For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said: “Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”
Let the SON Shine
The apostle Paul is speaking to Christians when he says, “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light.” A regular part of the Christian life is studying God’s Word where Jesus flips on the light switch for us to see what it means to be his followers—children of light. When the SON shines on us, he leads us to regularly evaluate how we are doing in our role as children of light. So how are you doing? In your relationships with others, are you loving, submitting, obeying, and forgiving as God wants you to? Have you been giving your full effort at work even when the boss is not watching you? Have you been fair and encouraging to your employees? Are you allowing hobbies, sports, entertainment, work, or some other activity in your life to be a bigger priority than worship of Jesus and study of his Word? Are you limiting your exposure and that of your family to the darkness of sin that penetrates minds and hearts through television, music, video games, and the internet? Are you trying to be aware of the words that come out of your mouth so that God’s name is honored? Are you striving to speak to others in ways that encourage and build up instead of tear down? Do you give the impression that you are content with how the Lord has blessed you in your life or do you give the impression that you feel shortchanged by God and others? Are you generous with your time, abilities, and financial blessings in support of church and charitable work, or do greed and materialism have a strong grip on you and your family?
Additionally, part of letting the SON shine in your life is to “have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.” Being a follower of Jesus doesn’t just mean you evaluate only your own life. It means God called you to gently and with respect expose sinful attitudes and lifestyles embraced by others. Do you speak the truth in love when others you know have wrong ideas and actions concerning marriage, sexuality, beginning of life and end of life issues, and other matters that God speaks clearly about in Scripture? Do you seek to expose their sin and unbelief so they might repent and can enjoy the light of Jesus’ forgiveness? Or does your silence actually serve to confirm them in their spiritual slumber and their trek toward eternal death in hell. Or maybe even in the privacy of your home and circle of family and friends, do you laugh and joke about the sinful lives of others?
After honest evaluation, wouldn’t each of us have to admit that we are more children of twilight as we try to live in both the world of darkness and the world of light at the same time? Yet Jesus didn’t call us to be twilight children, he called us to be children of light. The SON, Jesus Christ, shines on us and calls us to repent of the times we try to continue to live in the sinful “glory days” of darkness. Jesus leads us to sorrow over our sins so that we find true appreciation in these words: “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.” Because of your faith connection to Jesus Christ the “Light of the World” God has forgiven your attempts to be more a twilight child of God instead of a full child of light. He has forgiven all the times you have failed to lovingly, gently, and respectfully expose the sin of others calling them to repentance and faith in Jesus. When God looks at you through Jesus he doesn’t see any darkness, he just sees the light of his SON’s perfection covering you. God is pleased with you in every way because “you are light in the Lord” by faith in Jesus. Let that good news daily impact your life so that you grow and mature in your ability to live as the child of light God called you to be and considers you to be in Christ Jesus.
Heavenly Father, thank you for connecting me by faith to my Savior Jesus, the Light of the World. Help me grow and mature as a child of light to glorify you and let my light shine before others. Amen.
This devotion was selected from the Daily Devotion archive.
Source: WELS Devotions