In order for us to have a proper concept of who God is, we must have some foundational truths in place. I always begin with God’s DNA, His essence: God is Life, is Love, and is Light. The second step we need to take in the quest to know the Father, is to look to the son, Jesus. Since the Son holds all things together, as previously discussed, we now look at another way he has a connection with His entire creation. Today I want to zoom in on how God is light and literally shines through anything and everything, especially darkness.
The Scriptures/Bible are a primary foundation that reveals who God is, but we do need to read carefully, and slowly. If you have grown up in church, you will probably find that you have an idea what most verses in the Bible mean, you even can rattle off many that you once had memorized. The danger here is that if we have arrived at a certain understanding of what some key verses mean, we may block ourselves from seeing a deeper or ‘other’ meaning for those verses. This happened to me in the following text.
Before you read this next ‘very important’ scripture, ask God to let you read it through a fresh lens. To set aside previous understandings of what you thought it meant and now look with a new ‘teach-ability’. Let’s see what He shows you.
John 1 (NASB) The Deity of Jesus Christ 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. 5 The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. 6 There came a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness, to testify about the Light, so that all might believe through him. 8 He was not the Light, but he came to testify about the Light. 9 There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. 11 He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. 12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. 14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. 15 John *testified about Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.’” 16 For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace.
Light shines THROUGH darkness. This should make anyone sit up and ask, what does that mean? It means that even in ‘perceived darkness’, Light (THE LIGHT, aka Jesus) is still shining in and through. He is still present there beaming His love in and through the situation or person. There is no absence of Light! Since we are reading Scriptures slowly, here are a few more to ponder and impact your mind:
2 Corinthians 4 – 3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, 4 in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. 7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves; 8 we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10 always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.
Psalm 139 – 1 O LORD, You have searched me and known me. 2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up; You understand my thought from afar. 3 You scrutinize my path and my lying down, And are intimately acquainted with all my ways. 4 Even before there is a word on my tongue, Behold, O LORD, You know it all. 5 You have enclosed me behind and before, And laid Your hand upon me. 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is too high, I cannot attain to it. 7 Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? 8 If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there. 9 If I take the wings of the dawn, If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, 10 Even there Your hand will lead me, And Your right hand will lay hold of me. 11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will overwhelm me, And the light around me will be night,” 12 Even the darkness is not dark to You, And the night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are alike to You.
Matthew 6:22-23 – “The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!
Luke 11:34-36 – 34 The eye is the lamp of your body; when your eye is clear, your whole body also is full of light; but when it is bad, your body also is full of darkness. 35 Then watch out that the light in you is not darkness. 36 If therefore your whole body is full of light, with no dark part in it, it will be wholly illumined, as when the lamp illumines you with its rays.”
Psalm 97:11-12 – Light is sown like seed for the righteous And gladness for the upright in heart. 12 Be glad in the LORD, you righteous ones, And give thanks to His holy name.
Final food for thought, chew on this and then go back and read through these verses. Discover what they SAY, and not what they are NOT saying.
The constancy of physical light is a reflection of the constancy of God, His nature and the way he relates to His creation. Just like physical light, God, in His pure love, is ALWAYS moving towards you in total purity and goodness of intention; to embrace you intimately and personally. He does this regardless of your direction of travel, your attitude towards Him or your moral performance. God’s love is as constant, unerring and warming as the rays of the sun. There is no shadow or turning and all of God’s nature and character, including His wrath and judgement, must be understood from the basis of the primary truth that He is love and He is light. His wrath and anger is only ever directed towards those things that harm His beloved children and His creation, not towards His children or His creation themselves. His light (i.e. He Himself) shines on all, constantly and unceasingly, regardless of their attitude towards Him. God’s very being radiates constant, unchanging, unrelenting, pure love and warmth. – (T F Torrance)
QUESTIONS FOR THE DAY
- What NEW THING did you learn from reading these verses slowly
- How does that impact your picture of who God is and his reach into creation
- How does the Matthew and Luke passages impact your love for those who still do not believe?
VERSE FOR THE DAY
“For it was the Father’s God good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in him, and through him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross, through Him I say; whether things on earth or things in heaven. Colossians 1:19-20
VIDEO FOR THE DAY
“Your Grace Finds Me” with lyrics Matt Redman https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=orY_OWKTyfU
Heavenly Father, help me understand that your light really does shine through all darkness. May I learn to trust you that you really are working all things together for good. Help me remember that there is NOTHING in this world absent from your Light and your Love.