“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light.” (1 Peter 2:9)
As we return to the verse we have been studying, Peter draws our attention to one last way that we must see ourselves. We are Light!
We didn’t use to be. We were darkness. Committed to darkness. Living in darkness. Hiding in the darkness. In a strange way… at home in the darkness.
That is why the pull of darkness is so appealing to us. It is why temptations are often so effective. Darkness often feels more like “home” than we realize.
But Jesus came to bring us out of the darkness into the Kingdom of His Light. We are called to give “joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified (us) to share in the inheritance of His holy people in the kingdom of light.” (from Colossians 1:12-13) We are reminded: “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light.” (Ephesians 5:8) And even the Lord Himself told us plainly; “You are the Light of the world.” (Matthew 5:14)
It may be that because we are so prone to darkness, we struggle to see ourselves as Light. But this is where faith plays the essential role. We are not acting upon what we feel (or how we have felt in our past), or even how we wish we were – but we are acting upon the reality of what Jesus has done for us. He redeemed us from our entire past (including our feelings and our propensities) and brought us into a new way of living. We are no longer darkness – we are Light in the Lord. Jesus made it so.
Sometimes we can forget just how important our new life really is. This world is steeped in darkness. What is more, this world does not even realize that they are lost in the darkness. They have grown so accustomed to darkness that anything resembling “light” is discouraged, disparaged… dismissed. The darkness robs this world of sight and what is “seen” is shrouded with more darkness.
That is why darkness is not just defined as evil. It is confusion. It is half-truths. It is vice clothed in the vestments of virtue. It is deceit wrapped in a cloak of veiled truth. And, oh yeah, darkness often comes with the moniker of “enlightenment.”
I have found, in my years of seeking, that it is impossible to be “enlightened” without a pure Light source.
And that is the whole problem… And the answer to the problem! Jesus came as the “Light of the world.” And He came to take us out of the utter darkness and place us into the fullness of His Light – until we also become the Light of the world.”
Through Jesus, THAT is what we ARE.
As Christians, this is our noble purpose. This is the special purpose that we are “set apart” to do. We ARE Light… existing to dispel darkness – to expose darkness by being the Light (Ephesians 5:13).
We must always remember that darkness cannot survive in the presence of light. If the world is such a dark place it is because “the Light” is not shining as it should.
Through Jesus’ work on our behalf, we are brought out of darkness… completely. We are made the Light of the world… explicitly.
But we must see ourselves as the Light – and we must see the power of light to overwhelm darkness. This is at the heart of our special divine purpose – and why we are God’s precious possession.
Prayer Focus: Thank You, God, for making me the Light of the world, through Jesus. Open my eyes to opportunities to shine in the darkness — beaming the light of Your love.