Light for the New Year

As we walk into the new year of 2018, we have the opportunity to walk in light with direction, guidance, and clarity. Light brings hope. In John 12:46 Jesus said, “I have come into the world as a light so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.” The world in which we live is filled with spiritual darkness. Jesus Christ sent us the Holy Spirit to be with us. 1Th 4:8, He holds the lamp of the Bible out to us to light our path.
The wise Christians will not only carry the Bible for access and help, but will retain it in memory so to be ready for any situation, and to prevent falling into the traps of the world. The Word of God is like a flaming torch that keeps the prowling devil at bay. It lights the path for us so that we don’t fall into a ditch. Pr 6:23. It is a lamp that we can take in our hands and use it as a practical guide for our lives.
As we read our Bible, the way we should go shall be lit. It is like a road map that shows us direction, and gives us a clear view. Sometimes things will seem cloudy, but as we wait on the Lord and read the Bible things will become clear. The Bible says, “Thy Word is a lamp unto thy feet and a light unto my path.” Ps 119:105. God’s word is a candle that never goes out. When it is held in the hand it gives us light in every dark place.
The Chongqing airport in China had only one terminal in the late 1990’s. It was not well lit when I arrived in the wee hours of the night. As I stepped out of the terminal to find a cab, everything was dark.
A car drove up with two Chinese men. One hopped out of the passenger door and opened the back door signaling for me to get in as if they were a cab. There was no light on top of their car so I figured they were not a cab. I set my ninety-five pound backpack down and prayed. I asked the Lord for His clear direction on what to do, and for His protection.
The man who opened the doors approached me and tried to lift my backpack. He backed away after trying to lift it, and made a motion to his partner flexing his muscle, indicating that I was strong. He got back in the car and they drove off.
I looked around and saw a light at the end of the airport terminal. I walked to the end of the airport and found the real cab that I needed to get to my hotel. I tried to convey to the cabbie what hotel I was trying to get to when I looked up on the hill behind him and saw a picture lit up that was my hotel. I pointed to it and nodded my head as if to say “Yes”.
I thought all was well as we sped over a freeway in the middle of the night until he opened his glove compartment to show me a hotel flyer that was not my hotel. I prayed and shortly I saw another lit billboard of the hotel where I was to go. I pointed to the billboard and soon we arrived at my hotel.
Light in the life of a believer must escape to touch others so that they will also be lit with the light of Christ. Xiao Min, a Chinese believer, invited Jesus into her life as a young teenager. She was poor and could not go to school. She took long walks on the way to her daily work in the fields. It gave her time to pray, read and seek guidance from the Lord Jesus. During these times she heard the voice of God speaking songs into her mind. She wrote them down and began to sing them. Those songs were the beginning of the Canaan Hymns collection in China. She has written over nineteen hundred hymns that have been shared widely among the house churches. Those hymns have been a shining light of encouragement to the believers who live in the darkness of that nation. Because of the popularity of those hymns the police searched for Xiao Min, but Jesus lit the way for her to escape so she could keep on writing hymns.
Jesus said, “I am the light of the world.” When we ask Christ into our life, we are lit with the light of the Holy Spirit. No longer are we left in the darkness of this world. God has given us the Bible for our guide, one that we can put our hands on. We now have the ability to walk in the knowledge that He will guide us and light our way.
Direction comes from many ways. There might be a lighting up of a Scripture in our mind while reading the Bible. Direction can be a strong inner nudging, a wave of peace, or countless other creative touches. God directs our path when we know Jesus Christ, and read the Word of God.
The Lord Jesus brings light in dark places. When I was in China traveling alone, in places where there was no other foreigners, He walked with me. One time while out walking I was praying about where I was to go. There was a dark alleyway that I felt strongly drawn to go down. As I walked in that dark place my path was lit. Inside I had no fear, and I soon came to a wide opening where there was a day street market. I felt an inside nudge to smile and say “Hello” to the people as I walked through the market. It was a short time before “Hello” rang throughout the market, coming from those folks whom I met. I made friends there that continued through my stay in that city.
Jesus was light to Peter while he was in prison. The light shone around Peter when the angel of the Lord appeared. “And, behold, the angel of the Lord came upon him, and a light shined in the prison: and he smote Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, Arise up quickly. And his chains fell off from his hands.” He gave Peter direction at that critical moment in time. “And the angel said unto him, Gird thyself, and bind on thy sandals. And so he did. And he saith unto him, Cast thy garment about thee, and follow me.” Ac 12:7,8. That light brought Peter to freedom.
Jesus is also known as the Sun of Righteousness, giving brightness and clarity to all things. When Saul, who became Paul, was sent to destroy all Christians, he was met on the road by a blinding light and knocked off his donkey. On the ground Paul met Jesus who spoke to Paul, “Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?” In that moment Paul received clarity and He gave his life to Jesus Christ, and began his life of walking in the light of God.
Pastor Richard Wurmbrand was a light in Romania when the communists took over. After the take over the pastors of the country were called to a meeting with the new officials. Richard was an influential Lutheran pastor. The officials called for alliance with the communist government. In the midst of hundreds of pastors there was no resistance found until Pastor Wurmbrand stood to his feet. The officials were happy to see that this popular man would lead others in their cause. But, their faces quickly lost their smile when he declared his alliance to Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God. He was received with a warm applause from his peers, but the officials were enraged. He was imprisoned for fourteen years, his wife was imprisoned for three years, and their young son roamed the streets as one without family. Richard was a man who sought God in His Word and knew His Savior. During those years many came to Christ within the prison where Richard shared the light of Jesus Christ. He and his family were miraculously ransomed out of Romania and brought to America. He became the founder of the Voice of The Martyrs as a voice for the persecuted church in other lands.
Jesus in the heart shines in darkness and brings us through difficult situations. In our nation we are facing difficult times, but we have not been left alone. The Holy Spirit is with us to teach and guide us through the Bible. We are called to let the light of Jesus Christ shine through us to bring hope to others. This year purpose in your heart to pick up your Bible daily and spend time talking to Jesus. We are promised that we will not walk in darkness, but have our way lit clearly. The light of Christ shines through Christians.