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Monday, March 14, 2016

Light Applied

Of the many rich metaphors of Scripture, I love best the picture of light and darkness that asserts itself so often as to nearly reach theme status. From the first page of Genesis when God creates light to the final pages of the story when the nations walk in the light of the lamb, our innate longing for light is affirmed by a God who has every intention of satisfying it.

Maybe it's a quirk of personality, or a season I'm in, but I find myself often overwhelmed by the darkness. I feel suffocated by it, and it drags me into despair and depression. I am so prone to forget the current and the coming light of the gospel and get lost in hopeless apathy. But in a recent rereading of 2 Corinthians 4, I found a few grace-fully lit candles to guide me when I feel the darkness pressing in.

2 Corinthians 4:6For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 
1. Dependence: For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," has shone in our hearts... Note the active verb has a subject. God. I am often not able to "find" the light. He finds me. And only He can be the source of all the Light I long for. The verse hearkens back to the Genesis act of creating light from nothing. God alone can do this.

2. Identityhas shone in our hearts... Look at the verb again. It's past tense, like so much of the grace language of the New Testament. He has already shone in my heart to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God. This is who I am now. I already have this light, even when I can't feel it or see it. It's real, and it's already mine.

3. Hopeto give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God... The light is here defined as "the knowledge of the glory of God." The reality is that this is not the end of the story. What is broken (the Image of God) will be restored. What is dark will be made light. This is the glory of God made visible once and for all.

4. Relationshipin the face of Jesus Christ. The light is found in the face of Jesus. Not the tablet of the Law or the pseudo-goodness of my once-dark heart, but in the living face of Love Incarnate. Do I feel punished by the darkness? I can always turn to Jesus, and in knowing Him more, I am healed by the eyeball-scorching light which reverses the blindness of my sin and guides me. In being reconciled to Jesus, I am now given light to see the Father whom I could never have hoped to see otherwise.

Though I often think I sit in darkness, there is hope for me. And for you too.

Isaiah 9:2 fulfilled in Matthew 4:16
"...the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned."