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What is Light
“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”    (Psalms 119:105)

I begin my thoughts today with the question, what is light? Anyone who has sight through the eyes or feeling through touch may find the answer obvious. But what is light? Webster’s dictionary defines light as an agent, force, or action in nature by the operation of which upon the organs of sight, objects are rendered visible or luminous. Light then travels unseen until it reflects back from an object. Once we leave the earth’s atmosphere all is dark except the light reflected back from the stars, planets, or the source of light in our solar system the sun. I find it interesting that light is not visible until it is reflected off an object.

What is the true source for light, this mysterious unseen power that comes down upon us from above? For us in this solar system it is the sun. The sun is viewed as a ball of fire burning in the heavens and is at the center of our galaxy. The sun is composed of two major gases, hydrogen and helium, which compose a little over 98% of its mass. This ball of fire is the source of all light and energy in our solar system. The sun does not give life but without it there could be no life. Scientist has given many theories as to the suns creation and most boil down to the nucleosynthetic Big Bang. To this theory I say it is only a proclamation. In Genesis 1:3 we read. “Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.” God willed that there would be light and by His word there was light.

As we look father in Genesis 1 in versus 4&5, God separated the light of the sun by day and night. He declared that the sun would rule the day and the moon the night. I find this intriguing to my thought and it rose to my question why do we need the night? I asked my brother Jim once when I was in my adolescent days, why do we need soap to wash with water? Brother Jim’s answer puzzled me even more. Because it makes water wetter was his answer. In my latter years I’ve come to reason that soap does not make water wetter but causes it to penetrate deeper. The sun light does not penetrate the solar system but only reflects off the objects in the solar system. Because of this the far side of the sphere of earth would be in complete darkness. The direct light of the sun rules the day while the moon’s indirect or reflective light rules during the night. It may be that in the direct light of the sun we are to be about our work sowing, harvesting, and bringing in the sheaves. Then in the hours of darkness we are to reflect on the lessons that God has shown us. Do you greet the day with a hunger in your prayer and finish the day with a prayer of fulfillment?

Have you ever been in a night that has no light? I may be a weird one in that as a child I was never afraid of the dark. But then I was never in a dark night. There was always the night light, the street lamp, and the moon and stars that gave forth a little light. When I was in the Army during my tour in Southeast Asia I experienced a lightless night. Our platoon was in position in An Khe Valley during the monsoon season. The cloud cover prohibited any light from the heavens to reflect down. I was unable to even see the hand in front of my face. There I was on ground I did not know with my ears picking up every sound as a microphone. I dare not move for fear that I would make a sound and become the target of my brother’s imagination. When you cannot see everyone becomes your enemy. Even though my senses were heightened greater than they have ever been, the uncertainty of what they were telling me caused a piercing fear. Can you imagine being in complete darkness absorbing what your senses are telling you, or what you think they may be saying to you? Can you imagine being with a band of brothers trained to kill the enemy and the fear you would have that one might fire a shot your way because of their fear? I can because I have lived in a night with no light and evil traveled freely, as evil loves the darkness.

Another thing about the sun’s direct and reflective light is that is cast shadows. In the light there is visibility but in the shadows evil lurks and waits for victims of prey. Evil loves the darkness, as those upon whom it preys are unaware of evils presence. I am tricked by the shadows many times and this is why I learn my path and plan my escape. I carry God’s word as a lighthouse to illuminate the dangers before me. It is the spiritual light that is far superior to the physical light of the sun. We read in Psalms 104: 1-2 God is light, “You are clothed with honor and majesty, wrapped in light as with a garment.” As my Brother Jim inadvertently pointed out God’s light makes light lighter. God’s light is a penetrating light and in His light there is no shadow. God’s light reveals all evil and none can hide from His light. “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)

Jesus said in John 3:19 “And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. For all who do evil hate the light and do not come to the light, so that their deeds may not be exposed.” Some may believe they can be righteous before men, others may think they can do good deeds and work their way to heaven, while others just simply want to buy their way. None of these ways will work as sin, going against the will of God, is what it is and there is no way around it. Others see the hypocrisy found in the church and proclaim the church life a lie. From their point of view it is a poor source of truth. I cannot fully disagree with them. Romans 3:23 tells us that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Perfect people cannot be found in church, or anywhere for that matter, but the difference is that the believers are forgiven. People run from the light because they don’t want to be convicted for what they are. God loves us just as we are and once we accept Jesus as the path to God’s glory, then He begins His redemptive work by the renewing of our minds.

John 8:12 tells us that Jesus is the light of the world. “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” Jesus is our strength and through Him we can overcome any testing of Satan for Jesus knows the trials of testing. None of us have or ever could be tested greater than Jesus. Yet Jesus overcame and is a patient and good teacher that can provide the saving knowledge, His constant unfailing companionship, and strengthen our own ability to overcome the test of Satan. Even Satan must obey God’s word. For those who accept Jesus for who He is, the savior, and takes up their cross and follows Him they will be enlightened by His path.

Jesus is the direct light of the world; His followers are the indirect or reflected light of the world. Matthew 5:14 tells us that we are the light of the world. “You are the light of the world.” We are ambassadors of Jesus who represent Him in the world. This is a burdensome responsibility and cannot be taken lightly. People are watching us, the same as the Pharisees who watched Jesus, are waiting for a fracture in our Christ like manner. I have heard it said that people were interested in Christianity until they met a Christian. How sad this fact is that we the sowers of His seed should destroy the seed we are to plant. People who hunger for truth and a way out of this cursed world are also watching. There is no argument in my mind that we must not just talk, for talk is too easily spoken, but we must make the walk. What is it that sets us aside that people will know they have encountered the truth but Jesus living through us?

Can you imagine a day without light when darkness fills the land? Four hundred years past between the old and new testament in which God spoke not a word to his people. The people hungered and were thirsty for a word from the Father. Then Jesus came, the Messiah, and we now live in the age of grace. The day is coming when the light of the world will be taken away and evil will be let loose upon the people. We are in the day where through the power of Jesus in us the light shines. We have the power through our witness of Him to lighten the shadows and expose the evil that lurks in the darkness. We are here to deliver the Gospel, a message of hope through God’s love, mercy, justice, and grace. For the night comes when those who are left will cry woe is to me and will be only able to reflect on the light that was missed. It is our call to go forth and serve Him who served us that we may be able to serve them.

Can you imagine a world without light? We are living in the church age where we are the light of the world by Jesus living through us. Have you received the penetrating light of Jesus? If so the darkened crevasses of your heart have been exposed to the sin that lives within. When we think of the price that was paid for our sinful hearts we should not only become sorrowful but also amazed by God’s unfathomable love for the crown of His creation. Has His light been reflected through you? We must carry His light before us exposing the sin of our fellows and displaying God’s love by empowering them with His word found in the Gospel. This is our mission to all the prodigals that through them also God’s glory shall forever shine. Our time is now in the day for soon the night comes and the light will no longer shine. For those who are left they will live in darkness and be unable to find their way. Fear and hopelessness will fill their hearts for in the dark all will be their enemy. What is light? We are the light, which nurtures the seed of God’s love for His people that through them all might come to the throne forgiven by the grace of Jesus.

Thomas N Kirkpatrick

March, 19,2012

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