Sermons - by Pastor Robert L. Donnelly
"I am the light of the world"
John 8:12 - "I Am The Light of the World"
Let us turn once more to the Book of God, and spend the time we have left in consideration of the WORDS of JESUS, as the old hymn says,
He speaks, and the sound of His voice is so sweet the birds hush their singing, And the melody that He gave to me within my heart is ringing;
And He walks with me and He talks with me and He tells me I am His own; And the joy we share as we tarry there, none other has ever known.
He still speaks to us
–though we have entered a New Year;
–though we’re older now, than when last we met around the Wonderful Word, still He speaks to us;
–though we are closer to the end of our journey now, than ever before, still He speaks to us; and
–though He has often spoken to us in days gone by, He would speak to us again today.
Listen while He speaks, let the message He brings be a personal message right from Heaven to you, and you, too will say, “No man ever spoke like this Man!” (John 7:46).
Turn to the Gospel of John 8:12, “Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, I am the light of the world: he who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” These words come to us like a beacon of light that illumines the way to Heaven and Home. For:
Life is like a troubled sea, tossed by the waves of sin and grief; And on the windward, and the lee, hang heavy clouds of unbelief; But o’er the deep a call we hear, the harbour bell’s inviting voice;
It tells the lost that hope is near, and bids the trembling soul rejoice.
This way! This way! oh heart oppressed so long by storm, and tempest driven; This way! This way! Lo, here is rest – ring out the harbour bells of Heaven.
These words come to us in life’s darkest hour with a message of assurance and hope. They come to us like a life-belt to a drowning man, and only ask that we lay hold of them. Surely, they are WONDERFUL WORDS of Life. Read them again, “I am the light of the world, he that follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”
God’s first command, when He was bringing order out of chaos in that first day of creation, was “Let there be light: and there was light” (Genesis 1:3). And whether it be making a world, or making a man, the first thing God must do is give light. As the inspired Apostle tells us in 2 Corinthians 4:6, “God who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, has shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”
Then in 1 John 1:5-7 we read, “This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.”
When Jesus was only 8 days old, and was brought into the temple to be dedicated, the aged Simeon took Him up in his arms and said, “LORD, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, according to Your Word: For my eyes have seen Thy salvation, which Thou hast prepared before the face of all people; a Light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of Thy people Israel” (Luke 2:29-32).
And then, away back there, over 700 years before Christ was born, we read in Isaiah 9:2, “The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, upon them a light has shined.”
In fact, now as we are thinking of Jesus as the Light of the world, it seems as though the whole Bible is filled with picture, promise, prophecy and precept clothing our Redeemer with Light –shining throughout the centuries, illuminating dark dungeons of souls’ despair, bringing Light and Life to those who sit in the “region of the shadow of death” (Matthew 4:16). Thank God, that Light still shines! and so much the brighter, as the darkness deepens and civilization’s zero hour seems an immediate possibility.
I think of that time in Israel’s experience, in the land of the Pharaohs, when darkness covered the land of Egypt –a darkness that could be felt. But it is written, “the children of Israel had light in their dwellings” (Exodus 10:23); and so it is, in these dark days. Jesus said, “I AM the light of the world, he that follows me shall not walk in darkness; but shall have the light of life.”
In the John 1:4 we read, “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.” Light and Life are ever joined together in Scripture. Light begets Life. It was the light of a star that led wise men to Bethlehem where they found the Light of Life. It is the light of the Scriptures that will unerringly lead us to the One who is both the Author and the Sustainer of all life. The tragedy is that, “the light shines in darkness; and the darkness did not comprehend it” (vs. 5). The darkness does not lay hold of it, does not receive it. Those who live in darkness refuse to believe in a world where all is light. They have become so accustomed to night, that they prefer it to day. “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil” (John 3:19).
There is a “kingdom of darkness” that is ruled by the “prince of darkness,” whose subjects are “children of darkness,” whose deeds are “deeds of darkness”; and there is a “Kingdom of Light” that is ruled by the “Prince of Light,” whose subjects are “children of Light,” whose deeds are “deeds of Light”.
These two kingdoms are always in conflict the one with the other, as we read in Ephesians 6:12, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
This battle has raged throughout the ages, and it seems to be growing more intense as we draw toward the end of the age; but we need to be reminded again that it is not a battle against flesh and blood. That is to say, our real enemy is not our fellow man, but rather spiritual power –rulers in the spiritual realm who are using men as tools, as agents to frustrate the plan and purpose of God.
Read 2 Corinthians 4:3-4, “But even if our Gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this world has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the Gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.”
Read it again, “the god of this world has blinded the minds” . . . of who? . . . “of them which believe not, lest the light . . . should shine unto them.” Did you notice, “has blinded the minds”? Yes, the very intellect is darkened by the god of this world, so that men who are quite intelligent in every other respect, are amazingly ignorant and stupid in moral, spiritual and eternal verities:
–We have made tremendous strides in the science of Agriculture; but very few seem to know that “whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap” (Galatians 6:7).
–Modern Chemistry has given better soaps and cleaning solvents; but refuses to recognize that "the blood of Jesus Christ God’s Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7).
–Engineers can bridge the widest and swiftest of our rivers, but can do nothing to bridge the ever- widening gulf between nation and nation –between East and West.
–Astronomy has designed telescopes that have discovered myriads of planets, all moving in most wonderful intricate patterns, and degrees of precision, that entirely rule out their operation by chance. And yet, many of those who scan the heavens, and those who read their findings, will still argue that it all came into being by accident. And will not believe that “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night reveals knowledge” (Psalm 19:1-2).
The very Scriptures that they disbelieve, are fulfilled by their foolish position; for it is written, “The fool had said in his heart, ‘There is no God’” (Psalm 14:1; 53:1).
Not only is the mind darkened, but according to Romans 1:21, even the heart is affected. The very seat of the emotions comes under the sway of the power of darkness. Listen while I read it for you, Because that, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools . . .”
When the heart is darkened, the whole course of life is corrupted, and even the appetites and desires are perverted; so that men love that which ruins their health, robs them of their money, brings a blight on their home, blots on their character, and brings death to their soul. Not only do they love that which causes sorrow, but they hate that which brings peace and joy. There is not a name more continually blasphemed, than the sweetest name on mortal tongue the name of JESUS; nor a cause more universally despised than the cause for which He died – to bring men into the Light of God’s eternal sunshine.
And if you should ask, “Why this mystery of iniquity?” The only answer is “the god of this world has blinded the minds of those who believe not, lest the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.”
“There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name” (John 1:6-12).
Jesus said, “I AM the light of the world, he that follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the Light of life.”