John 8:12, “I am the light of the world”
2 Peter 3:18, “Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ”
Have you ever looked at the people around you … the shoppers walking the malls, hunting for those last minute Christmas or birthday gifts, fellow employees where you work, people at a restaurant or the enthusiastic fans at a football game? Do you think they’ve found peace and happiness? As people rush through today’s life, hurrying from paycheck to payment and from job to home and then doing it all over again, many of them feel an emptiness inside. They long for something to make their existence more meaningful and fulfilling.
Unlike Simeon, mentioned in Luke 2, many people don’t know what will bring happiness. The Holy Spirit had told Simeon that he would not die until he had seen the promised Messiah. When that extraordinary day came and Simeon came to the temple to meet Jesus, peace and contentment were guaranteed. What can satisfy the black hole of the human heart? Some would tell you it is wealth. Others would say it is pleasure, while others would tell you it is power and fame. My friend, these can no more fill that inner emptiness than a fistful of pebbles can fill the Grand Canyon.
I’m mindful of King Solomon, who in an attempt to find peace for his soul, experimented with every resource imaginable. He finally wrote, “I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure” (Ecclesiastes 2:10). The results of his search concluded this, “All is vanity and grasping for the wind” (v. 17). You might be reading this and thinking, “I don’t have peace within my heart. I’m worn out by the turbulence of unrest and I’m just grasping for the wind.” If that’s your case take the counsel of Solomon because he finally realized that fulfillment can only be found in knowing and living for God. Thus, genuine peace, happiness and joy doesn’t depend on where one lives, our nationality, our wealth, pleasure or power, but it depends on a right relationship with Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ, an itinerant rabbi from the town of Nazareth, asserted that He was the light of the world. That was an incredible claim from a man in first-century Galilee, an obscure region in the Roman Empire. It could not boast of any impressive culture and had no famous philosophers, noted authors, or gifted sculptors. And we have no record that Jesus had any formal education.
More than that, Jesus lived before the invention of the printing press, radio, television, and e-mail. How could He expect His ideas to be circulated around the globe? The words He spoke were committed to the memories of His followers. Then the Light of the world was snuffed out by the darkness – or it seemed.
Centuries later we still listen with amazement to Jesus’ words, which His Father has miraculously preserved. His words lead us out of darkness into the light of God’s truth; they fulfill His promise. “He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life” (John 8:12). I would encourage you to read the words of Jesus in the Gospels. Ponder them and let them grip your mind and change your life.
I ask you these sobering questions: (1) Where are you heading and how are you getting there? (2) Are you fulfilling your own selfish desires and pleasures? (3) What are you filling the emptiness of your heart with? (4) Is it the pleasures of this world? (5) Or the riches we have in Christ Jesus? Matthew 11:28 says, “Come to Me (Jesus Christ), all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Here are the riches you can have in Christ Jesus:
(a) A LOVE that can never be fathomed;
(b) A LIFE that can never die;
(c) A PEACE that can never be understood;
(d) A REST that can never be disturbed;
(e) A JOY that can never be diminished;
(f) A HOPE that can never be disappointed;
(g) A GLORY that can never be clouded;
(h) A HAPPINESS that can never be interrupted;
(i) A LIGHT that can never be extinguished;
(j) A STRENGTH that can never be overcome;
(k) A BEAUTY that can never be marred;
(l) A PURITY that can never be defiled; and,
(m) RESOURCES that can never be exhausted.
Remember this if nothing else, “Jesus Christ is the only one who can totally satisfy the emptiness and longing of every human heart” and “He is the Light of the World”