RECAP–Where Does the Light Shine? based on John 1:1-14
The Magi looked to the heavens for signs. The heavens, they believed, could guide their way and point them in the right direction. Sometimes, it revealed a significant birth. But there was something different this time about this new star that had appeared in the sky. This light, they knew, pointed to the birth of the king of the Jews. But why was this one so different and significant? What was so different about this light that they left everything behind, except a few costly gifts, and traveled to find and worship the new king? Something about this light was different, and they were drawn to it. That light pointed to Jesus, who John described as “the true light that gives life to every man” (John 1:5). Jesus was this light, harkening back to creation and the words “Let there be light” (Genesis 1:3), shining forth in the darkness.
Where does the light shine?
1) The light shines in the darkness. When light shines in darkness, darkness does not understand or comprehend the light. Because light and dark cannot exist in the same space! Light exposes what is hidden in the darkness. The same is true spiritually. Light exposes and dispels the darkness within. When God shines his light into our life, that which is in darkness, sin, is exposed. How do we know what is sin? If the presence of God’s light is a threat, maybe we are hiding in darkness! Would we feel comfortable if our action or choice was exposed? Would we be proud of it? Could we do such a thing openly before God? Or do we feel the need to hide and be secretive? Cover up? Lie?
Too often we fall into a lie that we can compartmentalize God. We want just enough God to say we have God, and let his light shine in a corner of our lives; but outside of that sliver, we prefer to remain in the darkness. But it is impossible for light and dark to coexist, to dwell together. Even though we might try to hold on to both, in the end we run out of energy living a double life, and darkness tends to win. Light shines in the darkness!
What darkness lies within us? Where do we need to shine the light?
2) The light shines to all the world. When Jesus came, he did not come for a few, but for all. The world did not recognize him (John 1:10). He came for his own people, the people of Israel, but they did not receive him (John 1:11). But to all who received him, he made them into children of God (John 1:12). No one was excluded from the availability of God’s light; but only those who turned to light received its fullness.
The world is in darkness. Satan has blinded their minds so they cannot see (2 Cor 4:4). The world system is hostile toward the ways of God. Why? Because when we are in darkness, we want to remain in darkness. We do not want the presence of light. Satan’s aim and goal is to keep us living in the darkness. But God’s light (truth, guidance, conviction, freedom) can still reach the dark places of the world.
3) The light is embraced only by those who want it. We cannot serve two masters (Matt 6:23-24). Either we will embrace God’s light, or chose to dwell in the darkness. For when light comes, it is obvious and exposes the darkness for what it is. When we are exposed to the light, if we remain in darkness, it is not because Jesus cannot overcome, but because we chose to stay in the darkness. Darkness might give us short term pleasure, but long term consequences and ultimately spiritual death. But the light of Christ brings us new life, hope, and freedom. Those who embrace the light become children of God (John 1:12-13), and experience the fullness of grace and truth (John 1:14).
The light of Christ is the true light. The Magi, even in their darkness, was able to see the light and recognize the difference, ultimately coming to the light and embracing it. Will we embrace the light? Will we allow the light to shine in our darkness? Remember, you don’t have to buy into Satan’s lie that you are not good enough to walk in the light, for with Jesus, greater is the one in you than anyone in the world! (1 John 4:4) Surrender the darkness, and walk in his marvelous light!
Questions for reflection
1) When did you first encounter the light of Christ?
2) Why is it difficult sometimes to embrace the light?
3) Why do we fear exposure of darkness?
4) Are there any areas of darkness that you need God’s light to shine and set free?
Pastor Ryan will continue the In the Light series with the sermon titled, “Light’s Freedom,” based on John 9:1-12. What lies keep us bound? How does the light set us free? Come or tune in Sunday to find out!
Daily Bible Readings for January 5 – 11
January 5: John 1:35-42 How were Peter and Andrew enlightened?
January 6: John 1:43-51 How was Nathaniel enlightened?
January 7: John 2:1-11 What truth did Mary understand about Jesus?
January 8: John 2:12-25 What was Jesus trying to help Israel understand?
January 9: John 3:1-21 What truth was Jesus trying to help Nicodemus understand?
January 10: John 3:22-36 How does Jesus bring freedom?
January 11: John 4:1-26 How did Jesus bring freedom to the Samaritan woman?
This Week’s Events:
Wednesday, January 6–Worship Team Meeting @ Parsonage office, 7:30 pm
Tuesday, January 12–Women’s Fellowship @ 6:30 pm
Thursday, January 21–Leadership Team @ 7 pm
Call for Worship Leaders and Children’s Story
As we look at the ability to reopen in the coming weeks, we are in need of both worship leaders and children’s story. We are looking for one person each week, rather than a month at a time. If you would like to serve, contact Alice Over (worship leading) or Tammy Stine (children’s story).
Call to Prayer
Let us continue to pray for our nation in the following ways:
1) National return to God
2) Repentance of personal sin
3) Repentance of corporate sin
4) Healing for the brokenness of relationships
5) Our leaders
6) Restoration of the national church
There is a draft of the 2021 directory in the narthex of the church. Please check it and update any information that needs to be corrected.
Misti Wheelbarger is looking for volunteers for the nursery during the Sunday School hour for next year. If you are willing to help, even if it is just for a Sunday, please reach out to her and let her know.
Four Ways to Give! With the extended closure, this is greatly necessary.
1) Mail your tithe into the church office **PLEASE NOTE: We have had several days of no mail, and also some reports of mail being stolen on our street.
2) Drop it by the church office on Tuesday, Thursday or Friday, 9 am – 1 pm
3) Our online giving platform: https://beavercreekchurchva.churchcenter.com/giving
4) Drop off in the offering plate at the main entrance as you enter for church
Continue to Keep in Prayer:
Those in our community being negatively impacted by COVID and economic impacts. Several have seen layoffs in recent weeks.
Andy Anderson (COVID)
Mary Batterman (health)
Sam Carr (health)
Nancy Harper (health)
Cindy Heatwole (health)
Michelle Johnson (COVID)
Heath Kimmell (health)
Alda Miller (health)
Shirley Miller (health)
Alice Over (health)
Tami Plaugher (health)
Evy Kaye Sandin (health)
Randall & Allison Sandin (COVID)
Tim Shiflet (COVID)
Ann Simmons (health)
Crystal Smith (health)
Chris Southerly (procedure)
Stanley Suter (health)
Cole Wheelbarger (procedure)
Mary & Joe Whitmore (health)
Carolyn Wine (health)
Gary Wise (COVID)
Tom Wilfong (recovery)
Charles Wright (health)
Owen Wright (health)
Pastor Ryan Cooper
Beaver Creek COB