This morning while driving to work, I heard the following commentary by Dr. Harold Sala of Guidelines International. I decided to take a short detour in our study of James and share this commentary and a few comments of my own. Yesterday we discussed the greatest gift that we can ever receive: “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—” (Ephesians 2:8). God wants to provide this gift to all who will believe, and it’s up to us, believers, to spread the good news to others for His greater purposes.
Second by second 2000 years have trickled through the hourglass of time since Jesus Christ walked the shores of ancient Galilee. Shortly after the death and resurrection of Christ, a faith-filled Apostle wrote, “The light continues to shine in the darkness, for the darkness has never overpowered it” (John 1:5). John, of course, meant that Christ had come as a light in a dark world, and with His coming, man had a new purpose in living, a new hope to brighten the day. Two thousand years later, it takes even greater faith to believe that darkness is really passing away.
Many believe that the darkness of moral and spiritual gloom that confronts the world today is greater than at any period in history. Man has in his grasp weapons more powerful than any the world has ever seen. There are enough hydrogen bombs stockpiled on both sides of the world to blow our entire world into chaos several times over.
The situation today is something like the despair of a person at the bottom of a hundred-foot well when the only hope for escape comes from above. Three thousand years ago David cried, “My help cometh from the Lord who made heaven and earth” (Psalm 121:2). In the midst of a dark world, you find yourself struggling for security.
How do you respond to the darkness around? Do you curse it and wish that it wasn’t there, or do you light a candle– even a small one–and drive back the darkness? Have you forgotten the words of Jesus Christ to those who follow Him? He said, “You are the light of the world…”
As we move through a dark world our purpose and function in life should be much the same as that of the lamplighter who proceeded through the streets, progressively lighting lamps. An observant little boy, watching the old lamplighter go from lamp stand to lamp stand, turned to his nurse and exclaimed, “Look! Look! There’s a man punching holes in the dark!” How can it be better said?
A person who sits and curses the darkness only adds to his misery; the answer is to do something, no matter how insignificant it may be, to drive back the darkness! Your duty is to punch holes in the dark. Do you find yourself in a rather gloomy situation? In short, your responsibility is to fulfill the admonition of the Apostle Paul, who wrote these words to the Philippians–beautiful guidelines for living: “Be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation among whom you appear as lights in the world…” (Philippians 2:15) Remember, the smallest light is greater than the most powerful darkness.
You can be like the man who was blind, but every day he shuffled to the same corner and sat begging; but as the sun began to sink in the western sky, he took out a lantern and struck a match, adjusting its flame as best he could. People wondered: “Why would a blind man carry a lantern? And why should he make a point to light it as the sun set? After all,” they reasoned, “was not darkness and light all the same to this man?” He even admitted that he could not tell the difference between light and darkness. Then why the lighted lantern?
“It’s simple,” he replied. “I light it so people won’t stumble over me.” Jesus said, “You are the light of the world…” A light in a world of darkness is the answer to the moral and spiritual chaos that confronts us today. Who knows? Your light may even keep someone from stumbling over you.
I thought a worthy finish to this post was to include the video below of Chris Rice singing “Go Light Your World”. Let’s run to the darkness and share our light, and make certain not to be a stumbling block to others!