Summary: "This little light of mine; I'm gonna let it shine". What light? Let it shine how? Let's find out.
LET IT SHINE
"This little light of mine, I'm going to let it shine." What light? Let it shine how? Let's see.
The light is Christ.
John 12:46, “I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.”
We all start out in the darkness; the sinful nature is darkness. And the darkness is not good. The darkness can be a scary place. Have you ever been somewhere where you literally could not see your hand in front of your face? Where the darkness was so thick you could actually feel it? The dark is a place where bad things often happen. In the darkness we stumble and trip over things. In the darkness an attacker can easily hide and pounce on us.
But, thanks be to God, because he sent Jesus to rescue us from that darkness. Col. 1:13 says that God rescued us from the dominion of darkness. Dominion means power, authority, control; dominance. The darkness had control over us. We needed to be rescued from that. When we were saved we were transported into the kingdom of light.
Bob Woods tells the story of a couple who took their 11 year old son and seven-year-old daughter to Carlsbad Caverns. When the tour reached the deepest point the guide turned off all the lights to dramatize how completely dark it is below the earth's surface. The little girl, suddenly enveloped in deep darkness, was frightened and began to cry. She immediately heard the voice of her big brother saying, "Don't cry. Somebody here knows how to turn on the lights." In a real sense, that's the message of the gospel: light is available in the overwhelming darkness.
Unfortunately, just because it's available, not everybody receives it. There are some who do not see the light of Christ for what it is. Satan has blinded their eyes. 2nd Cor. 4:4, "The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God."
The word "cannot" doesn't mean it's impossible; otherwise Paul wouldn't have been able to say what he did in verse six, "For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ." So it’s not that they don't have an opportunity to see the light of Jesus; it's that they haven't wanted to see it.
Why don't I want to see it? Fear of exposure. John 3:19-20, "This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed."
I don't come into the light because in a warped way, I'm comfortable in the darkness. I'm blind to the fact that the darkness is bad. I'm blind to the fact that I'm on the pathway to destruction. I'm deceived into thinking I'm better off in the dark. I'm not willing to face the discomfort of seeing myself or my situation for what it really is.
Jesus is the light of the world who wants to show me reality. John 8:12, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” Light is good in that it helps us see. When we come to Christ, the Holy Spirit shows us things in the world, in ourselves, in others that we never saw before. In the light of Christ I can see sin for what it really is; in all its ugliness and destruction. In the wisdom of the light, we see more clearly the things that want to take us down. The light helps us to recognize falsehood and deception so we can avoid making costly mistakes.
In the darkness we were vulnerable. But now, with the light of Christ in us we're empowered. Jesus’ light gives us power, insight, and clarity. Without Jesus we'd still be in the darkness.
What does the light do?
a) Light exposes. Light exposes what’s in the darkness. Job 12:22, “He reveals the deep things of the darkness and brings deep shadows into the light.”
Light revealing what’s in the darkness can mean a couple of things. It exposes hidden dangers. In the dark an attacker can wait. If he remains quiet he can pounce when he hears me coming and I'm toast. But if I have the light I can see him and either avoid him or defend against him.
Another aspect of light revealing is that it exposes hidden sins/secrets. We have to be prepared to face what's in the darkness. We can become comfortable with what the darkness hides. It can be scary to face what the light exposes. So in one sense the light is scarier than the dark. But it's better that we face our fears rather than be in denial about what's in the darkness or content to keep it hidden. We are much better off in the light.