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Monday, April 12, 2021

Light or Darkness?

By Joe Chesser

    Have you ever been in a place so dark you couldn’t see your hand in front of your face? When I was a boy I had this experience in Meramec Caverns, the largest commercial cave in the state of Missouri. When they turned out all of the lights, it was total darkness. Every direction I looked was only blackness … up, down, forward, backwards, right, left … it didn’t matter. Not a ray of light could be seen anywhere. Even after my eyes adjusted, there was nothing to be seen but darkness.
    Yet, even in the darkest of places, the light of Jesus can be seen when we use our spiritual eyes, the heart. So, no matter how dark it may seem to others around us, even in Meramec Caverns, for anyone who chooses to open their ‘eyes’, Jesus is the true light that illuminates our souls.
    John the Baptist was sent to bear witness to this Light. “The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world” (John 1.9). Jesus later identified himself as that Light: “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8.12).
    I don’t know of anyone who would intentionally choose to live in total darkness when lights were readily available at the flip of a switch. Why would they? How utterly foolish is that? Darkness is often used in Scripture to describe what our spiritual reality is when we follow Satan instead of Christ. “If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. But if anyone walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him” (John 11.9-10). Paul explained that Jesus came “to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive the forgiveness of sins” (Acts 26.18). When our sins are forgiven we are rescued from the dominion of darkness and transferred into the kingdom of light (Colossians 1.12-14).
    Since everyone understands the foolishness of intentionally living physically in total blackness, why are so many resistant to walking in the spiritual light with Jesus where his blood continually forgives our sins (1 John 1.7)? Yet, as Jesus told Nicodemus, that’s what many, in fact most (Matthew 7.13-14), are doing: “Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil” (John 3.19). The good news is that it doesn’t have to be that way. God gives each of us the choice whether to live in darkness or light. Jesus explained, “whoever lives by the truth comes into the light” (John 3.21). Jesus is calling us to come out of darkness and live in the light (Ephesians 5.8; 1 Peter 2.9; 1 John 1.5, 7).
- Joe Chesser preaches for the Fruitland Church of Christ, Fruitland, MO.  He may be contacted at joeandareva@yahoo.com

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