Creation of light We have been coming along here to Kia Marama for quite a few years now, but it was only recently that I found out what “Kia Marama” means. You are part of the unit, you probably all know – can anyone tell me what “kia marama” means? “Let there be light” or “insight” [OHP]. It is an interesting name – it immediately reminded me of the One who first spoke those words [Genesis 1:1-5 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day.]. It was God who said: “Kia marama” – He is the Source of light. I can say “Let there be light” all I like but nothing is going to happen because I don’t have the power to make it happen. I don’t have the light. There is only One who can say “Let there be light” and actually have light appear. We need to be wary of those claiming that they have the light, when the “light” they supposedly have is not the light of the One who spoke “Let there be light”.
Light = good, darkness = evil You notice that God saw that the light was good [OHP]. Ever since, light has been associated with good and darkness with evil – why? because people don’t want their evil to be seen – why? Because deep down they know it is wrong [John 3:19-21 “This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. “For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. “But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.”] [OHP] The light shows up what we really are. When there is light what we do can be clearly seen – you notice that people who do wrong usually do so at night, in the dark. [1 Thessalonians 5:2-8 For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night. While they are saying, “Peace and safety!” then destruction will come upon them suddenly like labour pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day would overtake you like a thief; for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness; so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober. For those who sleep do their sleeping at night, and those who get drunk get drunk at night. But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation.] So light is good, that which is righteous, in the open, of God; darkness is that which is done in secret, hidden, shameful and evil. Darkness is terrible! Yet we have all chosen darkness, done what is wrong, shameful things that we would prefer to keep unseen. But if we choose darkness, then we cannot see!
We need light Have you ever been in the dark? Dumb question! We all have….. But have you ever been in total darkness? [Cheddar caves]. We all need light! [OHP] You cannot see, you stumble, you fall, have no idea where you are going or what is happening. You are blind to the real situation around you. Yet all of us have chosen darkness. But we all need light! What does the light do? Why do we need it?
Light shows the way [OHP1] - [Peter rowing to Hoani] – he was lost, or had lost his boat, until he saw the light. And that is true of us. Having chosen darkness, we cannot see; we are lost! We have no idea of where we are, or where we are going or where we should be going, until there is light.
Light sets us on the right path [OHP1] - there is another situation, here you and not lost; you know where you are, and where you want to go. But how do you keep on course? Here is a plane, on course, the airport is in sight, he is on final approach, there is his destination. By the threshold there is VASI - visual altitude slope indicator. Red light warns that you are too low, the green that you are too high – but if you see the white light you are on the right slope to land. The light guides the way – use a similar system guiding ships into harbour. The light shows you the right path. Without the light we will not be on the right course. What if some malicious person shifted the beacon? Or well meaning went out with their flashlight – it is a false light and you will end up off course! We must be sure that the light we have is the true light.
Light alerts to danger [OHP1] - Lights are at sea, but not only to guide – we are all familiar with the lighthouse – it warns of danger. Without the light we will be shipwrecked. There are many dangers, pitfalls out there in the world – we need a reliable light to keep us from wrecking our lives.
Light gives illumination [OHP1] – But the light we have around us is not so specific it is more general – it shines all around. Think of the flood lights at Lancaster Park – they never used to play big games at night; the light was not that good. I remember when they put in the big lights at Jade Stadium – they had to burn them in, so they kept them going during the day – you could see them even in the sunlight. With light like that flooding the stadium, it is like day. You can play the game, televise it – everything is seen. You cannot hide; get away with a dirty tackle when you in the corner of the field because the light is dim there. Light reveals. You can see all around you have insight and understanding of the real situation around you. When you are in dim light and shadows your eyes can play tricks on you. But when there is light there is understanding. You know what you are doing, you know the real situation. You are no longer fumbling around in the dark; you know what is going on.
So light is necessary when we are lost, to show us the way; it then keeps us on the right course; alerting us to danger on our way and enables us to see clearly what the true situation is. Yes, we need light!
Ensuring that the light is the true light I don’t know who named this unit “Kia Marama” or why, nor the light that they were referring to – but it was probably not the true light [OHP]. Many people claim to have light but what if the light they have is not really light; if so then they are deluded and still in the dark. [Luke 11:33-36 “No one, after lighting a lamp, puts it away in a cellar nor under a basket, but on the lamp-stand, so that those who enter may see the light. “The eye is the lamp of your body; when your eye is clear, your whole body also is full of light; but when it is bad, your body also is full of darkness. “Then watch out that the light in you is not darkness. “If therefore your whole body is full of light, with no dark part in it, it will be wholly illumined, as when the lamp illumines you with its rays.”] [Matthew 6:22-23 “The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light. “But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!] What a tragedy if you have been following a light and then it proves to be false – like that person with a flash light which was mistaken for the channel beacon. There are many who proclaim to have light: philosophy, religion, psychology, a world-view, a rule they live by. We need to know whether the light is true – what a tragedy, what great darkness, if that light proves to be false!
What is the true light – How do we know what is the true light? I started with verses from Genesis when light came into the world – God spoke it into being! He is the Source of true light – because He is light.
God is light [OHP] [1 John 1:5-7 This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.] God is light, light comes from Him. If we want light then we must walk in fellowship with Him. “Walking” is how we conduct our life, how we live. And we cannot be walking in fellowship with Him who is light and be in darkness at the same time. We cannot continue in our own wrong way (darkness/sin) and have light.
God’s Word as light Not only is God light, His Word is light [OHP]. [Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.]. OK God is light but how do we know Him? How do we know what He is like and what He wants and requires? God has revealed Himself in His Word – in the Bible. How do we know the path to walk on? The Bible keeps us on the right path [Psalm 119:9 How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping it according to Your word.]
Jesus as light God is Light and what He says, His Word, The Bible is also light – true light – you can rely on it. Now that Word prophesied about light that was going to come – a great light (we have sung a song taken from the verses in Isaiah 9): [Isaiah 9:1-2 But there will be no more gloom for her who was in anguish; in earlier times He treated the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali with contempt, but later on He shall make it glorious, by the way of the sea, on the other side of Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles. The people who walk in darkness (that is us) will see a great light; those who live in a dark land, the light will shine on them.] What is this great light, a light that shone in Galilee? It is Jesus! [OHP] He said that He was the Light [John 8:12 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 9:5 “While I am in the world, I am the Light of the world.”] Again, Isaiah prophesied about this great light: [Isaiah 60:1-2 “Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you. “For behold, darkness will cover the earth and deep darkness the peoples; but the LORD will rise upon you and His glory will appear upon you.] So are there three lights? Which is true? How can you be led in one right direction if there are three lights? Well, the three lights are the same. They are all pointing the same way. The One who spoke and light came into being has given us light in His word; light that shows us His Son who is the Light of the world. The light of God Himself come down and shining in this world so that we can see, know, have insight into God Himself [John 1:1-18 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (that is Jesus). He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it. (Jesus came and lived as a man in this dark world, but evil did not overcome Him) There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man. 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 those who were His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name. No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father (that is Jesus), He has explained Him – made Him known.].
Turning from darkness to light I have said that we are in darkness and that we need light. I have shown you what the light does for us and why we need it. I have also told you what that true light is, so that you will not get if confused with false light, those claiming to have light but do not really. We need this light – so how do we get it? Do you long for light, to be able to have insight into the true situation? The psalmist did – he cried out: [Psalm 43:3 O send out Your light and Your truth, let them lead me; let them bring me to Your holy hill and to Your dwelling places.] I started this evening with verses from Genesis when God created light – He did not only create physical light, He also said “let there be light” and that light shone into our hearts. [2 Corinthians 4:6 For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.] This is the revelation that gives us the knowledge of God – where do we see Him, get this insight? – in the face of Jesus Christ. He is the One who has made God known. [John 1:18 No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.] So the light is found in Jesus, Jesus is revealed to us in the Bible, God’s Word. But we are in darkness – it is necessary for us to turn from darkness [OHP], carrying on our own way in opposition to God. This is what the apostle Paul preached for men to do: [Acts 26:18 to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.’] In a letter he wrote to people in Ephesus he said: [Ephesians 5:11-17 Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, (turn from them) but instead even expose them; (that is confessing our sin) for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret(in the dark). But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light. (We have to let the search-light of Jesus’ pure light expose the evil that is in us). For this reason it says, “Awake, sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.] This turning from darkness to light is called repentance. Turning from our own way, turning our back on the way we are living and following Jesus, the Light of the world. When we do this we are turned from darkness to light. The Bible speaks about this transformation in several places: [Ephesians 5:8-9 for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth)] Having turned from darkness to light, we have a responsibility to keep on walking in the light – that is the way we conduct our lives – it spells it out for us: in all goodness, righteousness and truth. Why live in darkness? How much better to live in God’s marvellous light! [1 Peter 2:9-10 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvellous light; for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.] When we turn from our own deeds of darkness and turn to Jesus, He rescues us from that darkness – transferring us from satan’s dominion into His own Kingdom! [Colossians 1:13 For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son,] If you are in the dark, walking your own way, living your own life but without being able to see where you are headed, may I appeal to you to turn from darkness and come to the light. Come to Jesus – He alone can save you and make you able to see.