“Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.”” (John 8:12, NAS95)
When Christ reconciled me to God through His work on the cross, I thought I had repented, but I really hadn’t. No, my repentance had a deep sincerity, but I didn’t understand it as new life, or as having the “Light” of life, or as a turning to God for a relationship of love. I thought the target concerned getting through life with as little sinning as possible—and God kept the score card. While I knew I had eternal life, I still viewed life through a lens of works rather than the empowerment of grace.
I learned to live in performance for God rather than presence with God. Then the above verse came front and center, like a head-on collision. I couldn’t miss it if I wanted to. It made such an impact, I memorized it. I can’t go through all that God said to me, but fundamentally, He indicated that He wanted to shed light on life, my life.
I started contemplating Jesus and His life with the Father. Jesus didn’t doubt God’s love. He expected it and imitated it. Jesus didn’t wonder where God was, He looked for what His Father was doing. Jesus entered conversation with God whenever and wherever. He expected God to interact. What a change for me to shift in the direction of Jesus’ way of seeing!
As I mentioned, this shifted my understanding of God, so I entered a pattern of repenting. I knew God had given me salvation in Christ, but now I had a lover shedding light on living, helping me not just to avoid sin, but to learn how to love God’s way. I started believing that God actually loved me. The ongoing richness of experiencing God’s love opened me to greater transparency and authenticity before Him and others. My prayers shifted from requests for things to undercurrents of not so pretty things in my soul that I began to see He could handle and transform. The gentleness of His leadership and transformation in my life only deepened my hunger for Him. He, Himself was becoming the blessing in the midst of my transformation.
New life in Christ now means a growing richness in the experience of God’s love, and that speaks to the empowerment of grace that transforms. While it took time to get repentance right, I continue to gladly shed the residue of the old life for the new. I truly do have the “Light of life” and it really feels like new life!
“For with You is the fountain of life; in Your light we see light.” (Psalm 36:9, NAS95)
- What does God have you wondering about with regard to your relationship with Him?
- How often and in what ways do you experience the new life Christ has given you?