Never take light for granted. It is one of the basic needs of life. Even in the ocean depths, untouched by daylight, there are organisms that use light and are equipped to produce “bioluminescence” for a variety of functions. Plants need it. Animals need it. You need it.
One good point of survival involving light is to always keep a flashlight handy in your home, car, or workplace. Keep it accessible, and be sure to check its batteries every so often to ensure it has power. You never know when you might need one! This may sound like common sense 101, but light really can save your life.
Flip a switch, and you bring one of your most important senses to bear against unseen dangers—and there are many creatures that find bright light very inconvenient. Some of the peskiest critters bolt at the first ray of sudden light—like raccoons and other nocturnal invaders, and the ubiquitous cockroach. Light can be even more useful for keeping human pests and predators away.
Light also provides safety during emergencies, when cars break down at night or power grids fail and we find ourselves literally in the dark until help arrives or the power comes back. But, that is not the only darkness people stumble in.
In fact, using light to overcome darkness is one of the most important concepts in the Bible.
The Apostle John wrote concerning Jesus Christ: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it” (John 1:1–3). In this passage, John clearly identifies Jesus as existing long before His conception on earth, as the true source of spiritual light and truth.
The word “light” in these passages, phōs in the ancient Greek, literally means "radiance" or even "spiritual illumination" in some cases, and is derived from the root word phaō, meaning "to make manifest." And, when John said that this light shone against the darkness (the ignorance and waywardness of this world, Romans 1:20–22), the darkness could not comprehend (or overcome) it.
This was a truly powerful light. In what ways do the light of Christ and the knowledge of God’s ways illuminate life and chase away shadows?
Matthew 18:15, one of the most underused scriptures in the Bible, shows one way. By bringing a matter that offends us before a neighbor, respectfully and with a sincere desire to reconcile, we “shine a light” on the situation (John 3:20–21) and can hopefully seek a peaceful resolution.
God’s word, too, shines the light—through instructions about prayer, especially what the Bible calls intercessory prayer (1 Timothy 2:1–3). Fervent, sincere prayer made by those obedient to God’s will “avails much” (James 5:16) and will not go unseen by God. Diligent prayer, even for one’s enemies, goes a long way with God (Matthew 5:43–45). If we make that genuine effort, the path to forgiveness, resolution, and true peace of mind becomes clear and well-lit. We shine the light of mercy on others, and in so doing, God will shine it on us (Mark 11:25).
Finally, the Gospel offers the true knowledge of the way to repentance and salvation. When God calls someone into His family, He makes the way known through the gift of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:3; Ephesians 3:4–6). This revelation comes directly from God, and cannot be comprehended without His help. But once God shines this light on you, and you trust in Him (Isaiah 50:10) the door is opened for you never to walk in darkness again.
That light is more precious than any other, but it comes only with a calling and a great cost, and must never be taken lightly. To learn if it is being offered to you, order our free booklet Christian Baptism: Its Real Meaning or read the Tomorrow’s World magazine article “Have You Surrendered to God?” today. Also, be sure to watch "Sabbath or Sunday?"