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To Those Who Follow
12/23/2015

Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” John 8:12 (NKJV)

When Jesus said, “I am the light of the world” it wasn’t just a casual comment, or some breakout statement to get the attention of those who were listening.  It was actually the second of seven “I Am” statements made by Jesus, as recorded in the Book of John.  It was significant, because He was clearly claiming to be God (cf. Ps. 27:1; Isa. 60:19; 1 John 1:5), as well as Israel’s Promised Messiah (Isa. 42:6).

I find it interesting because Jesus chose to make this statement at the conclusion of the Feast of Tabernacles.  And He did it in a portion of the Temple where there were four large candelabra’s that would have been ceremoniously lit each night, to remind the people of how God had provided the pillar of fire to lead the Israelites through the wilderness. 

Jesus’ promise to those who follow Him is significant, and it actually reveals a lot about who He is to us.  Let me explain.  The word, follow used in this verse is from the Greek word, “akoloutheo,” (Pronounced ak-ol-oo-theh´-o;), and although it is sometimes used in Scripture in a general sense to speak of the crowds that physically followed Jesus, it is used more specifically here for those who follow Jesus as His disciple.  This is speaking of you and me personally.

So to follow Jesus is to submit and surrender to His lordship our very lives.  It means we are prepared to do everything in the way He has directed us to live.  It means giving Him our lives, and becoming selfless (Matt. 10:37-39)—loving others as we love ourselves, and loving Him with our whole heart, soul, and mind (Matt. 22:37-39).  It means not being conformed to this world, but being transformed in our minds, so we can know His will for each situation (Rom. 12:1-2).  It means imitating Jesus (Eph. 5:1). 

So the promise to those who follow Him, is they shall not walk in darkness.  The word darkness used here represents the life of sin and death.  Jesus said we—those who have made a profession of faith in Christ Jesus as our Lord and Savior— “are the light of the world,” and therefore we are to reflect His light unto all those around us (Matt. 5:14-15). 

Let’s not be so foolish as to substitute God’s light, for Satan’s darkness by following the desires of our flesh.  If we choose to walk in darkness then it is our own choice, because we have been given freedom from the bondage of sin, and we have been empowered to walk in the ways of our Lord (Rom. 6:4).

Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. Romans 6:4 (NKJV)

I want to encourage you to think and pray upon these truths today. 

STUDY QUESTION: According to the Scriptures contained in this devotional, what can we learn with respect to God’s promise, and our responsibility?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Are you committed to following Jesus as Lord?

PRACTICAL APPLICATION: Take captive and crucify any thought coming against what you know to be right by God’s word.

MAKE THIS YOUR PRAYER TODAY: Father, thank You for sending Jesus into this dark world to be our Light.  Thank You for making us a light to the world as well.  Fill me with Your Spirit today (Eph. 5:18), and allow me to brightly shine on those in my life.  Help us to see those areas where we are choosing to walk in darkness, and help us to repent of them immediately.  In Jesus’ precious name, amen…

Be Blessed, Pastor Scott

 

 

 


Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000