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January 16, 2022 | Doug Sauder
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“Here, then, is the message which we heard from him, and now proclaim to you: GOD IS LIGHT and no shadow of darkness can exist in him.”—1 John 1:5 (PHILLIPS)
Did you know that an estimated 11 percent of the adult U.S. population is afraid of the dark? According to author Cari Romm, “The dark leaves us vulnerable and exposed, unable to spot any threats that may be lurking nearby.”
There is a feeling of powerlessness and uncertainty that comes with darkness. You don’t know what you’re walking into or what may be lurking around the corner. And so, our minds imagine potential dangers because fear flourishes in the dark; its power over us grows and can often overtake us.
I’ve found this fallen world is full of dark corners, constantly threatening to cover us in fear-inducing darkness. At times, life can feel like we’re walking around blindfolded. This is why so many people walk around lost, trapped, and/or crippled by anxiety and fear. But in today’s verse, John tells us why we don’t have to fear the dark: “GOD IS LIGHT and no shadow of darkness can exist in him.”
Everything in Him, everything about Him, everything that He pours into us and gives to us is full of light. Theologian Joseph Barnes wrote, “Light, in the Scriptures, is the emblem of purity, truth, knowledge, prosperity, and happiness—as darkness is of the opposite. John here says that ‘God is light’—φῶς phōs—not the light, or a light, but light itself; that is, He is Himself all light, and is the source and fountain of light in all worlds.”
In John 8:12 (NLT, emphasis added), Jesus declares to us, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.” As we draw nearer to Him each day, as we have fellowship with Him (1 John 1:3–4) and become more like Him, we will be able to walk in the light (1 John 1:7) regardless of what’s going on around us. As the Lord shines brilliantly into the most pitch-black corners of the world, we will see clearly if we keep our gaze fixed on Jesus, the marvelous light.
Unfortunately, there are many people who are lost and in darkness, and as His ambassadors, we’re called to shine the light of Christ (Matthew 5:14). God wants to use us to cast out darkness and bring people into His light. He wants to bring life and hope into the hearts of those who don’t yet know Him. Let’s do all we can to shine God’s light and not keep it hidden!
Pause: Why does Scripture so frequently connect God to light?
Practice: Today is the day to shine your light! As you go about your daily routine, intentionally seek to do things in a manner that glorifies Jesus—in your interactions, your attitude, your work, etc.
Pray: Father of light and truth and goodness and purity, thank You for showing me the way, for being all light and goodness, and for sending the light into the world through Your Son Jesus. Thank You for making Your light shine in my heart to give me “the light of the knowledge of [Your] glory displayed in the face of Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:6 NIV). Thank You that, in Christ, I will never have to walk in darkness again. I pray You would use me to cast out darkness and bring people into Your marvelous light! Amen.
Danny Saavedra is a licensed minister who has served on staff at Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.