without THE Light…

“If you have ever visited a cave and the guide turned off all the lights, you know just how dark that cave is.  You literally can’t see your hand in front of your face.  To take even one step in that darkness could lead to you falling into an unseen pit, possibly even to your death…There are many people who prefer to walk in spiritual darkness because they are doing things that are wrong or their motive is wrong. They don’t want to have those things exposed by God’s Light—Jesus. They would rather take the chance of ‘falling into a pit’ than to give up their evil actions.”

In Motivated by the Light, Ahmee asked some really good questions to help us recognize ‘why’ we choose to do good/right…

“When you decide to do good or right what dictates your decision?

  • Does knowing that you are doing good motivate you?
  • Does not wanting to do wrong motivate you?
  • Are you motivated by the benefit you may receive?

Why do we do good/right?  John 3:19 says that “God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil.”  This makes me question how, even now today, people still reject God’s light.”

In God’s Love to the World, Ann gave honor and glory to God and reminded us of the depth of God’s love…

“God’s love to the world was so unique—not just any father could do it.  He gave us His only Son to die for the sins of the world; truly, what manner of God is He?  Can any man give up his son just like that?  (No!)  In this scripture I am seeing love that is beyond my imagination.  The heart and purpose of God is clearly revealed in this verse.  God’s love is wide enough to embrace all persons….”

In Our Actions, Tina compared our love as parents with the greatness of God’s love—shown through His giving His Son to be the Light of the world…

“Our children are our world.  Our lives revolve around them.  We nurture them, discipline them, love on them, and want to see them succeed in life.  If we do this, how much more will God our Father do this for His children?…”

This Week…I AM The Light of the World (John 8:12)

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Recorded in the Gospel of John, our Lord made seven statements referring to Himself as I AM…

I AM The Light of the World
I AM The Good Shepherd
I AM The Way, The Truth, and The Life
I AM The Bread of Life
I AM The True Vine
I AM The Door
I AM The Resurrection and the Life

Each week during this season of Lent, here on the Seeking Him blog, we will be focusing our devotionals on a different aspect of Jesus’ revelation of Himself as I AM. The aim of Lent should be to prepare our hearts for the remembrance of Jesus’ sacrifice—His trial and torture, the Crucifixion and His death…and above all, the celebration of His Resurrection from the dead. We pray that this will be a great encouragement to each of you who read them. And that all of us will consider the significance of Jesus’ words and, through them, be helped as we remember and are thankful for all Jesus went through during the last few weeks of His life on this earth.

Once more Jesus addressed the crowd.
He said, I AM the Light of the world.
He who follows Me will not be walking in the dark,
But will have the Light which is Life.
John 8:12

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This week, here on the Seeking Him devotional blog, we have had the joy of being reminded of our Lord’s words in John 8:12.  What encouragement to hold to His promise that if we follow Him—the Light of the World—we will not walk in the dark and will have the Light which is Life!

Please listen to some highlights of what Tina, Laura, Cynda, Ann, and Ahmee……….

In I AM the Light of the World, Ann drew some parallels between what physical light IS and what Jesus, as the Light of the World, IS:

“Now Jesus is coming to tell us that He is THE Light of the world, what does that mean? This means:

  • He removes darkness and deception by illuminating the right way to God and salvation.
  • All those who follow Jesus are delivered from the darkness of sin, the world, and Satan. Those who still walk in darkness do not follow Him (John 1:6-7).
  • “Whoever follows Me…” is a present participle, depicting a continuing action—“whoever keeps on following Me…”. Jesus recognized and requires only a persevering discipleship.

Now physical light travels faster than sound, so therefore Jesus must travel fast, therefore people should receive Him in no time since He will brighten their lives immediately.”

In Eternal Flashlight, Laura shared these points….

“When we accept Christ into our lives, the light is turned on for us.  We are brought out from the darkness and into the Light of Jesus.  When we decide to follow Jesus, we are no longer in the dark but are walking in the Light.  Jesus’s Light is eternal and ever-present in those who have accepted Him.  As long as we follow His Light, we will be healed and comforted.  We will not walk in darkness.  We will have life.”

In Light of Lights, Cynda reminded us of the light that God provided to the children of Israel…and the relation to Jesus being our Light.

“One of the most important symbols of light in the Old Testament is the pillar of fire.  The pillar of fire is mentioned in Exodus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Nehemiah, Psalms and Revelations.

Nehemiah 9:12 (NASB) states:

…with a pillar of fire by night to light for them the way in which they were to go.

That is what Christ does for us, He illuminates the way for us to go…IF we choose to follow. I love how John 12:46 (NLT) puts it:

‘I have come as a Light to shine in this dark world,
so that all who put their trust in Me will no longer remain in the dark.'”

In Jesus IS The Light, Tina reminded us of God’s faithfulness.

Always know that God is watchful over us.  He knows our comings and goings, He knows our needs now, just as then.  He will always be a Light to us in our world. When we seek His ways and obey His words we will have His Light in all areas of our minds. We will never have those dark places unless we let it back in.

In Follow The Light, Ahmee also encouraged us to remember to follow…

“…Jesus is important to us; especially when it comes to navigating this dark world.  We do not have to aimlessly wonder around the world, merely existing and lost.  God will show us what we need to do.  God will show us where we need to be.  The key is to follow Him.  If God goes left and we go right, are we really following Him?  No.  Therefore, if He is not in the lead, then our Light is not in front of us, we cannot see.  We must face the Light at all times, and stay with Him for the Light to be of use to us.

Your Word is a lamp to my feet, and a light for my path.
Psalm 119:105

We have no reason to wander.  No reason to be scared.  With one simple action we can help ourselves.  Follow the Light.  He will lead you.”

Have you had the opportunity to read through each of these blogposts this week?  If not, I would encourage you to do so!  Our bloggers have made these as well as some other wonderful points to direct us towards Jesus, Who is The Light of the World.

“I AM” Chapter 4 – Day 4: Jesus is The LIGHT

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This time last week I sat in the dark.  There were no lamps, no overhead lights on; I couldn’t turn them on if I wanted to.  It was a Monday, a typical Monday if you know what I mean.  My power had been turned off and there was nothing I could do about it.  Can you relate?

On day one of this week, Teresa asked us which verse in John chapter 1 could we relate to the most, right now, where we are.  I chose verse 5, not even realizing that it was my topic for this week.  God is funny like that, right?  John 1: 4-5 says this: “The word gave life to everything that was created, and His life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness and the darkness cannot extinguish it!”

Do you understand what that means? The darkness of evil never can and never will overcome God’s Light.  Jesus Christ is the Creator of life, and we are dead people walking until He comes into our lives and breathes life into us.  His life brings light to us and in His light we see ourselves as we really are—sinners in need of a Savior, a Redeemer.

When we choose to follow Jesus, He becomes our true Light and we no longer have to walk blindly and fall into our old sinful ways.  He lights the path ahead of us so that we can see the way we need to live.  He removes the darkness of sin in our lives.  He shows us how to walk along the way to freedom from sin and darkness.  See, all who welcome Jesus as Lord of their lives will never have to live in darkness.  Now, that doesn’t mean we will not have trouble or trials; and that doesn’t mean that we won’t sin.  It just means that no matter how dark your world may feel, He is there, giving you hope, peace, and joy.  And remember, He became human Himself and experienced some of the same sufferings and hardships that we go through.  He is your beacon in this sometimes dark world.

Our verse for today is John 8:12. “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life!”  Here, Jesus was talking to the people again, in the part of the Temple called the treasury.  It was where offerings were put and where candles burned to symbolize the pillar of fire that led the people of Israel through the wilderness.  The pillar of fire represented God’s presence, His guidance, and His protection.  In this context, Jesus Himself calls Himself the Light of the world.  He is God’s Presence in our lives.  He is God’s protection over us and He is God’s guidance.  God sent His own Son!  Is that not amazing that He loves us that much?

The last verses I found in the Bible that talk about Jesus being the Light are in 2 Corinthians 4:6-7.  “For God, who said, ‘Let there be light in the darkness,’ has made us understand that this light is the brightness of the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ. But this precious treasure, this light and power that now shines within us, is held in perishable containers, that is, our weak bodies, so everyone can see that our glorious power is from God and is not our own.” We are perishable containers yet God entrusted us with His precious treasure, Jesus Christ, His Son; that this Light shines brighter than any darkness we could possibly have in our lives.

I did a little research on the sunflower (it is my favorite flower) and it actually bends toward the sun so that it can catch as much light as it possibly can.  In the early morning, it actually tilts to the east, and by twilight it tilts to the west.  If you take the flower and place it in a dark closet, it will still continue to bend everyday, just as it did when it was outside.  Even the sunflower knows that the ones that are most likely to survive are the ones that catch the most light.

Friends, I don’t want to just survive; I want to really thrive both physically and spiritually!  The only way to do that is to stay bending toward the Light—the light of our Lord Jesus Christ.

What about you today?  Where does He need to shine in your life?  What darkness is threatening to suck the life out of you?  It is simple, really.  Just ask and He will come rescue you and fill you with His Light.

And back to my story about the power outage…God came through as He always does and performed another miracle and the lights came back on.  I praised Him the rest of the day!

Let’s Pray:

Dear Heavenly Daddy, thank You for sending Jesus, Your only Son, as a Light for all who believe and receive Him into their hearts and lives.  For once we were in darkness, and now we have the Light of the Lord.  May we live as people of the Light.  May we produce only what is good, with a heavy reliance on You.  Oh Lord, we love You, we praise You, and we want only You to be the Light of our lives.  Nothing of this world will satisfy and fulfill us.  May we seek You and may our lights shine so that others will want what we have. For it is in Your Son’s precious Name, we pray.

Amen