God is Light

As a Christian, it is important that we understand who God is. To do that, we can read the names of God used in the bible. Each name declares one part of who God is. Today, LeighAnne Clifton shares her thoughts on God is Light.

LeighAnne Clifton shares her thoughts on Christian living, DIY projects, and the latest book news on her blog. To learn more about her, read her bio at the end of the post.

Before writing her first novel, All Your Heart, Leigh Anne wrote The Little Vessel ** a modern-day parable for all who need reminding that God has a unique purpose for their lives. 

**this is an affiliate link, please see my disclosure policy.

A picture of a path in the woods with light at the end. Next to the picture are the words God is light, powerful names of God blog series

God is Light

We live in what many refer to as “dark times.” Global pandemic. Social unrest. Political upheaval. Any of these situations could plummet us into despair.

Uncertainty seems to govern every aspect of life. However, as believers in Jesus, we know that while we should avoid the darkness and all the evil it represents; we need not fear it.

Why?

The Bible tells us God is Light.

  • 1 John 1:5-6 “This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth.”

We see light in the beauty of a rainbow that reiterates His promise from ancient days not to destroy the earth with a flood. The spectrum of color in a rainbow is created by light shining through water droplets. Think about that… God made a promise using light!

His word contains many reassurances that He is indeed Light. (Do a search on your Bible app for the word “light.” I got over 200 hits!)

God is Light from the Start

The idea of God being and embodying light goes all the way back to Creation.

  • Genesis 1:3-4 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness.

There’s so much truth packed into these short verses.

God saw the light and considered it to be good. It can be so easy to read right over that small, but monumentally important, nugget. However, when taken in context with the rest of His Word, we see that immediately, on the very first day of creating everything, He equated the light with that which is good. Then, He separated the light from the darkness.

What crucially important facts to understand!

Darkness and light do not co-exist. When light is brought into the darkness, it banishes the darkness. Wow. The heavy and eternal significance of this foundational truth becomes even clearer when Jesus enters the scene, as we’ll see later.

God is Light in the Wilderness

Centuries after creation, God assured His chosen children of His presence by accompanying them as a pillar of fire at night through the desert. (Exodus 13:21). The fire provided the Israelites the ability to travel throughout the night. A source of light would have also provided protection from animal attacks or enemy forces.

During their long journey, Moses had fellowship with God on Mt. Sinai on more than one occasion. Moses went up the mountain twice for the 10 commandments. Both times, he spent 40 days and 40 nights. (Exodus 19:18-25)

When Moses returned for the second set of stone tablets, he stayed with the Lord for forty days and nights. During this period, he received the covenant God made between Himself and the nation of Israel.

Upon Moses’ return to the Israelites, “his face was radiant,” a physical remnant of his time spent in the glory of the Lord and His powerful holy light. (Exodus 34:29-35)

This account reflects how being in the presence of God changes our countenance.

The Significance of Light

Throughout the ages, each individual God chose to pen the words of the Bible associated light with the holy perfection of God.

Following the Lord’s example, established at the beginning of time, the concept of darkness signifies sin and evil – things governed by Satan.

Eventually, though, Light always prevails!

Even in Israel’s times of deepest despair and, yes, darkness, the prophets of God proclaimed hope in the light their God promised.

Isaiah 51:4 Listen to me, my people;
hear me, my nation:
Instruction will go out from me;
my justice will become a light to the nations.

Isaiah 42:5-7 “I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness;
I will take hold of your hand.
I will keep you and will make you
to be a covenant for the people
and a light for the Gentiles,
to open eyes that are blind,
to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.

God is the Light of the World

Hundreds of years after God promised to send a “light for the Gentiles,” Jesus stepped out of heaven to take on human form, becoming God incarnate.

In John’s account of the gospel of Jesus Christ, he states that Jesus (the Word) “was with God,” and “was God.” In the next sentence, John writes:

  • John 1:3-5 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 all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

This brief but powerful introduction to John’s account clearly proclaims the truth of Jesus’ deity. It shows that Jesus was present at the beginning of time.

It also not only continues the theme of God as light but also gives us a clear picture that Jesus as God in the flesh will not be extinguished.

Even if we didn’t have the rest of John’s book chronicling the life of Jesus, what a reassurance these first words are!

God is Light in the Darkness

Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council known as the Pharisees, came to see Jesus under cover of darkness.

Why in the dark?

Because Nicodemus knew his fellow religious rulers already hated this wise itinerant teacher. Nicodemus needed his meeting with this controversial individual to remain a secret.

Remember the significance of darkness?

Nicodemus wanted to keep his thirst to learn more, in the dark. Maybe he considered such curiosity a sin. However, what he learned during that encounter changed his life, just as it’s changed the lives of millions since.

It was during their secret meeting that Jesus uttered the most recognizable words in the Bible (John 3:16).

A couple of sentences later, though, Jesus made an explosive commentary not only on His own identity but also on the state of Nicodemus’ heart.

  • John 3:19-21 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.

It is Who He Says He Is

During Jesus’ earthly ministry, He delivered seven “I AM” statements.

  • John 8:58 Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, IAM.”

This may seem like an insignificant detail, but to the Jews of Jesus’ day, such statements would have been considered heretical.

Why?

Let’s rewind to Moses.

When God confronted Moses at the burning bush in Exodus 3, a terrified Moses asked God who he should say sent him to demand the release of the Israelites from Egyptian bondage. God instructed Moses to tell them “I AM” sent Him. This name firmly declared God’s supreme power. Greater than any earthly ruler.

Fast forward back to Jesus’ bold declarations. Jesus stating saying ” I am” shows that Jesus is declaring He is the same of the person who talked to Moses at the burning bush.

God is Light for All

Although the truth of His teaching penetrated many searching souls, Jesus’ claims created fury among religious leaders. Most were too blind to see the Truth they, and their ancestors had sought for centuries.

In the second “I AM” statement of his ministry, Jesus said:

  • John 8:12 “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

Jesus faced immediate opposition by the Pharisees for this declaration.

How sad, and tragically ironic, that the Light of the world was sent to save the very ones, God’s beloved Jews, who doubted, opposed, and, ultimately, killed Him.

Not long before Jesus’ betrayal and crucifixion, He tried to tell his dear friends of the events to come. Again, He reminded them of the crucial distinction between Light and darkness.

  • John 12:35-36 Then Jesus told them, “You are going to have the light just a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you. Whoever walks in the dark does not know where they are going. Believe in the light while you have the light, so that you may become children of light.” When he had finished speaking, Jesus left and hid himself from them.

There was no way for the disciples to understand the horrible, dark truth of the pain that awaited their friend. Most of them, however, would later carry the Light to distant lands, seeking to abolish the darkness as Jesus had commissioned them to do.

So, what became of Nicodemus after his late-night meeting with our Savior?

The next mention of him is after the crucifixion. Nicodemus assisted with preparing Jesus’ body for emplacement in a borrowed tomb. No longer in the dark, Nicodemus was truly a changed man.

God is Eternal Light

The early church understood the importance of aligning themselves with the Light and desired for Jews and Gentiles to do the same. John, Peter and Paul all refer to Jesus in terms of His light, equated to His holiness.

Now, in this time of so much darkness, division, and chaos all around us, how can we know the Light will overcome the darkness?

Has the world gone too far to ever be back in the Light, the holy glow of God’s glory?

The good news is that God is victorious, both now and forever. John saw the beauty of God’s victory when he recorded his vision in the Book of Revelation.

After writing of the horror of God’s wrath and His judgment on the enemy, John tells of the incomparable beauty of the new heaven.

  • Revelation 21:22-24 I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendour into it.

And, just like that, God perfectly wraps up His love letter to His people by exhibiting the radiance of His sovereign perfection.

Darkness will be no more because the Light will reign!

We have just seen that Light defines who God is and what He is. In the comments below, share your thoughts about God is light.

Picture and bio of LeighAnne Clifton

Jesus is The Prince of Peace

About 8 years ago, I stopped watching the news. It was just too full of horrible events going on around the world. I found myself more anxious and scared. As a young mom, I knew something had to change. Not only did I stop watching the news, but I started focusing on Jesus. Jesus is the Prince of Peace.

To continue my blogging series about the names of God, I want to share with you a post from Lisa Dean.

Lisa is a writer passionate about helping people cling to the peace only Jesus can provide. She writes and creates resources to invite readers on a journey of cultivating and claiming the peace of God. You can find her online at lisazdean.com or follow her on Instagram @lisazdean.

This post contains Affiliate Links, see Disclosure Policy.

a picture of white doves flying in a blue sky. Beside the picture are the words Prince of Pace. Powerful names of God blog series. One Determined Life

Jesus is the Prince of Peace

Although the conversation happened over ten years ago, I remember it vividly. I sat at a cafe table cradling a cup of lukewarm coffee between my hands. In recent days I had experienced a depressive slump and couldn’t seem to lift myself out of it. I looked at my friend and asked her, “If we’re Christians, we’re supposed to have the peace of God, right?” She nodded her head.

“Then why doesn’t it always feel that way?”

My friend could only answer, with a knitted brow, “I don’t know…” I looked out the nearby window feeling the weight of my emotions not understanding why my life wasn’t lining up with God’s promise of peace.

Maybe you’ve encountered this disconnect between biblical truth and the emotions you feel, or maybe you’re experiencing it right now. 

Jesus tells us He gives us peace.

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you”
(John 14:27a).

Why then, do we not always feel at peace?

Why does it seem our peace is here one moment and broken to shards around our feet the next?

We want to believe he gives us peace and is our peace, but our lives can often look and feel chaotic.

It’s easy to conclude that since God and His Word are truth, and His Word promises peace, then the problem is us.

Have you ever wondered if there’s something you’re doing (or not doing) that is messing up the perfect peace of Jesus?

Before we can sort out the problem, we first have to understand the biblical definition of peace and what God’s promises about peace mean for us today.

Definition of Biblical Peace

Peace, as the world might define it, is the absence of conflict. World peace is wished for by pageant contestants.

Nobel peace prizes are awarded to those making strides to bring nations into an agreement, to end fighting, and dispel threats of war.

The world might also define peace as the absence of inner conflict and the ability to fall asleep at night without a care in the world. 

While these definitions of peace may be like the biblical definition, it’s important to make the distinction.

“Peace” often appears in our Bibles as the translated Hebrew word “shalom.”

Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance defines “shalom” as “completeness, soundness, welfare, peace.” 

Biblical peace is not found in you or me, unless Jesus is found in you or me.

Jesus is the embodiment, agent, and only source of lasting peace.

There is no true peace found apart from him.

To understand how this could be, we go back to the creation story. 

Peace as God Intended

When God moulded the world and breathed life into animals and humans, He “saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good” (Genesis 1:31a).

Adam and Eve existed in perfect harmonious fellowship with God.

When the lies of Satan and the sin of a man popped the bubble of perfection, it swept away their intimate fellowship with the Father.

Peace shattered like a mirror, and in its place sadness, remorse, and longing took root in all mankind.

The good news of Isaiah 9:6 promises that the brokenness caused by sin will not reign forever.

A Prince of Peace was coming:

  • Isaiah 9:6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Reconciling Peace

The peace of Jesus restores what was broken in the Garden of Eden.

Jesus came to bridge the gap between God and man. The most important definition of peace is the one that results in our reconciliation with God.

  • Romans 5:1 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

In this sense of the word, peace isn’t a feeling at all. It’s the restoration and healing of our fellowship with God made possible by Jesus Christ. 

However, there is a connection between the peace we have with God and our emotions.

  • Romans 8:6 For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.

When we sit and savor the wonder of the gospel, we feed our affection for God and uncover the accompanying experiences of delight and freedom. 

Surpassing Peace

The second biblical definition of peace is one that describes the experience of our hearts and minds.

One of the most well-known verses on peace,

  • Philippians 4:7 assures us that “the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

The Greek word “peace” in this verse is used in various ways throughout the Bible.

One of The Blue Letter Bible’s usages is described as “the tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and content with its earthly lot, of whatsoever sort that is.”

In other words, the more tightly we cling to life in Jesus, the more loosely we hold the temporary life we live on this side of heaven, and the more serenity our soul gains.

While we live out this life, we have great peace knowing we never do it alone.

We do not walk through any valley of darkness or climb up any sunny peak apart from God’s presence. He is with us and for us, regardless of what comes our way.

This aspect of peace is one we can actively nurture and cultivate.

The more we know God, sit in His presence, and delight in Him, the greater our peace and joy.

Speaking of meditating on the truth, J. I. Packer says, “it is as we enter more and more deeply into this experience of being humbled and exalted that our knowledge of God increases, and with it our peace, or strength and our joy” (Knowing God, p. 23).

Coming Peace

The third description of biblical peace speaks to relationships and conflict.

Paul instructs us saying,

  • Romans 12:18 so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all

As Christians, we should seek to forgive and show grace and mercy. We reflect the light and peace of God into a dark and broken world.

Notice that Paul doesn’t tell us to live peaceably at any cost.

There are situations that warrant a confrontation of sin, and we must risk discomfort out of love for people and obedience to Christ.

Jesus even says,

  • Matthew 10:34 Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.

We must understand the fact that loyalty to Jesus comes at a cost. That cost may look like sacrificing peace with friends and family. 

Just as the Jews anticipated the advent of the Prince of Peace, we now anticipate His return—a time when perfect peace will reign.

On that day, wolves and lambs will coexist without bloodshed (Isaiah 11:6), and “death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore” (Revelation 21:4).

People will cease to inflict wounds on one another, and we will live in unity.

The Timeline of Peace

Jesus’s death and resurrection guarantee a future of perfect peace among His people, but the fullness of that reality isn’t here yet.

We live in an in-between time.

  • In the past, our Prince of Peace died and rose again. Because of Him, a reconciled and restored fellowship with God is now available to all who put their faith and trust in Jesus. 
  • In the present, while we wait for Jesus the Prince of Peace to return, how we experience peace in our hearts and minds is dependent on our ability to grasp, dwell, and soak in the reality of our new life in Christ.
  • In the future, God will usher in a new heaven and a new earth where every ugly word spoken and every painful wound inflicted will vanish. Peace in every sense will be restored and The Prince of Peace will sit on the throne forever.

When I think back on my conversation at the coffee shop, I wish I could time travel and tell my younger self and my friend that there is something we can do to nurture and cultivate our peace.

I would say, “Pursue knowing God. Prioritize Him before all else. Even when you don’t feel it or experience it, God’s promise of peace is real and true. Set your mind on the good news of the gospel, and as your understanding deepens, so will your peace.”

While we Wait

The peace that Jesus offers is different and better than that of the world.

Inner serenity and the absence of conflict are not guaranteed on this side of heaven.

In fact, we see Jesus himself was the focal point of conflict and dissension before his murder. Leading up to his death, we know he was sweating drops of blood because of the internal anguish he experienced.

But we are not without hope.

Jesus already paved the path to peace by purchasing our reconciliation with God.

We have not yet experienced the fullness of peace because we still dwell in a broken world.

Our “already” but “not yet” reality means we can pursue peace today knowing one day we will find complete wholeness and healing in His presence. The shattered pieces of peace will be put right again.

Isaiah 2:4 describes our future when tools of war will be converted to tools of farming. Immediately following those verses the Bible says,

  • Isaiah 2:5 Come…let us walk in the light of the LORD

While we wait, let’s walk in obedience to Christ, our Prince of Peace.

For a practical way to pursue peace, checkout her free Journaling Toolkit: A Prayerful Approach to Fostering Peace, Contentment, and Growth.

In The comments below, share how Jesus the Prince of Peace has impacted your life.

Jesus is The Prince of Peace

Jesus is The Good Shepherd

The only pet I have ever trained has been our dog Rolo. After 2 years of being in our home, he knows our voice and comes when we call Him. I have slowly come to understand the bond between an animal and its owner. The bible tells us that Jesus is the Good Shepherd. The good shepherd has sheep that follow Him.

This week, I am so happy to share a post written by Marilyn. She writes about Jesus being the Good Shepherd.

Marilyn Nutter is from Greer, South Carolina, and is the author of three devotional books and contributor to online sites, print, and compilations. To learn more about her, follow her on her Blog or read her bio at the end of this post.

A picture of a shepherd moving his sheep along. Next to the picture are the words The good shephers. Powerful names of God blog series

Jesus is the Good Shepherd

How do you introduce yourself?  I was known as “Mrs. Nutter” to my students. To my children’s friends, I was “Kate’s mom.” When meeting new friends at church or in the community, I’m simply “Marilyn,” and at conferences, my name might be followed by “contributing writer to publications.” Each introduction is unique and related to who I met.

Jesus introduces Himself

Reading through the New Testament, Jesus introduces Himself with seven “I am” statements. Each unique name has a life-giving name for believers.

These names reflect His character and offer assurances of His provision and presence for daily living and eternal life. Each would make a valuable personal study.

  • As the bread of life, Jesus nourishes and sustains us with spiritual food. (John 6)
  • As the light of the world, He guides us and illumines our paths for living and to eternal life. (John 8)
  • As the door of the sheep, He protects us from attacks and predators. (John 10)
  • As the resurrection and the life, He assures us the grave is not final when we place our trust in Him. (John 11)
  • As the good shepherd, Jesus cares and watches over us. (John 10)
  • As the way, the truth, and the life, Jesus said He marked out the only way to eternal life. (John 14)
  • As He is the true vine, we can grow and bear fruit for the kingdom as we attach ourselves to Him. (John 15)

How can we practically relate to His introductions?

All of Jesus’ names are significant, but one—shepherd—is difficult to relate to in the 21st century.

Even though Jesus’ audience was well acquainted with shepherds, we are not.

Yet the Word of God is timeless, and His reference to shepherds is intentional, personal, and applicable.

To fully appreciate what Jesus communicates, we need to understand the relationship of shepherds to sheep. And as we do, we find it is one of the most endearing names and roles He offers.

Shepherds and sheep have a sweet relationship. Several YouTube videos illustrate how well sheep know their shepherd’s call and ignore others.

Sheep respond to their shepherd’s voice alone and follow his lead; they tune out other voices. Why? They know their shepherd provides and cares for them.

  • Jesus says, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” (John 10:27 NIV

In her book, Psalm 23–The Shepherd with Me,** Jennifer Rothschild explains sheep need guidance and are vulnerable to predators and threats. Valuable and loved, their shepherd protects and steers them in the right direction.

** This link is an affiliate link, see disclosure policy.

Jesus considers us His sheep, and like sheep, we have the same needs. Where does that leave us, as sheep wandering through life? Our part is to learn to hear, follow, and enjoy His protection.

3 things we can do to know God’s voice

1. Time

As we spend more time in Bible study, we recognize and understand God’s voice apart from others.

We become so familiar with His voice and truth that we judge opinions and ideas up against His Word.

We evaluate and move closer to our Shepherd. His voice becomes the one to follow as we make decisions, face challenges, and develop relationships. Like real sheep, we ignore other voices.

  • 2 Timothy 3:16 NASB All Scripture is inspired by God and beneficial for teaching, for rebuke, for correction, for training in righteousness.” 

2. Prayer

Our shepherd is trustworthy to give us wisdom and discernment, not only through His Word but in prayer.

  • James 1:5 NIV “If any of you lack wisdom, you should ask God…”

Like a shepherd leads his flock, Jesus our shepherd will lead us on the right path and at the right time.

Unless we pray and ask for guidance and discernment, we won’t know His direction but will wander aimlessly or go on the wrong path.

  • Jeremiah 33:3 ESV Call to me and I will answer you and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.”

3. Quiet

A ding telling us a text has arrived, social media at our fingertips, and our busyness compete with time and opportunities for stillness before God.

It takes discipline to carve out intentional quiet moments to hear—like sheep—our shepherd’s voice.

Our ears need to be ready to listen. I not only speak as I praise, confess, ask, and give thanks in prayer, I need to be quiet and listen.

God will speak to me when I pray.

It’s difficult to hear clearly when other noises cover the one voice that is truth and can lead us on the right path. Contentment comes from quiet. 

But I have calmed and quieted myself, I am like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child I am content.

Psalm 131:2 NIV

If I am quiet enough, I can hear the Holy Spirit speak. It may come as a scripture brought to remembrance or give me a check when I am headed in the wrong direction.

Perhaps I will be reminded of God’s love and faithfulness. Distractions and noise keep us from finding those treasures.

  • But look at Psalm 46:10 NIV Be still and know that I am God.

The whole verse is important, not only is it important to be still, there is something else the verse tells us. There is a transition word: “and” . What follows: knowing God reigns.

Once we are in a quiet position to listen, we can learn, trust, and follow.

Our good Shepherd loves us

One look at shepherds’ relationships with their sheep shows us how shepherds’ delight in caring for their sheep.

They know their sheep well and call them to receive food and protection.

Jesus knows us too—by name—and calls us.

“I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father…” (John 10:14-15) Jesus knows all about us and loves us completely. (Psalm 103:14, Psalm 139

The introduction as the good Shepherd is full of benefits and personal care, but there is more

The good shepherd meets our needs for eternity. “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep…I lay down my life for the sheep.” (John 10:11, 15 NIV)

Beaten and crucified, our good shepherd willingly gave His life for us. “No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again.” (John 10:18 ESV)

At first glance, Jesus as the good shepherd is an unusual and unfamiliar introduction to relate to contemporary living, but its application offers timeless value as we live out our Christian walks.

Our Shepherd– the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20 ESV)—moves beyond His provision of temporal care in green pastures to eternal life.

In the comments, let me know what are your responses as a sheep to Jesus, your Good Shepherd? How do you see His provision for you? And how do you relate to your part in the relationship?

Marilyn Nutter- Bio and picture
a picture of a shepherd leading his sheep as the sun rises. Below the picture are the words; Discover who God is, Jesus is the Good Shepherd. One Determined Life
Exit mobile version