Recently on a visit home I was borrowing my parents’ car to go visit my sister and her family. I left in the morning and spent the day there and didn’t head home until it was dark out. They live in town so I got in the car and began to drive home. However, right as I began to leave the area lit by streetlights I realized that I couldn’t see in front of me anymore. The headlights on my parents’ car were supposed to be automatic, but this time they weren’t turning on even when I did it manually. I couldn’t see anything, and if I drove home like that I probably would’ve gone off of the road or hit a deer and gotten very hurt because I couldn’t see the dangers around me without light. Finally, I got the fog lights to turn on. That’s not much, but it’s better than not having any light. I drove a half hour home without much for headlights and that was much more difficult than driving the same route earlier that morning in the daylight.
Light is important. Not only does it help us see clearly, but it helps us distinguish a good path from a bad path. It helps us see the dangers that are otherwise lurking in the ditches waiting to jump out in front of us at any moment. In the sermon on the mount, Jesus called his followers “the light of the world.” He reminded them that a light that is hidden is no use to anyone, it must be out in the open for everyone to see. You protect a flame that gives you light so that it doesn’t go out, and as believers we should be doing the same thing in our own lives. We should be protecting the truth of God’s word that helps us live lives pleasing to God because our lives give light to the world around us so that they can see the dangers of sin and find the right way to God.
However, if we give in to sin and begin to accept it and live in it then our light quickly grows dim and fails to show those around us the truth of God. Our culture is doing everything in its power to put our lights out, but we can’t let that happen! We need to look at God’s word and see what his word says is true and follow that rather than the people of this world who try to make their own truth. Ephesians 5:6-11 warns us, “Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not become partners with them; for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.”