LIVING IN THE LIGHT
"You who spend your days shrouded in darkness can now say, “We have seen a brilliant Light.” And those who live in the dark shadow land of death can now say, “The Dawning Light arises on us.” Matthew 4:16 TPT
We have journeyed through the Advent and Christmas season and have now entered "Epiphany", the season of Light and are moving toward the season of Lent. Throughout the many Messianic prophecies of the Old Testament there are many references that refer to God's Light and glory arising upon His people and giving Light to the nations. Since the first advent of our Lord Jesus Christ, many of the prophetic revelations the Spirit of God first gave by inspiration to the prophets have come to pass, and we now expectantly await the fulfillment of the promises concerning our Lord's second advent.
In our beautiful Savior's appearing bodily and personally from the heavenly realms the second time, we will see the consummation of the work of His Kingdom that He inaugurated in His Incarnation among us. The above Scripture reference from Matthew 4 is one of my lifetime favorites concerning Jesus' work of redemption for the whole world and the created order. It paints a vivid and moving portrait, drawn from Old Testament prophecy, of the effect the Light of God's love in Christ will have on those who "live their days shrouded in darkness." And, according to God's inspired Word in Scripture, once the Light of the glorious Good News of Christ touches broken and shrouded hearts veiled in spiritual darkness, they can awake and say, "We have seen a brilliant Light...for the Dawning Light arises on us."
The season of Epiphany reveals Jesus our Lord as "the Light of the Nations" and is continually calling people of every condition, culture, class, and ethnic group out of the "dark shadow land of death" into the land of Light where forgiveness, healing and joyful hope are our constant portion. "For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ. 7 We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure." II Cor. 4:6-7a NLT. Because our Father's glorious goodness and love-Light has shone brilliantly in the face of our Savior, the radiant glory of that loving goodness has shone in the darkness of our hearts to dispel all the shadows of sin, Satan, the flesh and the world.
The process of transformation that God's Light begins at our new birth in the Spirit takes us on a journey of Shepherd-led discovery of the effects of His redeeming love on all the shadowed places in our hearts, our minds and emotions, our wounds and our outlook on the world and others. Paul refers to this process and journey in II Cor. 3:16-18 in this way: "16 But the moment one turns to the Lord with an open heart, the veil is lifted and they see. 17 Now, the “Lord” I’m referring to is the Holy Spirit, and wherever he is Lord, there is freedom. 18 We can all draw close to him with the veil removed from our faces. And with no veil, we all become like mirrors who brightly reflect the glory of the Lord Jesus. We are being transfigured into his very image as we move from one brighter level of glory to another. And this glorious transfiguration comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit." The Greek word used in this passage for "transfiguration" is the same word Matt. 17:2 and Mark 9:2 use to describe our Lord's experience on the mount of transfiguration. Brightness, light eternal, glorious and transforming radiance.
As this process of increasing revelation of His Light in our lives progresses, we will find ourselves becoming our beautiful Lord's instruments to be the "light of the world" and "a city set on a hill" to more and more people groping their way through the darkness of this world's maze. As the Kingdom people of God, the Ekklesia of Jesus on earth, grow in the unity of His radiant love and light, we will find ourselves, together, seeing the heavenly-inspired vision of Isaiah 60:1-3 coming to pass increasingly: "Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. 2 See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you. 3 Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn."
May this Epiphany be a season of redeeming Light for all of us and our challenges in this world so that we can be lights in union with our Lord Jesus Christ to show others the way out of the land of deep shadows!