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January Newsletter

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THE HERALD

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Rev. Stephen Snodgrass

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The Light of the World is Jesus

"Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God. But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." (2 Corinthians 4:1-6)

One of the main attractions of the Christmas season, is watching a baby see the lights and tinsel for the first time. I have watched our little Madelyn Grace as she sits in awe of what is playing out around her. She is attracted to the lights and will watch them for hours. The reference of Creation in verse six, "whom commanded the light to shine out of darkness," was a reminder to the fact that our God is a God of Light. From the beginning of time light has been associated with God.

The star that marked our Savior's birth, has continued to shine into the hearts of men from that time to this. The whole Christian walk is marked by coming out of the darkness that sin brings and entering in to the glorious light of the Gospel. Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ who said in John 9:5, "I am the light of the world." He also preached these words in the Sermon on the Mount, "Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." (Matthew 5:14-16) Couple these two passages and they bare the truth that we are to be light-bearers just as He is.

Adam Clarke had this to say Matthew 5, "'Let your light so shine' - Or more literally, Thus let your light shine, as the sun is lighted up in the firmament of heaven to diffuse its light and heat freely to every inhabitant of the earth; and as the lamp is not set under the bushel, but placed upon the lamp-stand that it may give light to all in the house; Thus let every follower of Christ, and especially every preacher of the Gospel, diffuse the light of heavenly knowledge, and the warmth of Divine love through the whole circle of their acquaintance. 'That they may see your good works' - It is not sufficient to have light - we must walk in the light, and by the light. Our whole conduct should be a perpetual comment on the doctrine we have received, and a constant exemplification of its power and truth. 'And glorify your Father' - Christians are the children of God - they are partakers of his holy and happy nature: they should ever be concerned for their Father's honor, and endeavor so to recommend him, and his salvation, that others may be prevailed on to come to the light, and walk in it. Then God is said to be glorified, when the glorious power of his grace is manifested in the salvation of men."

The great hymnist, Philip P. Bliss, captured this truth and penned it so eloquently when he wrote, The Light of the World is Jesus.

The whole world was lost in the darkness of sin; the Light of the world is Jesus. Like sunshine at noonday His glory shone in; the Light of the world is Jesus. No darkness have we who in Jesus abide; the Light of the world is Jesus. We walk in the Light when we follow our Guide; the Light of the world is Jesus. Ye dwellers in darkness with sin-blinded eyes; the Light of the world is Jesus. Go, wash at His bidding and light will arise; the Light of the world is Jesus. No need of the sunlight in Heaven we're told; the Light of the world is Jesus. The Lamb is the Light in the city of gold; the Light of the world is Jesus. Come to the Light; 'tis shining for thee. Sweetly the Light has dawned upon me. Once I was blind, but now I can see. The Light of the world is Jesus.


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