Links Daily Devotional

A Life in the Light

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of the light… (Ephesians 5:8, NIV)

The winter solstice comes tomorrow. This should make every golfer’s list of favorite days, since it means we’ve turned the corner toward more daylight. We can maybe, just a little bit, start dreaming of playing more.

For a believer, the solstice might also be a good day to think ahead on the new year that is to come.

You were darkness; you are light. When you come to Jesus, who you are has been changed.While Christmas still stands between us and 2017—and we certainly don’t want to skirt this chance at a time of spiritual emphasis celebrating the incarnation of our Savior—you may already be thinking of how the coming year might look different, particularly in regard to your promises and practices.

What we resolve to do is not nearly as important as what God’s plans entail, but it is meaningful all the same. Vows with a purpose are common in Scripture. Paul even cut off his hair to fulfill such a vow (Acts 18:18)! So you are not far afield if you are beginning to consider what changes and commitments will mark the turning of the calendar for you.

May I suggest, however, that the turning of the seasons we will experience tomorrow can help us capture a picture of change that Paul considered most worthy of note? His words came in the middle of his letter to the Ephesians, where he spoke to them of the difference between their old life and the life they were living in Christ. It was the difference, he wrote, between darkness and light.

This is a truth of spiritual nature—that is, a matter of being. You were darkness; you are light. When you come to Jesus, who you are has been changed.

But any true being is rightly followed by a particularity of action. You would not be much of a golfer if you never played golf. And you are not much of child of the light unless you live as a child of the light.

What does such living involve? Three things, Paul went on to explain in verse 9: goodness, righteousness, and truth. Children of the light bear “the fruit of the light” when their lives demonstrate the life God would have them live. Indeed, Paul added that children of the light not only live as such, demonstrating goodness, righteousness, and truth, but they “find out what please the Lord.”

As we move toward 2017, we would do well to commit to lives of light. Spend the days between now and the new year asking the Lord to show you things that please him as you read his Word and listen for his voice. Then as these things are revealed to you, prepare to add them to your list of fresh commitments. In this way may 2017 be a truly new year!

Jeff Hopper
December 20, 2016
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