Full of Light

Wednesday, February 18, 2015, 5:40 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “Full Release.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Luke 11:33-36 (NASB).

Not Hidden

“No one, after lighting a lamp, puts it away in a cellar nor under a basket, but on the lampstand, so that those who enter may see the light.”

Jesus said, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life” (Jn. 8:12). So, he is the Light. Jesus also said that we, as his followers, are “the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden” (Matt. 5:14). This is because we reflect him, who is the Light. For those of us who have believed in Jesus Christ as Lord and as Savior of our lives, we have the Spirit of God living within us, and living his life out through us, when we surrender our lives to him. Jesus said, “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” (Matt. 5:16). So, Jesus is the Light and we are the light when we have the Spirit of God living within us and living the life of Christ out through us, by God’s grace, through faith in Jesus Christ.

So, what is this light? We know it is the opposite of darkness. In the light we can see clearly. In the dark, we cannot. The light lights our way so that we know where to walk. In the dark we stumble around and run into things and fall down. Light is God (and of God). It is truth, righteousness, life and holiness. Darkness is anti-God, anti-Christ, and of the devil. It is wickedness, lies, death and lawlessness. Light is the gospel of our salvation. Darkness is all that is opposed to God and to the gospel of Jesus Christ.

So, our lamp is lit with the true Light when we accept God’s invitation to his great salvation by God’s grace, through faith. We humble ourselves before Almighty God, admitting that we are sinners and that we need the Savior to save us from our sins. By God’s grace we, thus, turn away from living for sin and self, we submit to the Spirit’s work of transformation in our hearts and minds, and we are given new lives in Christ Jesus to be lived in his righteousness and holiness – all in the power and working of his Spirit within us.

But, it doesn’t end there. We don’t receive the Light and then hide it in the basement so that no one sees it. We allow the Light to shine through our lives by submitting to the Spirit of God and to his work of grace and transformation in our lives, throughout our lives. This means we walk in the Spirit and no longer according to the flesh. We no longer live our lives for sin and self but for Jesus Christ, who gave himself up for us, for that is why he died (See 2 Co. 5:15). The Light is also not just in a small corner of our lives where it is barely noticed or effective, but it permeates our lives so that we walk in Christ’s righteousness and holiness, and so we live holy lives pleasing to God by his power at work within us. It also means that we share the gospel of Jesus Christ – the gospel that was taught by the apostles – so that others can come to know Jesus Christ, too.

Watch Out

“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. Then watch out that the light in you is not darkness.”

The eye is not only the part of the body with which we physically see, but it can also be understood to mean “judgment, appreciation, discernment, or observation.” If our judgment and discernment are healthy and pure of heart, then what is received into the body (mind, soul, heart) is the true light, and thus the body (our whole being) is full of light. Yet, if our eye, i.e. our ability to make right judgments and to discern correctly is unhealthy spiritually, then what we will take into our lives will be of the darkness (wickedness, lies, deception).

With regard to our salvation, before we come to know Christ we are all sinners in need of a Savior, so not one of us is righteous, and thus we are all incapable of making righteous judgments. Yet, by God’s grace, through faith, our eye is made clear so that we can judge correctly in order to receive the true light into our lives. Yet, there are many who have made a profession of Christ only, but have never had a true heart transformation. They were not sincere in their desire to walk in holiness, when they made their profession of faith, and so their eye is not clear. So, they did not receive the true light but only a fake version of the true light which promised them heaven absent of the crucified life. And so, the “light” in them is not the true light but is really darkness disguised as the true light.

So, this is a warning to make sure that the “light” we have received is the true light and not the fake light which is no light at all, but is darkness disguised as light. This is a call to be discerning about believing that which is false. We will never be discerning about receiving the fake light, though, if we willfully continue to walk in darkness, i.e. if we are not willing to die to our old lives of living for sin and self and to submit our lives to Jesus Christ to allow him to live his life through us. If Jesus is just our ticket into heaven but we have not submitted to the cross of Christ, and we are still trying to control our own lives and to do what we want to do, then our eye is not clear and it is bad, and so we will continue to walk in the fake light which is not light but is really darkness disguised as light. So, if we want to walk in the true light we must submit ourselves to our Lord Jesus Christ, turn from walking according to our own sinful desires, and by the Spirit walk in the Spirit in true holiness.

Full of Light

“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.”

Jesus said, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life” (Jn. 8:12). So, what does it mean to follow Christ? Basically it just means we obey him. We are not to be just hearers of the Word but we are to be doers of the Word. This “doing” is not just following a set of rules, though, so that we can check them off a list. Jesus has to BE our lives, i.e. he has to be the reason we live and breathe and walk the face of this earth. He has to be more than just a “belief,” but he has to be the very purpose for which our lives exist! What this means is that we understand that our lives are to be fully submitted to him, for his will and for his purposes, and that we live like this is true. It means that each day we deny our self-life, we die to sin and self, and we follow our Lord Jesus in obedience and in surrender to his will for our lives (See Lu. 9:23-25).

What this also means is that daily we allow the Spirit of God to cleanse and purify us of anything that might be hindering us in our walks of faith and obedience to our Lord. We willingly submit to the Spirit’s voice in putting a finger on anything in our lives which is not pleasing to our Lord, and we cooperate with the Spirit’s work in purifying us and in ridding our lives of all those hindrances (See Heb. 12:1-2). So, in all practicality, what should this look like? I believe it means that we regularly do self-examinations before our Lord in prayer, asking him to reveal to us areas of our lives which are not pleasing to him and areas of our lives in which we are still walking according to the flesh and not according to the Spirit, and then we should do what he tells us to do about them.

For example, our dedication to Christ may be confined merely to a short period of time each day where we read his word and pray, and/or it may be to attending church services a couple of times a week, and/or to committing ourselves to some type of Christian service. Yet, the rest of our lives may be lived how we want, doing what we want, without regard for whether or not God is pleased, or whether or not he has something better for us to do. We may even be watching TV or movies which glorify sin, or we may be involved in unhealthy and ungodly relationships, or we may be addicted to pornography, food, gossip and the like. So, if we want our lives to be full of light – the light of Christ – then we must surrender our all to that Light and allow Him to truly be Lord and Master of our lives in ALL ways.

Full Release / An Original Work / April 15, 2012

Walking daily with my Savior
brings me joy.
Loving Father; precious Jesus;
He’s my Savior and my Lord.
Gently leads me; follow Him.
I’ve invited Him within.
Now abiding in His presence,
oh, what peace.
From my self-life
He has brought me,
By His mercy, full release.

Hope and comfort,
peace and safety Jesus brings
When I daily bow before Him;
Obey freely; do His will.
Follow Him where’er He leads.
Listen to Him; His words heed.
Now obeying his words fully,
oh, what love
That He gives me
through salvation,
By His Spirit, from above.

Loving Father; precious Jesus,
He’s my friend.
With my Savior, by His Spirit,
I will endure to the end.
Share the gospel, tell what’s true.
Witness daily; His will do.
Tell the world of how their Savior
bled and died.
On a cruel cross He suffered
So that we might be alive.