John 8:12, NIV
“I am the light of the world.”
Do you remember studying photosynthesis at school or college? I must have been listening in that class as I can still recite the process. ‘Photosynthesis is a chemical process whereby green plants convert sunlight into sugar (food). Water and carbon dioxide combine using light energy to give glucose within the chloroplasts in a plant cell’.
Through this process, green plants capture energy from the sun. They use some of it to function and grow. But it’s interesting that some of this energy’s stored in the plant structure, where it’s available to other organisms when they eat the plants. At the same time, the plants release oxygen into the atmosphere.
Scientists recognise that plants need light energy to survive. Most plants kept in darkness will not flourish. Likewise, we need God’s ‘light’ within us to thrive and be the people God wants us to be. People who shine for Him and follow His ways. As the modern worship song declares ‘You outshine the sun’. Hallelujah! Jesus said “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12).
Put simply – Plants need the sun’s light to flourish and we need the Son’s light for life!
Every day Father God gives us all we need for ourselves, and like the stored energy in plants we have enough to give out to others. But when we get involved in things that aren’t in His plan and purpose for us, we can forfeit God’s blessings. Remember Jesus said “When you lift up the Son of Man, you will know that ‘I Am Who I Am’; then you will know that I do nothing on my own authority, but I say only what the father has instructed me to say” (John 8:28).
In Paul’s letter to Timothy he explains that Demas had deserted him because he loved the world. The light had clearly gone out of his life. Or as The Message Bible puts it, “Demas, chasing fads, went off to Thessalonica and left me here” (2 Timothy 4:10).
We’re all acutely aware that we live in a very dark wicked world full of sin, and temptations are all around us. You only have to watch the television, read a newspaper or magazine to be exposed to an endless variety of ungodly behaviour. People of all ages chase comfort as the popular saying suggests “if it feels good do it”. However, we do have direction and hope. Jesus’ light gives us power to drive out the darkness of sin in our lives, keeping us on His track, and helping us to overcome temptations and worldly fads.
Finally, as we marvel at God’s amazing science of photosynthesis we’re reminded just how skilful He is to enable everything in creation to work together. From the very beginning before He created the heavens and the earth the Bible says He knew us – Wow!
Prayer: Lord, we rejoice in Your word which proclaims that Jesus is the light of the world. Father, help us each day to shine for You by stepping out of the world’s darkness and into Your glorious light. May we not to be drawn into the world’s fads but be focused on the truth of Your word, the truth that sets us free. Amen.