By flickering candlelight, I am flipping through my Bible this evening. The room is dark except for the candlelight but it provides enough light for me to read the appropriate passages. I am searching for verses about light. My Reader, will you join me as I let the flicker of the candle highlight a few specific scriptures?
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep,
and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.
Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.
God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness.
God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. And there was
evening and there was morning, one day.
When God decided to create the earth, the first thing He did was create light. I wonder if there was a big, bright, blinding flash when light first appeared. If a person is in a dark room and suddenly another person turns on a light in that room, the first person can almost be blinded by the extreme contrast between the darkness and the light. Is this how light came into existence? If so, that light would be much brighter than the illumination of my room by the candle that is currently on my desk. The significance of these scripture verses for me is that light was the beginning of all that God created.
When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world.
Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
As I look at my little candle ablaze representing Jesus as the light of the world, two different thoughts go through my mind. First, I am reminded of the first five verses of John 1 where Jesus is described as “the Word who was with God in the beginning.” This wording is similar to the scripture of Genesis 1. John 1:4-5 states, “In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” Not only was Jesus involved in creating light at the beginning of time, but He also came to be known as the Light of men who shines into the darkness of mankind. Next I remember that Jesus was talking to the Jewish people who would have understood the significance of light. In Exodus 13:21 scripture records, “By day the LORD went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night.” While God’s chosen people were traveling in the wilderness to the Promised Land, God manifested His presence to them through the pillar of fire when they traveled at night in darkness. My candle may be a very diminutive pillar of fire, but it reminds me that Jesus is the Light of the world – and I want Him to be shining in my world.
The Lord is my light and my salvation—
The flame of my candle is becoming more personal to me as I read the beginning of the first verse of Psalm 27. Jesus is not only the One who created light in the beginning, nor is He simply the Light of the world, but He becomes my personal light when I accept Him as my Savior. When I became a believer, my nature changed. Paul says in II Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” The reference to being a new creation, takes me back to Genesis 1:1 that told about God creating in the beginning. If God created light, then there must be a relationship between light and me. I want to think more about this.
“You are the light of the world….
Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see
your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
As my personal relationship with Jesus deepens, He reveals to me how He sees me and He instructs me in the way He wants me to live my life. Since I am made in His image, I am now a light to the world and He wants me to be His light! What a privilege!
However, being His light comes with a cost. I discover this cost by looking closely at the burning candle beside me. When I first lit the candle, there was more wax than now. I think of the words of John the Baptist in John 3:30, “He (Jesus) must increase, but I must decrease.” In order for there to be illumination from a candle, the wax must melt as the flame burns. I am also reminded of the words of the worship chorus Spirit of the Living God by C. Michael Hahn. “Spirit of the living God, Fall afresh on me. Melt me, mold me, fill me, use me. Spirit of the living God, Fall afresh on me.” While watching my candle burn and singing this chorus, I find another appropriate scripture. Jesus tells me in Luke 9:23-24, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it.” I must always remember that Jesus sees me as a light to the world but He is the Light of the World.
Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.
The light of my candle is flicking and sputtering while the pages of my Bible are not fluttering from one scripture to another as quickly as a couple of hours ago. However, I cannot conclude my candlelight evening without reminding myself that the written words of scripture containing the spoken words of Jesus provide the brightest light of my life.