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First Pres Blog

Brighter Devotional Week 5: Light of the World

Posted by John Goodale on

We're getting ready for worship on Sunday! During the Brighter series, worship bulletins will be accompanied by this weekly devotional. View worship bulletins >>

Meditation by John Goodale, Pastor of Care

This fall, my wife Deborah and I flew to visit one of our children. Our flight was followed by an hour-long drive from the airport in an unfamiliar environment. Because we arrived at the end of the day, we made the drive in darkness, without any reassuring markers around us to help with our bearings. We were completely dependent upon our rental car’s headlights to guide us where we were going. Though these headlights didn’t pierce the entire darkness around us, they did illuminate just enough that we could continue moving forward towards where we needed to go.

This experience came to mind when thinking of Jesus’ declaration, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness” (John 8:12). Jesus’ love penetrates the darkness of our hearts, and leads us to new life. His light can also provide so much clarity in the murkiness of today’s world, and it helps us see God’s life-giving activity in our lives.

If we’re honest, though, we sometimes long for more spiritual illumination than we presently have. Perhaps we wish God would provide greater clarity about His ways—why His actions or timing are different from what we’d hoped or prayed for. Or we may wish for clearer direction for our lives than we currently feel we’re receiving from our Lord. Jesus will always provide the light and direction we’ll need—but it’s important to remember that in His wisdom, Jesus won’t provide so much that we’ll become less dependent upon Him.

Soon, we’ll turn our calendars from one year to the next. When we do so, we’ll move from familiarity of this year to uncertainty about what 2018 holds. We may wonder whether the year before us will be harder or better for us than the one we’re leaving behind. We may question whether we’ll be up for the challenges we’ll encounter.

Though we cannot know the highs and lows that await us, we can move confidently into this new year—for we do know the One who leads us into it. And like my rental car headlights, the light that Jesus provides for our lives and for our next steps will always be enough for us to continue moving forward.



Read: John 8:12–19

Discuss: What would your life be like without the light that Jesus has brought into it?

Light in Motion: When driving at night, headlights cutting through the darkness before you, think about what it means in your life that Jesus is light in the midst of darkness. If you’re driving at night with family members, ask each person what they think it looks like for Jesus to be the light of his/her life.

 

Tags: advent devotionals 2017, brighter, worship

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