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John: Day 10

The Light of the World

by

Today's Text: John 8:1-59, 1 John 1:5-7, Romans 2:25-29

Text: John 8:1-59, 1 John 1:5-7, Romans 2:25-29

I used to be a morning person, when mornings used to be quiet, solitary, slow. This year they’ve been abrupt, noisy, shoving—everything mornings should not be. I am disgruntled while I tie my shoes. It’s barely past 5am. I know mothers and wives and fathers and farmers and workers all over the world wake up this early, but I am self-employed and childless and have convinced myself I’m owed uninterrupted sleep until at least 6am. Our dog does not agree, and in fact, seems to think the fastest way to my heart right now is through her leash. She noses me until I relent and meet her at the front door.

Outside, the moon is a pregnant belly, super and bright, shining the whole still-dark neighborhood over. How strange, I think, that the Son of God would call Himself the “light of the world,” when the most constant earthly source of light disappears every night, then reemerges as varying sizes and shapes, a mere reflection of the original source.

But this morning I remember the pillar of fire by night and the cloud by day (Exodus 13:21-22); I remember the star shining in the east (Matthew 2:1-2), the day the sun stood still (Joshua 10:12-13), and the day the earth went dark (Matthew 27:45-54). I think about how the God of the universe created the orbs and commands them even now. He is the One who sets clouds the size of a man’s fist in the sky and makes it rain for forty days and forty nights (Genesis 7:11-12). Storms cease at the sound of His voice (Mark 4:35-41).

Jesus tells us, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12). But the kind of of light He offers, is not of the natural, earthly sort. His light is supernatural and He freely offers it to whomever would follow Him.

Yes, Jesus is the light of the world, but when our hope is in anything or anyone other than Him, the world can go grow terribly dark in a hurry. I tend to believe Jesus is near and present when I can clearly see His hand at work in my life. But when I cannot see Jesus at work in my life, He seems absent, distant and busy, too tied up with more important things—more important people—than me.

But this morning, the supermoon shines a deceptive light on my path, blue, dim, shadowed. Not sunlight, but still of the sun—whether I can see it or not. Walking with the light of the world is like that, too, I think to myself. I am still walking in darkness but I know the light exists.

I come back home to a still, dark, quiet house, with a somewhat less rambunctious pup. She snores beside me on the floor and I drink my coffee slowly, quietly. I have the light of life, I think to myself, even today, in this season that feels dark in many ways. I have the light of life because I follow Jesus, and He never fails to shine, even when His light feels hidden by this world and the brokenness within it.

He is the One, true light of this world—the sun pales in comparison to the light of His presence. Even darkness is not dark to Him (Psalm 139:11-12).

I light a candle and the room, once dark, is light again.

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Lore Ferguson Wilbert is a writer, thinker, and learner. She blogs at Sayable, tweets @lorewilbert, and posts photos @loreferguson. She has a husband named Nate, a puppy named Harper Nelle, and too many books to read in one lifetime.

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  • Brookejoelle

    It’s really good to be reminded that even in seeming darkness/the brokenness we feel living in this world, the light of God is still shining. And it is shining within us because of the beautiful gift of the Holy Spirit.

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  • kara grace

    Reminds me of the song sun and moon by phil wickham :)

  • Jen Vogel

    Lore – May I have permission to reprint this reflection in a resource packet I am developing for the women I lead? It would be distributed throughout the US via email and posted on our ministry website. Feel free to email me.

  • Thank you for this, how blessed we are to have the light of Life!

  • I was kind of struck by John 8:31-59 … Jesus himself – the GOD OF THE UNIVERSE, who set the stars, moon and sun in place – is speaking to the people, yet they are relying on the fact that Abraham is their Father as their sense of ‘rightness’. It got me to thinking … How often do I do the same ? How often do I have some sense of accomplishment, righteousness, worthiness, title, etc. because of some earthly way, yet I can no NOTHING unless God Himself permits it. No weight loss book/success/failure, no university degree, no professional title .. none of this can bring me any further standing before my God … the blood of Christ is my ONLY hope, my ONLY assurance – it’s all that God sees when I stand before Him.

    • Kelsey Smith

      Terra! Thank you for writing this…I was struck by the same simplicity of that concept. John 54: Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’

      Jesus deflects all ego and reflection of self, even as the Jews allude to Him the most disrespectful statement about his character: having a demon. He simply does not even address that. I, personally, can’t even fathom someone saying that to me and me not standing up for my “non-demon like character.” Right? But Jesus shifts the conversation back on God – saying God is the ultimate judge. Ive struggled a lot with self ego and self expectations lately with my career…this study today reminded me that following the simplicity of all who is holy will be more fulfilling than any career. It’s a big pill to swallow, but somehow I find comfort. She Reads Truth is the biggest blessing! Thank God for you guys, the women of SRT!

    • Cheri

      Thank you, Terra, for this! I needed these words exactly this morning! I’ve been “striving” so hard lately…. I’m in a transition phase, trying to figure out what I’m supposed to “do” with the rest of my life. I’m a fitness instructor, and I am struggling with Plantar’s Fasciitis, and I’ve been fighting with it and feeling so overwhelmed by it…. but, is it just His way of slowing me down as I transition into the next phase of life? Is it His way of showing me that He is all that really matters… making me focus on Him first so He can truly show me what’s next? I needed to be reminded today that it’s not at all about me…. It’s about Him, and Him alone!!

  • Heather Fringer

    John 8:12 is a great reminder for someone who is struggling. Anyone who follows Him wo never walk in darkness but will always have the light of life ❤

  • I loved Lore’s creative writing and the metaphor of the moon reflecting the sun just as we can reflect the light of the Son. But I also had a separate thought about timing when I read John 8 this morning. I was saw how John has referenced Jesus’s “hour” a few times now since we started the book. (John 8:20 These words he spoke in the treasury, as he taught in the temple; but no one arrested him, because his hour had not yet come). And a few other verses as well speak to Jesus working in complete faith of God’s timing. It’s a good reminder for me to replicate Jesus by waiting on God and trusting in His perfect timing. He’s got this!

    • Jen

      I noticed that too! “His hour had not yet come”. Let us wait patiently. Gods ways are perfect and he is always on time.

    • Charlotte

      What a perfectly timed reminder for me. My husband and I are in a season of waiting right now that seems impossible to bear, but I have to continue to trust His will before my desires. Not easy to do but so worthwhile in the end.

    • Caroline

      yes! I also loved John 7:6 – it almost made me chuckle! “My time is not yet come… for you any time will do.” He knows us all too well…..

  • Gema Muniz

    Is crazy how darkness brings fear to our hearts, but the moment we turn the light on all fear dissapears and we feel comfort in our hearts. How awesome is to know that God is our light, our guide, our comfort. Maybe this is what he meant all along as him being the light. We fear the unknown, dread the dark moments in our lives but feel so much comfort knowing that God is lighting the path we walk on. Oh, how great are you lord! May we never forget to sign your light in our lives. God bless you all sisters.

    • Lydia

      I love this! Thanks for sharing – the moment we turn on the light, all fear disappears! so true.

  • Famtastic reminder of the light always is bright when walking with Jesus. It is true. His light is a lamp unto my feet… I am always in need of that light to give me direction. Even today…direct my path today and always!

  • Christina

    I love the truth that Jesus is lighting our way, even when our way seems dark and dim. The darker the night, the darker the circumstance, the dimmer the light need be in order to be seen as a guide. While He may not shine His full glory into a dark situation and blind the participant with that glory, He does give just enough light to guide the way. We simply must pray for the awareness to see His guidance. What an awesome way God uses to draw us closer to Him in the darkness!

  • I think John 8:12-59 just became my favorite passages!! Jesus’ message was so so powerful. In verse 25 (…even the same that I said unto you from the beginning.), He reminds us that He is unchanging!
    Thankfully we have Him as our light. A permanent light in this dark world is absolutely what we all need!

  • I agree with those posting about how much they enjoy the comments.
    I feel like I’m missing out if I don’t read all the comments so I read the devotional at night time before bed. I am so very blessed and energized spiritually before I got my head on the pillow for the night.

  • “I have the light of life, I think to myself, even today, in this season that feels dark in many ways. I have the light of life because I follow Jesus, and He never fails to shine, even when His light feels hidden by this world and the brokenness within it. “- this! So beautiful, and so timely. There is beauty in that even when the sun sets, it never stops shining and the moon reflects it’s light. Even when we feel as if we are standing in the dark of life, Christ never leaves us, never stops shining, and His radiant light reflects through us as He carries us through.

  • I love God’s written word– I enjoy the SRT devotions and I go back several times during the day to see if anyone else has commented!! Everyone’s comments are so encouraging– letting us know there are many of us out here seeking his truth!!

  • wow this was amazing. thanks

  • Always so thankful for these daily devotionals, they have been such a blessing.
    Is there any chance you could make the daily graphics “phone-sized” so that I/we can save them as our phone wallpaper? It’s petty I know… but there have been so many that I’ve loved and wanted to save on my lock screen, but the size was never quite right and always cut into the words on the image.

  • Allie Smith

    I just wanted to thank each of you that share the specific truth God is teaching you through His word each day. For a long time I never read the comments on the devotional so because most comment sections tend to be negative and divisive (i’m looking at you, Facebook;) ) But in the last few studies I’ve been reading the comments on each devotional and I am so encouraged by all of your insight and how God is working in your lives. Thankful for this community of believers <3

    • She Reads Truth

      Allie, we’re so thankful you’ve been joining us. Happy to see you here in the comments section. :)

      xoxo-Kaitlin

    • A. Kate

      Agreed! I felt the same way, and I have been so blessed with what other sisters have shared. So glad that you’re here Allie!

  • Keri McCue

    “I am still walking in darkness but I know the light exists.” – This is so evident in my life when I choose to not use my time to spend in quiet time with Him. The days I push it aside or say I’m “too busy” are the days that I tend to have no patience and more emotional and people annoy me more haha It’s a constant reminder that our world is dark. And He is the only light that can save it and us.

    http://www.littlelightonahill.com

    • Kathy

      I am the same way! When I don’t do my devotional or get in at least a short prayer, I can tell a difference when I look back on my day, which makes me more intentional about getting it in the next day.

  • Reading about the adulteress today, I never noticed the detail that the “older men” were the first to drop their stones of vengeance and walk away at hearing Jesus’ words. I imagine that their wealth of years equated (hopefully) with more wisdom, and understanding of the need for mercy in their own lives. Lord, give me wisdom beyond my years, and let me be the first to drop the stone that I’ve picked up in judgement.

    • Hopeforward

      That is beautiful A.Kate- I pray the same. It’s amazing how much weight those stones have on our souls… to have a forgiving heart and one that does not cast judgment is freeing and ultimately says no matter what things look like, I trust you Jesus. Thank you for this amazing insight today…

  • Yes, I must remember that Jesus is never absent. I also read Lore’s “story” and can relate to expecting God to fill OUR voids with OUR wants instead of desiring His will for His glory. Good stuff this morning! I love starting my day here!

  • This devotional so stuck with me today! Comparing Jesus’ light to that of the sun and moon was the perfect visual. I have always struggled with the concept of Jesus being always near, but yet feeling so far away at times. Like the Moon reflects the sun, he is still with me, shining brightly, although he is currently hidden by darkness and sun. He hasn’t left- he is still near. Thank you so much for piecing together this visual.

  • I love this. I love that even the tiniest bit of light overshadows the darkness. And God comes in all his glory, FULL of light. May we look to the light instead of the darkness!

    http://www.in-due-time.com

  • candacejo

    This song that I have stuck in my head, brain and heart for days goes so well with today’s lesson. I hope it blesses you as much as it does me, friends. ♥
    What a beautiful name it is, the name of Jesus…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nQWFzMvCfLE

  • rebecca7395

    The passage from Romans speaks to me today. Being a Jew wasn’t something based solely on outward appearance and circumcision is of the heart. The people Jesus was speaking to in the reading today were relying on superficial things. They were children of Abraham! They knew the Law! Yet Jesus pointed out their flaw – they didn’t know the Father. How often are we guilty of this? I go to church! My parents were Christians! I have three Bibles! But God calls us to a living, breathing relationship with Him. More than rehearsed words or practices or church attendance alone. We are all called to know Him deeply and intimately. May the Lord help me be faithful in striving to know Him.

    • Hopeforward

      I love this Rebecca. Truly knowing Him and have His peace and light course through our veins- well, that is my desire. To be so filled with Him that darkness is always on the periphery- not holding space He should hold. Thank you for helping me make clearer my desire for total intimacy with our Father. Praise be to God!

  • I heard someone say that if you’re in a lighted room and you open a closet, the darkness doesn’t rush out into the room, the light rushes into the darkness. A great reminder that the light of the world is much more powerful and in control than any darkness, though at times the darkness can seem overwhelming.

  • Reminds of the song “Marvelous Light” by Chris Tomlin
    My dead heart now is beating
    My deepest stains now clean
    Your breath fills up my lungs
    Now I’m free, now I’m free

    Sin has lost it’s power
    Death has lost it’s sting
    From the grave You’ve risen
    Victoriously

    Into marvelous light I’m running
    Out of darkness, out of shame
    By the cross You are the truth
    You are the life, You are the way

  • “Turn your eyes upon Jesus—look full in His wonderful face—and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.”

    • Cindy

      Thank you for this reminder… One of my favorite old hymns, and as we sing so many (wonderful) worship songs in our service these days, I sometimes forget about the beautiful words of the old ones….

    • Cindy

      Thank you for posting these words! This is the song I used to sing every night to my middle son at bedtime. Sitting in his home this morning as we are visiting him and his wife in Kenya where they are missionaries. Such good words and such sweet memories for me. Blessings to you today!

  • If u could all please pray for me, been thinking a lot about what I want–I should say what GOD wants me to do in this life…I’ve always thought it was being a veterinarian, but now the option of being a Christian worship leader/singer/songwriter, has been with me for the past week. Not sure what God is trying to say to me…any advice? …will try to pray more about it and seek Jesus first. I know now that I don’t need answers, I need Jesus. With Jesus comes the answers…He is always the answer to every problem! Still wondering though…crazy times, but excited to see what God wants for me as I finish highschool this year. Love you all!

    • Lynne

      Sarah, God will reveal to you what your future holds as you need to know. You don’t need to map out your future all at once. Trust the Lord each day as He leads you where you need to go.

  • Thank you for this today. I tend to get so caught up in the daily activities/stressors and forget just how He is so much bigger than all of that. This really spoke to me, “when our hope is in anything or anyone other than Him, the world can go grow terribly dark in a hurry” – and lately I’ve put too much thought in things other than Him. Thank you for the reminder!

    • Taylor

      Christy, I feel the same way. I forget out big and powerful and mighty he is. As much as I put the trust in myself before god… hearing that the world will go dark in a hurry makes me panic a little bit. I must repent. I don’t want to keep putting anything else before God. Or looking for light in all the wrong places.

    • Taylor

      When reading the story of an adulteress forgiven… I just want to shout REDEEMED! REDEEMED! Jesus stoops down into the brokenness of where we are, and gives us his words, he is on our side. He is our King who protects us and our Father who kneels down in the dirt with us. Who then shall we fear? We are redeemed. :)

  • Tochi Heredia

    Today reminded me of something C. S. Lewis wrote: “I believe in [Christ] as I believe the sun has risen. Not because I can see it, but because I can see everything else.” ❤

  • I AM letting getting God’ light shine for me. I want to walk in the path he illuminates for me. My children follow so eagerly and we all want more! We want the world to see the light shining in us the light that was intended for us to follow!

  • Melissa Wall

    I AM … the one who always was, is, and will be! Hope & Life in every season! Woke up to quiet this morning!! (Mornings are usually like Lori talked about in the devotion today) but this morning… My boys are snuggled in and the darkness and stillness of our house is a beautiful invitation to just sit with Jesus this morning!

  • churchmouse

    John 8:31 brought Hebrews 12:1-2 to mind. Jesus tells newly believing Jews if they continue in His Word they are really His disciples. They would know the Truth from His word now, not just in the Torah. His truth would set them free. They thought their bondage was from Roman occupation. Their real bondage was from the futility of the law. In Hebrews, I’m reminded that to continue on the path before me (just as newly believing Jews had a path set before them), I’m to strip off every weight that slows me down and especially the sin that so easily entangles me. In sin, I am in bondage. Sin binds me tight. Sin suffocates me. But praise God, I am set free from sin by His blood and by His Word. I am to keep my eyes on Jesus. I still struggle with sin. There is some darkness that tries to press in. But in Him, I have Light for my path. He is my nightlight. I can walk in freedom and I am His disciple. Praise God!

    • DebbieinAZ

      Love your comments. Lord help us all to walk by Your light. Have a blessed day SRT sisters.

  • Last night, we had some crazy, weird weather for January. It was warm, rainy and super windy; chasing garbage cans down the street as they rolled windy. My kiddos went to bed fine, but in the silence of their rooms noticed the weight of the wind against the house and the nerves developed. As I came in from retrieving our cans, my 11-year-old was walking downstairs. Uncertain that the electricity would stay on, she inquired about our thoughts, seeking a little reassurance. Something happens when the power goes out and my small folk tend to go from a comfortable confidence that we are nearby and readily available to a surely we (the parents) have been magically transported to another realm, leaving us completely alone, type of panic. Something clicks and all rational is lost in the dark, yet we are still here. My middle child, Soph Grace, is growing in confidence here, it just takes a small amount of conversation and she recovers, but our little guy is still coming to terms. SG has figured something out …. she has learned that no matter how dark, no matter how scary, no matter the time of day, we are always right here, dispelling any thoughts of evil that try to penetrate her sweet mind. Her learned truth & knowledge diminshes and destroys her fears, the dark. The light of Christ works in a similar, yet so much more profound way for us. The light of Truth keeps us from walking in spiritual darkness. It combats any evil that would wish to do us harm and helps to center our minds and hearts so that we can overcome. Truth IS light. Following Jesus, truly knowing Him, knowing and believing ALL Truth will keep us from sin. Humanly speaking, it is natural for us to falter but we have been granted mercy and with repentance stay close to Jesus, we draw closer to the Light. Like a small child on a cold night, drawing closer to the warmth of a fire, drawing closer to Christ, keeps us from walking in darkness. Like Lore’s moon, we should reflect the Light ourselves, sharing our loving and merciful Lord with the world, so that others may find the same peace and warmth and Light.

    • churchmouse

      Amen, B. Amen.

    • Sarah_Joy

      Thank you for sharing. We all have that child heart in us, don’t we? So grateful that God never leaves us or forsakes us. And in our need for reassurance He reminds that He S faithful.

    • Bg

      Beautiful. Your words captured my thoughts. Thank you.

    • Tochi Heredia

      Thank you for such a beautiful illustration, B! I love reading your insights every day.

    • candacejo

      We had that in Tennessee too, B! It was crazy, the wind caught my car door and I was sure it was going to rip it completely off. Beautiful analogy of the comfort we have in the ONE who is always in control. ♥

    • Cecelia

      Yes and amen!

    • Shelia

      Wow, this really spoke to my heart. I shared a line from your comments.

  • God has blessed me and spoiled me with 21 beautiful years of life today but this is the first year I’ve truly decided to connect with Him. I’m just sorry it took me so long but He knows how He does His work and He put me right where He wanted me. He is my light in this broken world and I thank Him so much for blessing me with another year of life. I pray and declare that this year will be a year filled with lessons, changes and blessings bestowed upon by my God. I pray that I allow Him to move in my life more and more everyday and make me live it according to His plans. I pray the same for all the wonderful women in this community. And for all of us to NEVER forget, God is life & light always and forever! Amen!

    • churchmouse

      Happy birthday! I pray your prayer back over you today. God bless!

    • Melissa Wall

      Happy birthday! Couldn’t have a better hope for their coming year!

    • Robin W.

      Happy birthday! I stand with these other women and pray for you as well. Blessings, sweet girl!

    • candacejo

      Happy Birthday and prayers for the best year ever as you come closer to the Savior!

    • Lynne

      Happy Birthday!!! Today is my oldest daughter’s birthday, too. Don’t fret over wasted years, just move forward letting Jesus guide your future!

    • Candy

      Happiest birthday!! May God’s light fill you to overflowing as you spread His light to the world!

  • Just as the moon reflects the sun on the darkest of nights, so WE reflect THE Light (The Son) to a dark and broken world. Jesus – May I shine for You and be a reflection of Your Light, pointing the way to the source of all hope.

  • This lesson reminds me of how many times darkness has tried to overcome me but could never succeed because of the light of Jesus within me. Thank you God for the victory of the Light! For the power and the glory of Jesus Christ in my life!

  • The light of Jesus still shines when we “feel” surrounded by darkness. I’m learning to rely on what I know to be true instead of what I’m feeling in the moment.

  • Elisabeth7291

    I am the Light of the world. Reading this today I am struck by how often I /we are looking for “the light” from other sources.

    Jesus, you are my Light, my only Light.

  • It always amazes me how little light it takes to push away the darkness. I am so grateful that I have His marvelous light to walk in. “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” 1 Peter 2:9

  • I love that reference to moonlight. Walking by moonlight is like walking in the light of the world… It’s walking in darkness but knowing the light exists. I think we have all been there.

  • Christelle

    As I lie awake & sleepless, my thoughts are racing anxiety fills my heart; but when I stop & read that Christ pardon an adulterous women & gave her eternal life, I can hear a sweet & steady song of redemption. Even in the darkest hours of the night, when saten tries to temp me to despair & reminds me of all my shame & guilt past & present, His light shines upon me, freeing me to call on Jesus name. I chose to live in His light & His truths reminding myself that night turns to morning, & my savior is whispering to me… beloved princess it is finished. TYJ for being my light & bursting through the dark rooms of my heart. Mercy sings me the promise of your love in your light.

  • Light of the world you shine upon us!

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