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I Am The Light of the World (Dale Offutt)


Dale Offutt

(Transcribed from the Words of Life Radio Program)


“I am the light of the world. He that followeth me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life.”

Perhaps when our Lord said these words he and others with him were enjoying a warm and sunshiny day. However, every day Jesus gives us sunshine for our souls and the light we have is from the Lord Jesus Christ, our spiritual night passed away. Yes, as children of God who remain in close fellowship with Jesus, he stays with us, giving us the light we need for a dark world.

A little boy walked along a country lane one night with his Father. His father carried the flashlight. The black silence all around them frightened the little boy. He looked up and said to his daddy, “Daddy, our light won’t reach very far. I am afraid.” His daddy answered, “That is right, son.  But if you just keep walking we will have enough light to get us home.”

Now there is a spiritual application to this little story. Surely all of us at times have seen the dark in our lives. We may wonder if we can continue our life with any kind of peace or joy.  Our Lord always gives us enough light to take the next step and that is really all we need. We take one step at a time with our Lord. His light will never go out.  Rest assured, my friends.  Jesus provides us enough light to take us home, even to our heavenly home.

Some once said, and we quote, “Even though a Christian may be in darkness, he is not to despair. The darkness should draw him or her closer to God. Often God does not reveal himself in these times of darkness because he is teaching us to walk by faith, not by sight,” end of quote. Let’s be prepared for the times of darkness when we just can’t understand what God is doing in our lives.

Again, we quote a saint of God who said, “He who keeps his face toward the Son, S O N, Jesus, cannot observe the shadows that fall behind him,” end of quote.  No one but the divine Lord and Savior of mankind could justly claim to be the light of the world. We would do well to ask the question: What practical advantages does the light of the world offer? Well, let us consider the following.

Number one, the present world of humanity is in the darkness of ignorance.  Now let’s just suppose that you are taken to a strange place in the dark. From this place  you may be taken to an elevation where you can have the vantage point of seeing for miles and miles.  You see beautiful scenery. But if you were left in the place of darkness, what would you see? Of course, you would see nothing.  Oh, what a difference, what a change when we are taken to a place of light where objects and scenery are seen in the light.

My friends, Jesus, the light of the world, offers a change for all humanity. He offers the light of knowledge for a world of ignorance. In fact, Jesus brings humanity from the peak of spiritual darkness to heavenly knowledge. Jesus is the true light of the world.  He instructs those who are totally ignorant of God and his mercy. His light offers salvation.  Yes, Jesus the light of the world offers a saving grace and provision of everything that is needed to give light and direction to our heavenly home.  Yes, step by step Jesus leads us in our earthly pilgrimage.

Every person who has accepted the light of the world, even Jesus Christ, as Savior can testify that from the day of that conversion, from the time of that repentance and baptism for the remission of sins, how different that life has been. Instead of groping in darkness, there is a light that streams from Jesus. As the hymn expresses, so do all who know of the heavenly sunshine, the light of the world, heavenly sunlight, heavenly sunlight flooding my soul with glory divine.  For the true Christian, because of this heavenly sunshine, the duties and responsibilities of every day life have taken on a new look. Life seems to be more interesting. The joy of the Lord is making life enjoyable.

Second, for our consideration, the world of humanity is in the darkness of sin. What a sad and awful state in which the majority of people are in this very hour.  However, the Lord Jesus offers this dark world light.  Yes, the light of forgiveness and the light of righteousness and holiness. Jesus the light of the world delivers one from the error of his ways to the truth of the gospel. We might liken this to when a dark dungeon is thrown open so that the sunlight streams into it. My friends, so it was when Jesus came into this dark world.  The very presence of Jesus gives light to the world.

Now the third consideration. The world of humanity is in the darkness of danger. Jesus said, “He that walketh in the darkness knoweth not whither he goeth,” John 12 verse 36.  How thankful we should be that the Lord Jesus brings the light of safety.  Night is a time of danger.  The thief comes by night and many crimes are committed in the darkness. Daylight gives more of a freedom of movement.  Jesus the light of the world brought safety. Without Jesus one cannot have safety. Again, hear the teaching of Jesus.  “If a man walk in the day he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world.  But if a man walk in the night he stumbleth because the light is not in him.” The gospel of John chapter 11 verse nine and ten. Oh the depth of destruction and misery of those who refuse the light of the world, even the Lord Jesus, who knows the dangers ahead for all mankind. He, as the light of the world, desires to save the whole world from danger and disaster.

Now the fourth consideration. The world of humanity is in the darkness of death. Yes, Jesus brought to a dying world the light of life. If a plant is placed in a darkened room, it will grow to be pale and sickly. However, if it is placed in a room which has some sunlight it will grow as it should grow.

The story is told of a famous German philosopher approaching death. His famous last words were, “More light.  More light.”  Well, spiritual light comes only from the person of Jesus who said, “I am the light of the world. He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” How bright the path grows from day to day for those who will walk in the light.

Now the sad news for the dying world is simply this. Mankind, when in sin, is liable to spiritual death. The good news for this dying world is that Christ offers his light, spiritual health and vitality. One who accepts Jesus Christ as Savior passes from the darkness into his glorious light.  One then blossoms into a life of righteousness, because he has become an obedient and faithful follower of Jesus Christ. How wonderful it is when Jesus becomes our Savior. The spiritual ignorance, sin, danger, death, oh, these words will cease to be part of our life when Jesus the light of the world becomes our personal Savior and Lord.

Let us consider the duty of following the light. To see the advantages of following the light, really, is not enough. To admire the beauty of the light is not enough.  We are told that ancient Persians worshipped the rising sun. Well, Christians may well worship the risen Lord today. However, we must walk in the light. Let us remember that the sun shines in vain for those who insist on concealing themselves from its beams. Just like the plant that we considered, it is not enough to admire the light. Oh, we must walk or live in the light and in so doing make use of the light. Jesus said that when we follow him we have the light of life.  So not only shall we walk in the light, but we shall be a center of light. The light must proceed from or flow from us. In the Sermon on the Mount our Lord taught this precious truth. “Ye are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid, neither do men light a lamp and put it under the bushel, but on the stand and it shineth into all that are in the house. Even so let your light shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven,” Matthew 5:14-16.

My friends, it is very hard at times to let our light shine in this dark world. Yes, Christians are often discouraged or even persecuted for letting their light shine in this world of darkness.   A  young lady who was a Christian said to her minister, “I can’t stick it out any longer. I am the only Christian in the factory where I work. I get nothing but taunts and sneers. It is more than I can stand. I am going to resign from my job.”  Her minister replied, “Will you tell me something? Where are lights placed?” And the young lady replied, “I suppose in dark places.” The minister responded by saying to the young Christian lady, “Yes. That is why you have been put in the factory where there is much spiritual darkness, where there is no other Christian to shine for the Lord.” The young lady went back to the factory determined to let her light shine. My friends, hear this good news. She soon won nine other young ladies to the Lord.

The Lord’s grace will enable us to continue our walk in the light even when we are tempted to get discouraged or resign from our duties or responsibilities of letting our light shine in the dark world. Christ’s first coming to this world was not for judgment, but for salvation. Oh, he saw a world that was in darkness. His chief concern was to provide light. He knew that the God of this world had blinded the minds of them that do not believe. And yet today the majority has chosen not to believe in Jesus as the light of the world, even the Savior of the world.  Many are groping in the darkness of ignorance, sin, danger and even death.  Perhaps as a listener this describes your life.  Jesus, the Savior, alone gives light to one who is groping in this dark world. Fellow Christian, if you are not faithful in letting your light shine, please hear the light of the world speaking to your heart.

“Even so, let your light shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”

Dale Offutt is the retired minister of the Sellersburg Church of Christ, Indiana

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I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.

John 16:33