Family Devotions – John 1:4 : The Life and Light of Men

Welcome to our second day of church family devotions. It is our prayer that God will use them in your life to point the way to Him. Let’s start with some worship to get us in the spirit of focusing on Him.

 

Image result for “Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in thee.” St. Augustine

Prayer by Pastor Sam:

Lord, thank you for the life and light you offer freely as a gift from your loving hands.  Help us rest in the truth and to live our lives in relationship to your truth rather than the lies our hearts so often entertain.  Lord, help us to carry this light in our lives amidst the people you’ve placed us.  Put your life and light in the hearts of many more of our fellow countrymen and those around the world.  Give grace and courage to those serving you in various cultures and contexts.  Give them clarity as they point to Christ through the preaching and teaching of your word, and help them to walk blamelessly before those you have called them to serve.  Call forth men and women who may even be just boys or girls today and prepare them in Scripture and in character to call others unto yourself.  Thank you that we don’t have to live in darkness and we don’t have to look at eternity with uncertainty, but rather great hope.  Lord, you are good and every promise you make we believe you will fulfill.  Help us when we doubt that and encourage us in resting in you even today.  In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen. 

Image result for john 1 4

Light is a theme within the Gospel of John.  As you go through this particular book of the Bible, you will notice the many ways Jesus identifies Himself, light being one of them. Alfred Barnes once wrote, “It (the Gospel of John) contains more about Christ, his person, design, and work, than any of the other Gospels. The other evangelists were employed more in recording the miracles, and giving external evidence of the divine mission of Jesus. John is employed chiefly in telling us what he was, and what was his peculiar doctrine….The other evangelists record his parables, his miracles, his debates with the scribes and Pharisees; John records chiefly his discourses about himself” (Barnes Notes on the New Testament, Introduction to John, pg. 171).

Let’s consider today’s verse and think about what it’s conveying:

  • “IN HIM was life.” Christ is the source of life, the giver of life, the means of life, the sustainer of life, and the definition of life at its core.  What does it mean to live?  I’m sure if you asked 100 people, from their own perspective, they might give you a broad range of answers.  I think from the Scriptures you could go no further, no deeper, than to say that life is summed up in Christ: what it means to be alive, as well as what it means to live eternally.

  • “In Him WAS life.” As mentioned in the devotional for John 1:1, the term was ought not be misunderstood as though this was a temporary matter.  We would be absolutely wrong to say that life was but no longer is in Christ; equally, we’d be wrong to say life was in Him exclusively at creation only to branch out with other sources of life through the passing of time.  One of the beauties of the truth regarding Jesus is that all truth comes from Him, and all truth regarding Him is not time-sensitive (nor is truth time-sensitive to any matter).  Time itself is subjugated to the sovereign Lord; what was true 2,000 years ago was true in eternity past and will be true 10,000,000 years from now! Sinners may shift their perspectives and certain views may take center stage for brief or extended periods of time, but this has no bearing on what is objectively true.  I encourage you to love the truth that in Him was life at the time of creation; in Him was life as He walked upon the earth; in Him is life today; in Him will there be life always and in no way is there life in its fullest meaning outside of Him.

  • “In Him was LIFE.” John’s words give us clarity in our own day and age to speak objectively to the idea of being spiritually alive and what, or whom, is the source of that life.  Notice the words not only present but also absent here:  not “in Him was a source of life” but “in Him was life.”  The wording is claiming exclusivity.  Do you ever get tired of being patted on the head by those who disagree with this by saying, at best, that Christ essentially is nothing more than one source of life?  Or perhaps to depreciate what He is the source of?  Some may go so far as to say, “He’s a source of inspiration, a model of character.”  It would seem we hear this unspoken belief most often around Christmas and Easter.  At worst, He is simply dismissed altogether.  John’s claim is not ambiguous; rather, in Him was (and is) life.

  • “The life was the LIGHT of men.” Light is a wonderful analogy of Christ, because light brings clarity and exposure of an environment to see what is, not what one might imagine there to be.  Let’s imagine we walked into an abandoned house in the dark.  We’re not sure if it’s safe, where the walls are, or what fills the room we’re in.  We find a light switch, turn it on, and immediately we become aware of the room and its contents, the walls, hallways, etc.  Our awareness causes us to respond appropriately to our surroundings.  Unfortunately, in a world filled with spiritual darkness, there are many voices telling us what is in the room, our level of security, and how we ought to live in light of our perception.  Often, people operate in relationship to their paradigm so long as it seems to serve them well enough for their intended purposes.  When Christ gives life to us, He gives us light as well.  We begin seeing things for what they truly are, and we see them best when wearing the lenses of Scripture.  I note, too, that we don’t always like what the light may reveal to us, but I’d rather know I was a sinner in need of Christ than have false confidence on a path leading to destruction!Image result for ephesians 2:1-7

  • “The life was the light of MEN.” Here’s a thought: the life Christ gives through faith in the gospel, that He came and died as a perfect sacrifice for sin on the cross and rose again, is only for people.  It’s not for animals (who do not bear the image of God) or even for angels!  The gospel is exclusively for men, and even more specifically, for the people who are alive today.  There is no preaching of the gospel in hell, as there is no salvation in hell.  The message and offer of life in Christ is time-sensitive as it is a faith-based response to a life-giving message given within the context of a dying world.  We can’t bestow this salvation upon future generations by wishing it for them or somehow earning it for them, nor can we do that for those who have passed (remember the acronym for grace: “God’s riches at Christ’s expense”).  It is personal, it is a faith-based response to a message, and that message has not changed nor will it.  It doesn’t just stop us from our eternal destiny, either; when we are made alive in Christ, the process of change begins on a journey all the way until meeting Him through death or His return.  As it relates to life, I remind you as I remind myself that the salvation Christ offers is three-fold in orientation: I am saved positionally, justified with the righteousness of Christ; I am being saved progressively, changed into His image; and I will be saved completely at glorification, the full hope of my salvation.

Here are some questions to contemplate as you go through the rest of your day today:

  • How is your life different today as a result of Jesus saving you?

  • Have you noticed your hopes changing as you’ve grown in Christ?

  • What are your greatest fears today, and how can the truth speak into them?

 

Find rest in Him today! Once again, if you are in need of prayer or of any other needs, please contact us and let us know how we can lift you up.