Living in the Light
Being brought up in the church, I had certain advantages. Church attendance was a habit (externally enforced!). I regularly heard God’s word preached and taught. Nevertheless, without realizing it, I lived in the darkness. I knew about God. But it didn’t change how I lived.
Some people who live in the darkness try to serve God. Paul was zealous toward God (verse 3) while he was actively opposing Him. Paul said that the Jews had zeal for God but not according to knowledge (Romans 10:1–2). They tried to establish their own righteousness. They didn’t submit to God’s righteousness, which is a gift (Romans 10:3). I did the same but without their zeal.
Many people know about God but don’t know Him. They profess to believe Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross for their sins and rose from death on the third day. But their beliefs don’t change how they live. Many things are more important to them than serving Christ. Life after “belief” is the same as life before it.
At one time, Paul took great pride in persecuting Christians (Acts 22:4–7). In the name of serving God, he persecuted Jesus’ servants and Jesus Himself (verse 7). Believers are part of Jesus’ body (Colossians 1:18). Through criticism, spite, jealousy, envy, rudeness or a desire for power, we sometimes whack away at other believers. Jesus, the Head of the body, feels the pain. Have you persecuted Jesus lately?
Living in the light begins with a personal encounter with Jesus. It’s as real and the results as obvious as Paul’s encounter on the road to Damascus. On that road a light went on inside Paul. The same happens to us when we encounter Jesus.
Living in the light means personal submission to Jesus. Paul asked, “What shall I do, Lord?” (Acts 22:10, NIV). His words drip with repentance—turning from self-centered to God-centered living. Submission to Jesus is repentance’s first-born child. Does Paul’s question describe your attitude towards God?
Living in the light includes God’s calling you from a dark, purposeless existence to a specific Kingdom-building ministry. He told Paul to go to Damascus. There he would be told what he was to do. What has God chosen you to do?
God chose Paul to be a witness (verses 14–15). He selected him to be fruitful. He called him to reproduce spiritually. He chose you to do the same. Your tasks are evangelism and nurturing and serving believers in the faith so they in turn can share that faith, nurture, and serve others. That’s living in the light. The Kingdom of God has no twilight zone!
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