Advent 1:4, Walking in the Light

Light one purple candle.
Read: 1 John 1:5-7 and 2:1-6

 “This is the message we have heard from Him and declare to you: God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with Him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin.” (1 John 1:5-7)

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It’s no fun to walk in the dark.

Most city neighborhoods have streetlights that come on at dusk and turn off when the sun rises. They’re usually scattered every 100 feet or so and help people find their driveways and know where to place the trashcans. But my neighborhood seems to have a severe lack of streetlights. Most people have an outside light they turn on at night but if you’re walking on the street you’re nearly out of luck. My street slants to one side and has deep ditches on that side. A few stone retaining walls get close to the street and every now and then you’ll come across an asphalt patch or square reflector. It can be dangerous walking the street at night!

First John paints a clear picture of what it means to walk in the darkness and to walk in the light. The apostle is nearing the end of his earthly life when he penned these words and his walk with the Lord is about to change dramatically. So now he’s offering his last words to his readers and John says, “the one who says he abides in Him (Christ) ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.”

Jesus Christ is the Light of the World. And we, as His followers, should walk in the light, forsaking all darkness, just as He did. We should walk in our Master’s footsteps. Those who claim to be followers of Jesus need to truly follow Him with their lives and not be deceived. This is John’s message.

However, we all know that each one of us stumbles and falls at times. Thankfully we have an advocate in Jesus Christ who speaks before the Father in our defense, much like a defense attorney (1 John 2:1). His blood has saved us and His Father has forgiven us, so now His grace is upon us. Rest assured.

The key to walking in the light, I believe, is what we do immediately after we stumble and fall. Do we remain in sin or do we come right back to the Father’s throne of grace? Do we let the sin fester and dig roots within us, or do we forsake it and move on in Christ? I think of King David, whom was called, “a man after God’s own heart.” During his kingship, David murdered, fornicated and lied. But what made him a man after God’s heart was his response to sin. David came back to God and sought his forgiveness (see Psalms 32 and 51). David sought holiness. For God is holy.

Those who claim to be Christians but do things that are sinful (whether borderline or outright) are not walking in the light. As their brother or sister, it is important that you gently correct them (do not judge) and guide them back to the light. And as fragile human beings, guard your own heart and mind to see that darkness does not seep in. And when it does, turn back to God and keep pursuing the Light.

Be God’s.

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