Look! The Light Is Wonderful!
IF YOU have ever had to grope your way through darkness, you know how frustrating it can be. What relief light brings! You may also have been in a situation that can be likened to darkness. Perhaps this happened when you could not see your way out of a problem. Then gradually you saw light—there was a solution. To emerge from such darkness into light is a wonderful experience.
In the first century, people in general were in spiritual darkness. Addressing those who left their former beliefs and embraced Christianity, the apostle Peter wrote: “[God] called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” (1 Peter 2:9) For them, this was like a change from being in utter darkness to emerging into bright light. It might also be compared to being alone without hope and then becoming a member of a family with a secure future.—Ephesians 2:1, 12.
“You Have Left the Love You Had at First”
The early Christians found “the truth”—the true Christian faith. (John 18:37) They saw the wonderful light of truth and made the transition from spiritual darkness to illuminating light. With the passing of time, however, the initial enthusiasm and zeal of some Christians cooled off. By the end of the first century, for example, a serious problem had developed in the congregation in Ephesus. The resurrected Jesus Christ identified the problem, saying: “I hold this against you, that you have left the love you had at first. Therefore remember from what you have fallen, and repent and do the former deeds.” (Revelation 2:4, 5) Christians in Ephesus needed to reawaken their love for God and for the truth.
What about us? We too have experienced the joy of seeing the light, of coming to know the wonderful truth of God’s Word. We have come to love the truth. But difficulties common to mankind can diminish our love for the truth. Added to this may be the problems peculiar to “the last days.” We are living in a world characterized by “critical times hard to deal with”—a world populated by people who are “lovers of themselves, lovers of money, self-assuming, haughty, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, disloyal.” (2 Timothy 3:1, 2) Their influence can dampen our zeal and cause our love for Jehovah to cool off.
If we have lost the love we had at first, we need to ‘remember from what we have fallen and repent.’ We need to return to our former spiritual state. Moreover, we must take care not to allow our appreciation for the truth to wane. How vital it is that all of us maintain a positive and cheerful outlook and keep our love for God and his truth alive!
‘The Truth That Sets Us Free’
The light of Scriptural truth is wonderful because the Bible answers important questions that have perplexed mankind for millenniums. Among such questions are these: Why are we here? What is the purpose of life? Why does evil exist? Is there life after death? Jehovah has enlightened us with wonderful doctrinal truths. Should we not be grateful at heart? May we never take for granted what we have learned!
Jesus told his disciples: “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32) Jesus’ ransom sacrifice has made possible freedom from sin and death. But these precious truths have also set us free from the ignorance and uncertainties of a world enveloped in darkness. Appreciatively meditating on what we have learned will help us to fortify our love for Jehovah and for his Word.
To Christians in Thessalonica, the apostle Paul wrote: “When you received God’s word, which you heard from us, you accepted it, not as the word of men, but, just as it truthfully is, as the word of God, which is also at work in you believers.” (1 Thessalonians 2:13) The Thessalonians heard and “accepted the word [of God] with joy.” They were no longer “in darkness.” Rather, they had become “sons of light.” (1 Thessalonians 1:4-7; 5:4, 5) Those Christians came to know that Jehovah is the Creator and that he is almighty, wise, loving, and merciful. Like other followers of Christ, they also learned that Jehovah made provision for the blotting out of their sins through the ransom sacrifice of his Son, Jesus Christ.—Acts 3:19-21.
Although the Thessalonians did not know all there is to know about the truth, they knew where to look for knowledge. The inspired Scriptures can make the man of God “fully competent, completely equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16, 17) The Christians in Thessalonica could continue to study, experiencing time and again that the light from God is truly wonderful. They had reason to rejoice at all times. (1 Thessalonians 5:16) And so do we.
A Light to Our Roadway
Stating a reason why the light is marvelous, the psalmist sang: “Your word is a lamp to my foot, and a light to my roadway.” (Psalm 119:105) The divine guidance we receive from God’s Word can help us to chart a sure course and enjoy a meaningful life. We need not be like a ship adrift. Knowing and applying the truth protects us from being “tossed about as by waves and carried hither and thither by every wind of teaching.”—Ephesians 4:14.
“Do not put your trust in nobles, nor in the son of earthling man, to whom no salvation belongs,” states the Bible. It also says: “Happy is the one who has the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in Jehovah his God.” (Psalm 146:3, 5) Moreover, placing confidence in Jehovah helps us to overcome fear and anxiety. The apostle Paul wrote: “Do not be anxious over anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication along with thanksgiving let your petitions be made known to God; and the peace of God that excels all thought will guard your hearts and your mental powers by means of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6, 7) Being led by the light of God’s Word truly benefits us.
Shine as Illuminators in the World
Yet another reason why the light from God’s Word is wonderful is that it opens the door to the most lofty assignment available to humans. Jesus instructed his followers: “Go . . . and make disciples of people of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy spirit, teaching them to observe all the things I have commanded you. And, look! I am with you all the days until the conclusion of the system of things.” He prefaced the command by saying: “All authority has been given me in heaven and on the earth.”—Matthew 28:18-20.
Consider who is assisting true Christians in the work of preaching the good news and teaching Bible truths to people of all the nations. Jesus promised his followers that he would be with them. He has indeed been helping them and supporting them in their ministry as they ‘let their light shine’ in that way and through other “fine works.” (Matthew 5:14-16) Angels are also involved in this evangelizing work. (Revelation 14:6) And what about Jehovah God? The apostle Paul wrote: “I planted, Apollos watered, but God kept making it grow.” What a privilege it is to be among “God’s fellow workers”!—1 Corinthians 3:6, 9.
Think, too, of how our efforts in this God-assigned work are blessed. There is nothing to compare with our God-given privilege of “shining as illuminators in the world.” By reflecting the light from God’s Word in our speech and actions, we are able to provide real help to honesthearted individuals. (Philippians 2:15) And we can rejoice as we zealously preach and teach, ‘for God is not unrighteous so as to forget our work and the love we showed for his name.’—Hebrews 6:10.
‘Buy Eyesalve to Rub in Your Eyes’
In a message to the first-century congregation in Laodicea, Jesus said: “Buy from me . . . eyesalve to rub in your eyes that you may see. All those for whom I have affection I reprove and discipline.” (Revelation 3:18, 19) The sure remedy for spiritual blindness is “eyesalve”—the teachings and discipline of Jesus. If we want to maintain a spiritually healthy outlook, we must accept his counsel and submit to it as well as to the guidance found throughout the Bible. We should also adopt a mental attitude like that of Christ and imitate his example. (Philippians 2:5; 1 Peter 2:21) The eyesalve is not free. Jesus said: “Buy [it] from me.” The cost involves our time and effort.
When we leave a dark area and enter a lighted room, it may take a while before our eyes adjust. Similarly, it takes time to study God’s Word and to see the light of the truth. It takes time to meditate on what we learn and to reflect on how precious the truth is. The cost, though, is not too great. Why? Because the light is wonderful!
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“Buy from me . . . eyesalve to rub in your eyes that you may see”