Grow Deep: I AM Edition, Week 1
Week 1: February 14-20
I AM the Light ...
“Again Jesus spoke to them saying, ‘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
“You folks are rigging more lights up there than when Michael Jackson had his concert here!” As over 100 stage hands constructed a huge stage, erected a theatrical proscenium and hung lighting and audio speakers, I discussed the lighting issue with the Georgia Dome building director. My client wanted brilliant video projection and, during the afternoon and early evening (before sunset), the dome’s semi-translucent roof was letting in too much light. Suggested solutions requiring tens of thousands of dollars couldn’t eliminate the problem. A lighting director can dim hundreds of theatrical lights, but he can’t always create darkness in the dome.
From the time of Jesus’ first appearance, He made bold statements and left a strong impression. Many of those whom He encountered could not comprehend His message nor could they comprehend who He really was. Today, “who is Jesus” is still a question often answered by the devil, our tarnished world and the darkness of our own sinful nature. We praise God that His Spirit has broken the darkness and, by faith, enabled us to see the Light of Life in Jesus through His sacrifice for us.
Our world is dark, isn’t it? Jesus said, “The Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness more than light, because their deeds were evil.” (John 3:19) Praise God that the life, death and the resurrection of Jesus brings the true light of salvation to anyone who believes. Many prefer to follow sinful and self-motivated courses. Still, the truth of God’s love creates brilliance amid dark times and gloomy disappointments.
“The light shines in the darkness and the darkness will not overcome it!” (John 1:5)
Wednesday, February 14
Read: John 8:1-12
Jesus’ words, “let anyone with no sin cast the first stone” point us to the first step toward basking in the “Son-shine” of forgiveness. That first step is our accountability to Him and our heartfelt repentance.
Reflect: How does turning away from a “pet” sin reveal our true repentance? What does Isaiah 64:6 tell us about our true, human character and our need for “The Light”?
For the Family: What lesson was Jesus trying to teach the people watching in this passage? What lesson was He trying to teach the woman? What is He trying to teach us?
Thursday, February 15
Read: Psalm 18:25-28
We have a God who shuns the proud and the self-reliant. Yet He opens His arms to anyone who humbly comes to Him. God’s light and strength can enlighten and empower us.
Memorize: “You, Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light.” (v. 28)
Reflect: Give three good reasons for memorizing this verse, or any verse of the Bible. What do you learn about God’s character from these verses?
For the Family: Why are we sometimes afraid of being in a dark room or a place where we can’t see? What happens when we turn on the light? Why does Jesus call Himself the Light?
Friday, February 16
Read: I John 1:5-10
In these verses, John is telling us that God is all light. Because there is no darkness or sin in Him at all, we cannot have an intimate relationship with Him when we are walking in darkness (or sin) ourselves. We are all sinful and deceive ourselves when we claim we have no sin. We are deceived about who we are and who Jesus is … our source of life and light. We cannot fellowship with God unless we are receiving His light into our lives.
Reflect: Think about the “wonderful fellowship of joy” that you experience in your family and with your Christian brothers and sisters at Webster Gardens. Do you really believe that the blood of Jesus cleanses every sin?
For the Family: Have you ever asked for forgiveness from another person? Was it hard? Why does it feel so good to have someone forgive you?
Saturday, February 17
Read: John 12:20-36
Handel’s “And the Glory of the Lord” is majestic! We prefer to think of our King Jesus riding into Jerusalem to cheering crowds or enthroned in
heavenly array. In Revelation, John tells us there is no sun, nor moon; Jesus is the only light. In these verses in His Gospel, John reveals the true glory of Jesus’ earthly life and ministry.
Reflect: In verse 32, where does Jesus say He will go? What did Jesus mean when He told His disciples that (after He was gone) they would become “light bearers”?
For the Family: Say a prayer of thanks that you know Jesus and know His sacrifice. Pray for those who do not yet know about Jesus. Pray that you will reflect His “light” in your daily life.
Sunday, February 18
Read: Psalm 89:5-18
The Psalmist is overwhelmed by God’s goodness, and he praises God for His faithfulness, might and incomparable greatness. He acknowledges that the world was created by God, and all glory belongs to Him. Those who know and acknowledge the incomparable greatness of God and walk in the light of His presence are blessed.
Reflect: Are you walking in joy? If not, what is keeping you from the joy of walking in the light of God’s presence right now? How will the words of this reading influence your prayers today?
For the Family: Have you ever tried to walk in a very dark place? It is hard, isn’t it? In today’s reading, the writer of these verses says that we can walk in light because God is light and He is present with us. How do you know He is present?
Monday, February 19
Read: Luke 11:33-36
Jesus describes our eyes as the lamp of our bodies. The darkness of sin is what keeps us from taking into ourselves the light (or spiritual truth) of God. Jesus tells us to seek God’s truth so that our whole body is full of light.
Reflection: What does the light represent? What does the word “lamp” represent? What results from having healthy eyes? Unhealthy eyes? What do you need to do to keep your eyes healthy spiritually?
For the Family: Do you know a song that talks about light that shines and is not hidden? Sing it together with your family.
Tuesday, February 20
Read: Revelation 21:22-27
In these verses John describes the New Jerusalem. There will be no temple and no need for created light of any kind because God is Light and His Son is the radiance of the Father’s glory. Only those who believe in Jesus will enter the city; in the city there will be only glory and honor … all of which will be given to God.
Reflect: Why won’t there be a temple in the New Jerusalem? Why won’t there be a need for created light? Think about and look up other Scriptures where God appeared as Light.
For the Family: What is the brightest light you have ever seen? Why is Jesus called the Light of the World?