I just saw my first lightning bug of the season and what a wonder this little natural flashlight is! June in Nebraska always brings out the lightning bugs, those little fly-like creatures that blink a bright light as they go about their business in the back yard. Like so many in my generation I spent hours outside in the evening as a child. I knew when the street lights came on and the lightning bugs began to fly that it was time to head for home. My brother and I loved catching them and putting them in a jar with some grass in it and the lid would have small holes punched so that air would flow in and allow the bugs to breathe. We made a homemade flashlight and just before going to bed our Mom and Dad would help us let the bugs go into the clear Nebraska night. What joy it was last summer to introduce my granddaughter to the little bugs. Like so much of God’s creation they are simply little miracles! She thought they were neat but not as neat as the movie she wanted to watch. Aww! Well, how can a lightning bug compete with Mulan! God gives us so many reminders of how special we are and His creatures are certainly one of those reminders. The lightning bug reminds me of Christians in this world. We are a light that shines for a small amount of time, a blink in eternity. Jesus reminded us that we are the light in a darkened world.
“You are the light of the world. A city situated on a hill cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, but rather on a lampstand, and it gives light for all who are in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16, (Holman Christian Standard Bible or HCSB).
You, dear Christians, are the light in this world and only Christians can bring light into the darkness of a sinful world. But where did we get this light and why is the light that we have only for Christians? So glad you asked.
Now some Greeks were among those who went up to worship at the festival. So they came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and requested of him, “Sir, we want to see Jesus.” Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. Jesus replied to them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.
“I assure you: Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains by itself. But if it dies, it produces a large crop. The one who loves his life will lose it, and the one who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me. Where I am, there My servant also will be. If anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him. “Now My soul is troubled. What should I say — Father, save Me from this hour? But that is why I came to this hour. Father, glorify Your name! ” Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again! ” The crowd standing there heard it and said it was thunder. Others said that an angel had spoken to Him.
Jesus responded, “This voice came, not for Me, but for you. Now is the judgment of this world. Now the ruler of this world will be cast out. As for Me, if I am lifted up from the earth I will draw all people to Myself.” He said this to signify what kind of death He was about to die.
Then the crowd replied to Him, “We have heard from the scripture that the Messiah will remain forever. So how can You say, ‘The Son of Man must be lifted up’? Who is this Son of Man?”
Jesus answered, “The light will be with you only a little longer. Walk while you have the light so that darkness doesn’t overtake you. The one who walks in darkness doesn’t know where he’s going. While you have the light, believe in the light so that you may become sons of light.” Jesus said this, then went away and hid from them. John 12:20-36, (HCSB).
The light that Christians have and only Christians have comes from Jesus because He is the Light that overcomes the darkness of evil. He got it from God because He and God are the Holy Father and the Holy Son. God will honor the light that is in us because we are servants of Jesus Christ. No other religion will get you to heaven because they do not have the Light of truth since they do not have Jesus Christ. Why is this important?
Then Jesus cried out, “The one who believes in Me believes not in Me, but in Him who sent Me. And the one who sees Me sees Him who sent Me. I have come as a light into the world, so that everyone who believes in Me would not remain in darkness. If anyone hears My words and doesn’t keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. The one who rejects Me and doesn’t accept My sayings has this as his judge: The word I have spoken will judge him on the last day. For I have not spoken on My own, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me a command as to what I should say and what I should speak. I know that His command is eternal life. So the things that I speak, I speak just as the Father has told Me.” John 12:44-50, (HCSB).
The message is clear. Jesus is the Light which is holy and good and righteous and truthful and that Light has whipped evil, which is Satan and his legions of followers, in the final battle and one day yet to come Jesus will judge every person who has ever lived on earth and find them either ready for heaven or ready for hell. Evil’s days are numbered and one day all evil will depart and will be no more. If, however, you don’t believe that Jesus is the Son of God and that He was born, died, and came back to life then you don’t have any light, not even a little shimmer. Darkness is in charge of so many things of this world right now and yet one day evil will have no more power and will be condemned for eternity to the fiery pits of hell. There is one more thing to know about darkness or evil.
But I will continue to do what I am doing, in order to deny the opportunity of those who want an opportunity to be regarded just as our equals in what they boast about. For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no great thing if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their destiny will be according to their works. 2 Corinthians 11:12-15, (HCSB).
Be very sure that you are not being deceived because there are many who are not Christians but who pretend to be. Even Satan tries to look like he has the light in him. That is pretty frightening if you really think about it. No wonder so many get lead astray because they are not sure of exactly what they believe. Dear Christian, the way to keep from being deceived is to study God’s Word and learn from honorable teachers the real truth. Not everyone who says that they believe in God is going to be in heaven. Belief is not enough but you have to have faith and put your faith into action. That means you will have good deeds, good fruit, good things that you do for the Kingdom of Heaven, for Jesus Christ your Savior, for God who recognizes the light of truth in you that comes from knowing and serving Jesus. So let the lightning bug remind you of the light in this world. You and I have that light and we shine brightly in the darkness. If we could put all of us in a jar like I did the bugs as a child we would have an even brighter light for the world to see to find their way out of the darkness and into forgiveness and grace and eternity. Awww, but we already have a jar, it’s called the church! As a group we shine brighter and I think that is the whole purpose of the local churches, to be a light in our communities! Go forth and shine, dear friends!