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Isaiah 42:1-7 Light to Guide the Nations

Posted by adventbiblestudy on June 28, 2014


  • Isaiah 42:1-7 Light to Guide the Nations

     

    Isaiah 42:1-7 NLTse “Look at my servant, whom I strengthen. He is my chosen one, who pleases me. I have put my Spirit upon him. He will bring  justice to the nations. (2) He will not shout or raise his voice in public. (3) He will not crush the weakest reed or put out a flickering candle. He will bring  justice to all who have been wronged. (4) He will not falter or lose heart until justice prevails throughout the earth. Even distant lands beyond the sea will wait for his instruction.” (5) God, the LORD, created the heavens and stretched them out. He created the earth and everything in it. He gives breath to everyone, life to everyone who walks the earth. And it is he who says, (6) “I, the LORD, have called you to demonstrate my righteousness. I will take you by the hand and guard you, and I will give you to my people, Israel, as a symbol of my covenant with them. And you will be a light to guide the nations. (7) You will open the eyes of the blind. You will free the captives from prison, releasing those who sit in dark dungeons.

     

    Isaiah 42:21-25 NLTse Because he is righteous, the LORD has exalted his glorious law. (22) But his own people have been robbed and plundered, enslaved, imprisoned, and trapped. They are fair game for anyone and have no one to protect them, no one to take them back home. (23) Who will hear these lessons from the past and see the ruin that awaits you in the future? (24) Who allowed Israel to be robbed and hurt? It was the LORD, against whom we sinned, for the people would not walk in his path, nor would they obey his law. (25) Therefore, he poured out his fury on them and destroyed them in battle. They were enveloped in flames, but they still refused to understand. They were consumed by fire, but they did not learn their lesson.

     

    John 9:1-7 NLTse As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man who had been blind from birth. (2) “Rabbi,” his disciples asked him, “why was this man born blind? Was it because of his own sins or his parents’ sins?” (3) “It was not because of his sins or his parents’ sins,” Jesus answered. “This happened so the power of God could be seen in him. (4) We must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the one who sent us. The night is coming, and then no one can work. (5) But while I am here in the world, I am the light of the world.” (6) Then he spit on the ground, made mud with the saliva, and spread the mud over the blind man’s eyes. (7) He told him, “Go wash yourself in the pool of Siloam” (Siloam means “sent”). So the man went and washed and came back seeing!

     

    I want to present things a little different in this study. For one thing, you really can’t see the full impact of the word light in Isaiah 42 without looking at the prophecy found in the introduction and the summation which in this case appears to be a continuation of the prophecy. So I wanted you to see them together then add in the fulfillment for you to compare. This will allow we to explain how to search the New Testament to find chapters matching the introduction and summations. Of course those chapters will reflect the same spiritual lesson. That may be difficult for people to see because God’s Spirit will reveal His secrets to those willing to learn with an open mind while people with preconceived ideas will not be able to see.

     

    There are a number of chapters Isaiah 42 points to. Light is a subject repeated throughout the New Testament as well as the Old. The first step of course is to highlight words that are repeated. Those words will be the same, similar, or related. It is much easier to teach using one example and since the key word light is the center of this study, we will dwell on that word and the related words Isaiah used.

     

    Or first word related to light is flickering candle. We have no idea those words are in a series of repeated words until we see the word light in verse 6. That’s when we go back and highlight flickering candle and the word light. When we get the summation we find other words related to light. Flames and fire produce light. We may not think they are related to light because the two verses seem to contradict. And you will be a light to guide the nations. They were enveloped in flames, but they still refused to understand. They were consumed by fire, but they did not learn their lesson. A guiding light is easily associated with Jesus while enveloping flames and a consuming fire do not seem to fit the same theme. But God teaches with contrasts. Most of the time we don’t understand the spiritual relationship between those contrasts until we find and review the parallel chapter containing the fulfillment. Once we do, God’s Word explains all the spiritual details in easy to understand language. It’s all part of God’s design.

     

    When we look at a physical flickering flame what do we see? We see a small fire. Actually the word flame is the same in the prophecy and summary. Later in the chapter flame is directly related to fire, so God’s Word forms its own connection. The flickering flame of a candle requires special care to protect it from high winds and storms. The word flickering calls attention to its vulnerability and because it’s in the first few verses helps to establish the main theme of the prophecy as well as the chapter.

     

    Isaiah begins with a description of Jesus. He will be strengthened by God. Jesus will please God and God will place His Spirit upon Him. Jesus’ strength and Spirit will be used to bring justice to the nations but He will not shout or raise his voice in public. This points to Jesus’ kind and gentle nature. God uses the flickering flame to illustrate how gentle His voice will be. Justice is another repeated word.

    He will bring justice to the nations.

    He will bring justice to all who have been wronged.

    He will not falter or lose heart until justice prevails throughout the earth.

     

    When we combine the sentences justice is used in, we can understand the fulfillment of Christ’s ministry. It will not end until the whole earth is filled with His justice. This is when Isaiah introduced another thought He repeated using the words instruction and guide. Now we see a relationship between instruction, guide, and verse 2 and 3. He will not shout or raise his voice in public. He will not crush the weakest reed or put out a flickering candle. Slowly we see Jesus and His ministry revealed in the Old Testament. Isaiah adds another detail which helps us choose the best parallel chapter to study. You will open the eyes of the blind. You will free the captives from prison, releasing those who sit in dark dungeons. We’ll see this connection unfold as well as how and why God set up contrasts in Isaiah 42 for us to follow as this study progresses. Now we can compare the prophecy to its fulfillment.

     

    One of the main themes of spiritual light is to reveal knowledge, and teach. Isaiah pointed that out in the prophecy he recorded. Jesus is the One who came to this world to reveal that knowledge and show us how to teach it. Before we’re able to teach anything we have to know a few things. What to teach, how to learn it, how to communicate with the Teacher, and how to remember the message. Of course Isaiah gave us sound advice on how to present that message, in a soft manner that will not extinguish the flame already burning.

     

    In John chapter 9 Jesus described Himself as, “the light of the world,” when He healed a blind man. The word light connected Isaiah 42 to John 9 as well as the word blind. God will always confirm parallel chapters. Jesus freed the man from spiritual blindness. Since this story is in the introduction to John 9, we know the theme of the entire chapter will teach lessons showing how Jesus frees people from spiritual darkness.

     

    Our first lesson evolves around Jesus’ disciples. They asked Jesus, “why was this man born blind? Was it because of his own sins or his parents’ sins?” We know this is an important detail because Jesus repeated the question. “It was not because of his sins or his parents’ sins,” Jesus answered. “This happened so the power of God could be seen in him. People think their sins separate them from God. Is this true? Some people define sin as separation from God. That’s true to a degree. When we choose to sin we create a separation from God. But does God move away from us or do we move away from God? Let’s look at an illustration God used throughout the Bible to explain His relationship with us – marriage. A couple has a fight and decided not to talk to one another. Then move into separate bedrooms, eat apart, pray apart, they separate from one another. One action leads to another until it’s out of control. Sure we could think it was a process of their own making but who is really behind the break up? Satan works in the background to cause separation. That’s one of his favorite tactics. He uses a slow, methodical process people really can’t see because they are also separating themselves from God. Like the first temptation in Eden, Satan convinces people to seek their own form of higher knowledge. They place the will and commands of God aside. After a while desires kick in. One or both in the marriage convince themselves they are separated and in the eyes of the world an affair is okay. They tell themselves, “after all God wants me to be happy.” That’s the same lie Satan told Eve. One sin leads to another. Lies turn to neglecting God, His Word, a few other commandments, then finally adultery. Some how all of those sins are justified in the eyes of the sinner. I’ve seen it happen.

     

    I also see churches falling to that deception of separation. Churches convince themselves they are different from the world and to keep themselves holy they separate from the world. Churches convince themselves they need to separate themselves from the world to become a holy nation for God. But is this what the Bible teaches? Most likely those churches are basing their plans on a 2-3 verses out of the Bible. Did God separate Himself from Moses after he killed an Egyptian? Did God separate from Abram after Sara convinced him to sleep with an Egyptian slave girl? Did God separate from David after he had Uriah killed so he could marry his wife? Those were serious sins. God didn’t separate from them – God drew closer to them. God spoke to Ahab and saved Samaria from invading armies not to mention Jerusalem from the same armies even though those kings had no interest in talking with God. Daniel was sent to Nebuchadnezzar, Elisha healed a Syrian leper, Elijah fed a Gentile widow and her son for years, and Jesus healed everyone no matter what their beliefs or how far away from God they were. One of the greatest evangelists was a Samaritan women He met at Jacob’s well. Another was a man possessed by an army of demons while he lived among pig farmers. Jesus healed at the request of Roman commanders as well as people in Tyre and other pagan nations. Jesus wanted His light to go out to the world. No wonder why He said, “You are the light of the world–like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.” (Matthew 5:14-16 NLTse). We shouldn’t separate from the world any more than we separate from God. The two exist and work in harmony and in balance. “We must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the one who sent us. The night is coming, and then no one can work.”

     

    What does a church departed from the world do? They are so separated from God their first reaction is to come up with a plan on their own. Look at the separated couple. They could have tried to solve the problem at any stage in the process. If they try to work it out themselves, they’ll most likely fail. They will get back together with each of them having a preconceived idea on how to fix the problems. Instead of changing themselves, they will try to change one another. During their separation they concentrated on their differences. Faults they saw in the other person preoccupied their time, mind, and thoughts. The other’s faults became a sort of tradition to them. Making their own plans to get back together will result in nothing short of a war.

     

    When churches want to get back into the work of reaching out to the world, they can’t do it using their own plans. They will fail. First they need to get back in touch with God’s Spirit. They have to see how low their flickering flame has gone and what Jesus does to get it going again. I just showed a house yesterday. The buyer was concerned about the roof and we saw evidence of water damage on the kitchen ceiling I knew was from a leak around the chimney. Lucky thing this house had a stairway leading to the attic. I turned on the light and we went up to look. There was slight water damage on wood around the chimney in the attic. I turned off the light which showed the buyer how we could see light around the chimney. In a dark room the slightest light is clearly seen. The same is true in churches. Look at the beginning of Revelation where Jesus used candlesticks to represent churches. Of course some churches like to think they are some kind of chosen last day church and use a verse or two to forge their beliefs and justify a self imposed separation. But look at this from a spiritual perspective. Why do some churches claim it’s their role to extinguish the flames of their perceived competition? Who made them judge? They don’t understand the physical or spiritual aspects of the flame on those candlesticks. Jesus never wanted to put any of them out. When someone or a church is in almost total darkness the slightest light is easy to find. Like light coming in around that chimney light can be seen in darkness. None of us has any idea how to make that light shine brighter. We have to go to God’s Spirit for that answer or learn to leave it in His hands.

     

    Some people caught up and confused with a competitive spirit think they can somehow control God’s light. Their first mistake is to think they are the only ones with God’s light. They think they can take that light, put it in a box and pull it out when they need it. Light does not work that way. Light shines out in all directions. One more thing you need to remember. When a person goes from a dark room into sunlight, it takes time for eyes to adjust. No one can do anything to make people see quicker or clearer. But God already has the right tools in place. Often times a little light combined with another little light will shine much brighter helping both to see clearer. I was talking with a young couple yesterday about studying the Bible. I noticed one was a little slower than the other. I explained a few small details and the woman was explaining it in far easier terms to her boy friend. We could feel God’s Spirit working. We have to remember our message will most likely be only a small part of the equation. Every fire requires three major elements. A fuel, oxygen, and an ignition source. We can’t do anything without the ignition source which is God’s Spirit and don’t forget who made the oxygen and fuel. Somewhere in that equation God still needs us. It’s up to Him to decide.

     

    Jesus wanted His disciples to understand the man suffered the curse of blindness since birth so he could glorify God. Think of that. Maybe that’s why some churches are in spiritual blindness so at the right time God can give them sight to glorify Himself. Think of that the next time you want to negatively preach about a church you view as a competitor. Are you working with God or against Him? Are you working to fulfill God’s plan of salvation or trying your best to slow it down? You can either teach and share from Jesus’ light or your own darkness.

     

    Jesus had His reasons for sending the man away. We can get caught up in all the little symbols. Some may be spiritual symbols while others may be background for the story. It’s always best to let God’s Spirit explain the details and we have to stay on the subject of light. Jesus repeated the word work to introduce a spiritual aspect of light. We use light as sort of a tool. Physical light helps us to work. There is a spiritual relationship between light and work we see in the summation of John 9 as we move on to compare summations. One reason this prophecy is easy to study and understand is because God placed the prophecy and fulfillment in the introductions. We also see a close spiritual connection between the summations.

     

    Isaiah 42:21-25 NLTse Because he is righteous, the LORD has exalted his glorious law. (22) But his own people have been robbed and plundered, enslaved, imprisoned, and trapped. They are fair game for anyone and have no one to protect them, no one to take them back home. (23) Who will hear these lessons from the past and see the ruin that awaits you in the future? (24) Who allowed Israel to be robbed and hurt? It was the LORD, against whom we sinned, for the people would not walk in his path, nor would they obey his law. (25) Therefore, he poured out his fury on them and destroyed them in battle. They were enveloped in flames, but they still refused to understand. They were consumed by fire, but they did not learn their lesson.

     

    The word but in Isaiah 42:21 is a transition word indicating a change in this case a contrast. Jesus is trying to reach out to people while the world is trying to take advantage of them. We have to look at robbed, plundered, enslaved, imprisoned, and trapped on a spiritual basis. We can lay our own definitions on them or letting the Bible explain them. One of the best ways is in the parallel chapter. We will also see the spiritual definitions of flames and fire.

     

    John 9:24-41 NLTse So for the second time they called in the man who had been blind and told him, “God should get the glory for this, because we know this man Jesus is a sinner.” (25) “I don’t know whether he is a sinner,” the man replied. “But I know this: I was blind, and now I can see!” (26) “But what did he do?” they asked. “How did he heal you?” (27) “Look!” the man exclaimed. “I told you once. Didn’t you listen? Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his disciples, too?” (28) Then they cursed him and said, “You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses! (29) We know God spoke to Moses, but we don’t even know where this man comes from.” (30) “Why, that’s very strange!” the man replied. “He healed my eyes, and yet you don’t know where he comes from? (31) We know that God doesn’t listen to sinners, but he is ready to hear those who worship him and do his will. (32) Ever since the world began, no one has been able to open the eyes of someone born blind. (33) If this man were not from God, he couldn’t have done it.” (34) “You were born a total sinner!” they answered. “Are you trying to teach us?” And they threw him out of the synagogue. (35) When Jesusheard what had happened, he found the man and asked, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” (36) The man answered, “Who is he, sir? I want to believe in him.” (37) “You have seen him,” Jesus said, “and he is speaking to you!” (38) “Yes, Lord, I believe!” the man said. And he worshiped Jesus. (39) Then Jesus told him, “I entered this world to render judgment–to give sight to the blind and to show those who think they see that they are blind.” (40) Some Pharisees who were standing nearby heard him and asked, “Are you saying we’re blind?” (41) “If you were blind, you wouldn’t be guilty,” Jesus replied. “But you remain guilty because you claim you can see.

     

    If the world works so hard to rob, plunder, enslave, imprison, and trap people, why don’t they just turn to Jesus for the relief He offers? Some people don’t know much about what Jesus can do for them. Looking at John 9 you would think everyone would praise God for healing the blind man. But that wasn’t the case. Those religious leaders represent people today and throughout the ages who know about Jesus but don’t know Jesus. Those religious leaders heard Jesus talk. They saw Him heal but their view of the Messiah didn’t match their preconceived ideas. Their perception of the Messiah was distorted because they didn’t rely on God’s Spirit or a relationship with His Spirit to interpret prophecies. They came up with an idea of what they wanted to see in a Messiah and how they wanted the world to change then searched scripture to support their ideas. This method of study seems to work when particular sections are picked out of a chapter, separated from the rest of God’s Word, then mixed with a few other verses having little or nothing to do with the original prophecy. The formula is 1% scripture, 90% of their own words, 2% of current events, 7% imagination with 0% of God’s Spirit. Today people call this using proof texts and it is the most popular method of Bible Study today. Searching for proof texts has never worked nor will it ever work no matter how much people insist all the other interpretations were wrong but now they are much wiser than people before them Man made experience is never a substitute for God’s wisdom.

     

    The introduction to John 9 showed us how Jesus’ disciples didn’t know the answer to the man’s blindness. What did they do? The disciples went to Jesus and asked Him. Compare that to the reaction of the religious leaders in the story. Where did they go? They relied on themselves. They relied on what they thought they already knew. Key words listen, hear, and disciples in the summation point us back to this detail. Blind also keep us within the main theme by contrasting with light. Instead of using the contrast of light and darkness, Jesus used the contrasting theme of light and blindness. In this case He emphasized the point the man was born blind to show how those religious leaders have been spiritually blind all their lives. In other words Jesus had His work cut out for Himself. Those religious leaders represented people hard to reach because they’ve been blinded all their lives. It may be only one subject or another but in any case, we are not supposed to put out their flame. Somehow we’re supposed to help that flame grow brighter.

     

    The story changes from Jesus’ disciples questioning if the blind man was a sinner to religious leaders accusing Jesus of being a sinner. In a way they are accusing Jesus of being blind. The blind man defended Jesus by telling those religious leaders he didn’t know. After all the blind guy just opened his eyes. He may have just opened his eyes but the guy who was blind knew how to give the right answer. He sent them back to Jesus which is a lot more than what some people know.

     

    Those religious leaders didn’t like the man’s answer. “He healed my eyes, and yet you don’t know where he comes from? We know that God doesn’t listen to sinners, but he is ready to hear those who worship him and do his will. Ever since the world began, no one has been able to open the eyes of someone born blind. If this man were not from God, he couldn’t have done it.” The religious leaders had an interesting reply. “You were born a total sinner!” they answered. “Are you trying to teach us?” Did you ever correspond with a religious person who thought they knew everything? What was their first reaction? They accuse you of something. That’s just human nature. It’s their natural reaction derived from isolating themselves. That didn’t stop Jesus from reaching out to them.

     

    Once Jesus heard the man tried defending Him, Jesus went out looking for the man He healed. This shows how Jesus keeps caring about us. He is always looking for us. We don’t have to know all the right answers for Jesus to come to us. Look how little the man knew. Jesus asked, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” The man answered, “Who is he, sir? I want to believe in him.” The man didn’t know who to worship. The man didn’t know how to worship. Jesus looked for the man and added a little more knowledge. Just the basics. That’s all the man was ready for. All that prayer and personal contact with God told Jesus what the man needed and when he needed it. A lesson we all need to learn.

     

    Jesus showed how his people have been robbed and plundered, enslaved, imprisoned, and trapped. Those religious leaders were convinced the man was blinded for some sin. Their traditions insisted the man was suffering for his sins and there was nothing they could do about it. They isolated themselves from the man when he was blind and continued because they didn’t like the way he was healed. Their minds were made up no matter what Jesus did. Their attitudes robbed other people of their vision of Jesus. When those religious leaders rejected Jesus they enslaved and imprisoned themselves and everyone who followed them. It’s a simple spiritual lesson to see. Who will hear these lessons from the past and see the ruin that awaits you in the future? Those religious leaders didn’t want to look back at scripture for the answer or forward to Jesus at the forgiveness He offered. Those religious leaders dug their own pit and were happy in it. At least they thought they were as they pulled in as many souls as they could. Men often turn to strength of numbers when a conflicts rage within their hearts.

     

    There is another verse and chapter which is a good parallel to the prophecy in Isaiah 42. Matthew 10 sums up the entire chapter of Isaiah 42 in a few verses.

     

    Matthew 10:21-28 KJ2000 (21) And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death. (22) And you shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endures to the end shall be saved. (23) But when they persecute you in this city, flee into another: for verily I say unto you, You shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man comes. (24) The disciple is not above his teacher, nor the servant above his lord. (25) It is enough for the disciple that he be as his teacher, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household? (26) Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known. (27) What I tell you in darkness, that speak in light: and what you hear in the ear, that preach upon the housetops. (28) And fear not them who kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

     

    One would think light would be a good thing. It would seem everyone has at least a small part of themselves seeking knowledge, wisdom truth, and who doesn’t want eternal life? Maybe that’s the lesson taught in all the detours people took on God’s plan of salvation. Maybe it showed how people want all those gifts God offers but on their own terms. After all, Adam and Eve had everything. The first sin seemed little more than reaching out for a little more than what God offered. Are other sins any different? People want wealth, honor, glory, long life, luxury, and who knows what else. But at what price? What is the cost in human life and suffering to dig a few grams of gold out of the ground? The toll to the environment is great. That’s easy to see. Some countries use slave labor to extract gold. Other people bend and manipulate state and civil laws to accumulate large sums of money. Is that any different that eating a piece of fruit to gain a little more knowledge and gain an advantage over other people. Is that why Eve ate that fruit? Was she trying to gain an advantage over her husband Adam? And after seeing her sin did she offer the fruit to Adam as her own perceived way of atoning for her sin? It’s clear a second sin did not wipe out the effects of the first. Instead of going to God and telling Him they had a problem, they tried to run away from Him. Is that much different than making up religious or civil laws to deal with sin based on our own perceptions? After all wasn’t that fruit supposed to give men the knowledge of good and evil? Why do they need God when they have that knowledge to use as they please? People may have a knowledge of good and evil but look around the world and see how well they use that knowledge. Daniel told us knowledge will be increased in the last days. We can see how that pointed to the world distancing itself from God. It doesn’t take a genius to figure that one out. Then again, people want to show off their knowledge by second guessing just about every symbol and prophecy in the Bible. And everyone will persecute those who come to Jesus. They’ll claim, “God doesn’t talk to use anymore.” They’ll pull out a text from the end of Revelation saying we can’t add or subtract from that book. People will look at Jesus’ followers as demons. Why? Because we won’t agree with their tactics, ethics, doctrines, or interpretations any more than Jesus agreed with those religious leaders He faced. It doesn’t matter how softly you speak or how sound your message is from God, people can and will hate you. But God will gather His people together in little groups for support to join their lights together so its easier for the world to see the light. Of course the world will be so dark it won’t be able to do anything but notice.

     

    You can also look at John chapters 8 and 12 for other parallel chapters to Isaiah 42. Those are studies you can do on your own. It seems its time for God to assign homework. I often wonder how many people these books will reach and how many lives will be changed. I think about the faces I’ll see in Heaven and the stories we can share. I am praying there will be enough to last us an eternity. For now, another lesson. How one key word can tell a story about salvation. Some of you may have seen authors with the ability to put scripture together to write entire paragraphs. Some people think that takes some kind of special ability. It takes nothing more than a relationship with God and His Word. Then search that key word and let scripture reveal the story. The following texts are a collection of verses containing the word light.

     

    Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. Then he separated the light from the darkness. You light a lamp for me. The LORD, my God, lights up my darkness. The LORD is my light and my salvation– so why should I be afraid? The LORD is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble? For you are the fountain of life, the light by which we see. Light shines in the darkness for the godly. They are generous, compassionate, and righteous. Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path. The teaching of your word gives light, so even the simple can understand. I thought, “Wisdom is better than foolishness, just as light is better than darkness. For the wise can see where they are going, but fools walk in the dark.” Yet I saw that the wise and the foolish share the same fate. (Genesis 1:3-4, Psalms 18:28, 27:1, 36:9, 112:4, 119:105, 119:130, Ecclesiastes 2:13-14 NLTse)

     

    Light is sweet; how pleasant to see a new day dawning. Darkness as black as night covers all the nations of the earth, but the glory of the LORD rises and appears over you. All nations will come to your light; mighty kings will come to see your radiance. “Look and see, for everyone is coming home! Your sons are coming from distant lands; your little daughters will be carried home.” “You are the light of the world–like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father. You will tell his people how to find salvation through forgiveness of their sins. Because of God’s tender mercy, the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide us to the path of peace.” The one who is the true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. He came to his own people, and even they rejected him. All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants.” (Ecclesiastes 11:7l, Isaiah 60:2-4, Matthew 5:14-16, Luke 1:77-79, John 1:9-11, John 3:20-21 NLTse)

     

    “We must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the one who sent us. The night is coming, and then no one can work. But while I am here in the world, I am the light of the world. But at night there is danger of stumbling because they have no light. Put your trust in the light while there is still time; then you will become children of the light.” After saying these things, Jesus went away and was hidden from them. “For the Lord gave us this command when he said, ‘I have made you a light to the Gentiles, to bring salvation to the farthest corners of the earth.'” (John 9:4-5, John 11:10, 12:36, Acts 13:47 NLTse)

     

    They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God. Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God. You see, we don’t go around preaching about ourselves. We preach that Jesus Christ is Lord, and we ourselves are your servants for Jesus’ sake. 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. We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves. Don’t team up with those who are unbelievers. How can righteousness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness? What harmony can there be between Christ and the devil? How can a believer be a partner with an unbeliever? But I am not surprised! Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Don’t participate in the things these people do. For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light! For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true. Carefully determine what pleases the Lord. Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, expose them. It is shameful even to talk about the things that ungodly people do in secret. But their evil intentions will be exposed when the light shines on them, for the light makes everything visible. This is why it is said, “Awake, O sleeper, rise up from the dead, and Christ will give you light.” So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do. (2 Corinthians 4:4-7, 6:14-15, 11:14, Ephesians 5:7-17 NLTse)

     

    Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people. Hold firmly to the word of life; then, on the day of Christ’s return, I will be proud that I did not run the race in vain and that my work was not useless. For you are all children of the light and of the day; we don’t belong to darkness and night. So be on your guard, not asleep like the others. Stay alert and be clearheaded. Night is the time when people sleep and drinkers get drunk. But let us who live in the light be clearheaded, protected by the armor of faith and love, and wearing as our helmet the confidence of our salvation. For God chose to save us through our Lord Jesus Christ, not to pour out his anger on us. Christ died for us so that, whether we are dead or alive when he returns, we can live with him forever. This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all. Yet it is also new. Jesus lived the truth of this commandment, and you also are living it. For the darkness is disappearing, and the true light is already shining. If anyone claims, “I am living in the light,” but hates a Christian brother or sister, that person is still living in darkness. Anyone who loves another brother or sister is living in the light and does not cause others to stumble. But anyone who hates another brother or sister is still living and walking in darkness. Such a person does not know the way to go, having been blinded by the darkness. I am writing to you who are God’s children because your sins have been forgiven through Jesus. (Philippians 2:14-16, 1 Thessalonians 5:5-10, 1 John 1:5, 1 John 2:8-12 NLTse)

     

    I saw no temple in the city, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. And the city has no need of sun or moon, for the glory of God illuminates the city, and the Lamb is its light. The nations will walk in its light, and the kings of the world will enter the city in all their glory. Its gates will never be closed at the end of day because there is no night there. And all the nations will bring their glory and honor into the city. Nothing evil will be allowed to enter, nor anyone who practices shameful idolatry and dishonesty–but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. (Revelation 21:22-27 NLTse)

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