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Pastor Raul: The Light Of The World―Part 1

on December 31, 2017 - 8:00am
By PASTOR RAUL GRANILLO
La Vista Church of the Nazarene
White Rock
 
There are dark shadows on the earth, but its lights are stronger in the contrast. – Charles Dickens
 
Christmas lights are a beautiful part of the advent season. I know they bring joy to me, and my kids are still at the age where they are absolutely enamored by them. Of course, Christmas is over, and the lights will begin coming down. This may be a perfect metaphor for far too may people. That is to say that their lives may have brief seasons of light and beauty, but the darkness and sorrow may seem to be more consistent. The darkness and sorrow may be such a part of our lives, that it may seem like all we do is reflect that darkness and sorrow back into the world around us. For some, this is so real that all they can do is embrace it with all that they have. This, however, is not how it is supposed to be.
 
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. (John 1:1-5 NIV)
 
When John wrote this gospel, every Jew or Jewish convert would have recognized that John was pointing back to the creation narrative in Genesis. This is so important that you cannot interpret John’s meaning without going back to this first book of the Pentateuch. It is there that we find God creating everything and revealing a couple of very important things that pertain to every single human being, as well as all of creation.
 
First, notice what God says about us, that is, humans.
 
God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning--the sixth day. (Genesis 1:31 NIV)
 
God looked at all that He had made, including the human race, and He saw that it was “very good.” Let me simply say that you were made to be good, not evil. This is your authentic state of existence. To exist in any other state is to live inauthentically—it is to be fake. Let me jump forward to something the Apostle Paul said.
 
For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:10 NIV)
 
Not only were you created to be good, but you were created to do good. Listen carefully, this is not some boy scout good, or churchy good; it is the good that God did in the very beginning during the creation narrative that John was talking about.
 
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light. Genesis 1:1-3 (NIV)
 
The description is of a place filled with chaos, emptiness, and darkness. Everyone of us knows about chaos in our lives. Everyone of us knows what it is to feel emptiness. And everyone of us knows what it is to live in darkness. We know this so well that every one of us spends the vast majority of our time, energy, money, and everything else on trying to bring order, purpose, and light into our world. There is, I fear, no exception to this.
 
The creation narrative that John pointed to intentionally paints a dark picture that is then exposed to the presence of God. It is when God hovered over the waters that the chaos was replaced with order, the emptiness with purpose, and the darkness with light. This is the good that God does. It is the good that every person desires and needs. This is also the good that you were created to do. Your very existence, is for the sake of bringing order, purpose, and light to all of creation. You are not the exception, that is a lie, you are created to be good and to do good. You were created to reflect God’s image back into creation.
 
The darkness may seem to be prevailing, but it will flee in the presence of light. I pray that you would realize this truth, that you were not created to reflect darkness or sorrow into the world around you. You, every one of you, were created to reflect the life-giving light of Christ back into creation. You were created to reflect the Light of the World.
 
If you have a Biblical question, comment, or concern, please feel free to email me at raul@lavistanaz.org.
 
To find out more about La Vista Church, or to hear this and other messages, visit our website at www.lavistanaz.org. Follow Pastor Raul on Twitter @RaulGranillo007.
 
Please come join us as we fix our eyes on Jesus. Our NEW HOURS are Sundays at 9 a.m. for Sunday school and 10:30 a.m. for worship. Everyone is welcome!

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