Light • Devotion 1

Flickering Light
Dr. Randy T. Johnson

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16

My wife and I do not have a generator. For too long, power outages became an adventure. Fortunately, we had learned to have a flashlight in the nightstand for power outage emergencies (I realize that my phone is now that tool). Unfortunately, I would not have checked the batteries for some time, and of course, they were dead. That meant we were still in the dark. One year, I remember stumbling to the basement looking for our camping lantern. I was excited to find it until I realized we did not have kerosene. Meanwhile, my wife had located a candle and we had some light. It is odd to think how comforting that flickering light could be.

During the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says that we as believers “are the light of the world.” We are to bring the Good News of the work of Jesus (in John 8:12 and 9:5, Jesus calls Himself “the light of the World”) to the darkness all around us. In The Bible Knowledge Commentary, Louis Barbieri writes, “A light is meant to shine and give direction.” That is so basic and obvious that I hesitated in documenting it; however, it is so needed and real. By Jesus calling believers “the light of the world,” He was saying that we are “to shine and give direction.”

For those stranded in darkness, a floodlight is not necessary. It does not need to light up the whole sky. Even a “flickering light” gives direction. We need to dismiss the excuses of self-doubt and share the hope only Jesus can bring.

Paul explains this in 2 Corinthians 4:4, “In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” Light is not the absence of darkness, light overcomes darkness. Darkness is the absence of light. Your workplace, school, or neighborhood may be full of darkness. That is difficult, but that is why Jesus placed you there.

We are called to be and bring “the light” in the darkness.

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