This Not-So-Little Light of Mine

Amy1 was an atheist when Peggy and I first met her. Our young friend had been raised with a scientific worldview, leaving no room for spiritual matters. Yet at Peggy’s invitation she decided to join us for a weekly Bible study. Absorbing the Word over time, Amy began to believe in God, and several years later she entrusted her life to Christ, accepting for herself the forgiveness of sins and newness of life that are found in Him. As she finished praying to receive Jesus into her heart, Amy looked up and remarked, “Everything looks lighter!” A little surprised (and a lot curious!), Peggy asked, “Do you mean inside yourself, or physically around you?” “Both!” Amy replied. It seemed to me a divine gift, an assuring flicker of new life.

In last week’s post, we saw that our transformation into the image of Christ is God’s work of grace in us; it is His doing. Note He accomplishes this not by improving our sin nature (“flesh”)—that self-willed desire to live life on our terms and not God’s—for as Paul teaches us, “the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other. . .”2 “The flesh is hostile to God,” he wrote to Roman believers, “it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so.”3 God doesn’t change us into Jesus’ image by making us better versions of our “old self”4 or by demanding the same from us, as if we could become like Him by trying a little harder in our own limited power. For no matter how many “second chances” we might be given, we would certainly fall short of His glory every single time.

In grace, rather, God makes us new, His Spirit breathing life where there was none and shining light where darkness once reigned. Paul urges us to “to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”5 We offer ourselves to His Spirit, who is new life in us; He will always lead us in God’s ways, as Jesus himself proclaimed, “Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”6 Then this verse is practical, guiding light for us: “Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness.”7 This is worth memorizing, for God’s Spirit leads us in His light—day by day, moment by moment. We offer ourselves to Him.

Father, Your Spirit lives in me and draws me, that I would offer myself entirely to You. Grace me to say “yes” to You and “no” to any temptation to do otherwise. In Christ I pray. Amen.

1 Name has been changed.
2 Galatians 5:17
3 Romans 8:7
4 Ephesians 4:22
5 Ephesians 4:24
6 John 8:12
7 Romans 6:13

3 replies on “This Not-So-Little Light of Mine”

Paul, thank you. You so graciously and sussinctly state the power and truth of the gospel and of life in the Spirit. I am sharing with a dear friend who is mad at God. Easter blessings to you.


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