In today’s reading, we are told that Jesus was there from the beginning of time with the Father, and yet was witnessed in the flesh by the disciples when He became a man (the life was made manifest) and that He is eternal. This letter, written by John, the self-proclaimed ‘disciple whom Jesus loved’, aims to strengthen the fellowship of believers and put right any misunderstandings about sin.
‘God is light and in Him is no darkness at all’ (v.5). Light represents what is good, pure and holy and darkness represents sinfulness and evil. Isn’t it interesting that light is the preferred physical environment for us to live in? It keeps us safe from stumbling around, where we might possibly harm ourselves or others, enables us to get on with tasks and allows us to enjoy social time together. When the nights draw in on theses cold Autumn evenings, we can flick a switch – a light bulb, car headlight or mobile phone torch – and the area around us is illuminated. Darkness can’t exist in the presence of light. Anyone who has ever worked night shifts will tell us that the opposite condition of a dark enough environment to sleep during daylight hours is much more difficult to create. We can’t switch on ‘dark’ in the same way we can ‘light’. Light is the more powerful phenomena and darkness is the absence of light.
When we sin (yes, even Christians sin!), we are in the dark, a darkness which we can only get out of by God shining His holy light! We can’t live alongside God if we are in the dark because light and darkness can’t co-exist. Living with sin in our hearts distances us from God and seriously affects our relationship with Him. We have to bring our darkness to God by confessing our sins and He will shine His light on us. God is a loving God, who sent His son to pay the price for our sins once and for all, so He has already forgiven us. Praise God that we have been given a ‘lifetime pass’ we can use each time we mess up to say we are sorry, knowing that there is no question – we will be forgiven! It’s an ‘admitting and quitting’ pass that allows us to tell God where we went wrong and then continue building our relationship with Him. Being aware that we will always be forgiven doesn’t give us licence to continue to sin, rather it creates a determination, knowing how much that sin cost Jesus, to do our very best to avoid sin.
Being honest with God about our sin strengthens our relationship with Him and affords us deeper fellowship with one another. Don’t forget, God knows about everything already – nothing is ever a surprise to him!
It’s very liberating to ask God to shine a light on our sins so we can repent. Christine Caine says about shame, ‘It has to be revealed to be healed’. Sin causes shame, so the same principle applies.
Let’s ask God for that light bulb moment!