Summary: Learning to live in the light of God.
Walking in the Light
May 7, 2006
Last weekend I started our study of the book of 1 John. As we begin our time together I expressed 2 wishes for you. Two dreams that I have for us as we study the great book.
1. The first wish was that you and I would be free. Free to live into the life God has for us.
A life of complete joy (1:4).
A life of full love (2:5).
I illustrated this point by talking about Luke and I going on a bike ride. Today I brought the pictures.
No longer was Luke propped up by training wheels.
No longer was he slowed down by training wheels.
He was now free to cruise around and explore, to crash, to fall.
He was free.
That is my 1st wish for us. That we would take off the things that hold us up/that make us look good. That we would learn of God and let God set us free.
2. Last Sunday, I talked about climbing up Big Rock and seeing the Olympics to the west and the Cascades to the east. And I noted that the book of 1 John finds itself between 2 great other books written by John - the Gospel of John that looks back at Jesus’ life and the book of Revelation that looks forward.
John places 1 John between these 2 books intending to teach how we are to live well in the valley/in the here and now.
This is my second wish - that you and I would live well here and now, in the present.
John was writing to a people who didn’t think that was really possible. They had been under the influence of some false teachers who believed anything physical; anything earthly was entirely evil. But John wants to rework God’s truths into them. He desires to train them in the truth. He wants his words to be a marinade that softens and flavors them to the Truth of God. Why? Because he wants them to experience God where they are, in their lives, in their church and families. In their friendships with each other.
And that’s my desire and I trust, yours. That me, you - ordinary people would in an ever increasing way grow in our relationship with God that we would encounter Him, love Him and know His love. That we would allow ourselves to simply be. Be. Having surrendered our lives to Him.
John is a masterful writer. He will use 3 primary images, in this book. 3 images that describe God but also are to describe his people. And in our text for today we encounter the first one.
John sitting at his desk, his heart hurt and desperate for these people who like sheep have been led astray by false teachers. John is thinking, racking his brain to impress upon these wayward people an image that would cause them to get back on the righteous path of God. And then he remembers what he had written previously in John 8:12. Jesus says, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life."
That’s it. That’s perfect. That’s what these people need to hear. Thru and in him they can get back on his track. God is Light
To these people off course in their sincere religious pilgrimage, John’s image is of a God who reveals, guides, and makes known. God shines. It is in his character. It is who he is to illumine his path for all who are willing to walk into that light. No matter the circumstances, the situation one may find himself/herself in.
God is light - in him there is no darkness at all.
God does not create fogginess.
God does not desire you and I to live by false notions or ideas.
He does not seek to make life for you and me one big complete mess.
But instead, he desires to be our light, to guide our path, to be the way for us.
God is light.
When we find ourselves in the dark
When we feel not the warmth of a light.
When we see no light at the end of a tunnel.
When our circumstances are nothing but fogginess and murky.
When your mind is confused having been led astray. John writes to these people wanting to get back on track in 1:5, "God is light in him there is no darkness at all." That’s the message/the theme/the controlling fact that John wants to get across in these initial verses.
But what is he hoping for?