By Rev. Brian Howard, pastor of Adams Farm Community Church in Jamestown, NC
Jesus stood before Pilate in the hours before his crucifixion and said, “I have come into the world–to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice” (John 18:37). Francis Bacon summarized Pilate’s response with, “‘What is truth?’ said jesting Pilate, and would not stay for an answer.” It’s no different today. Everyone is searching for the truth, but few stick around for the answer.
In Ephesians 5:8, “Light” is described as “all that is good and right and true.” Indeed, if there are things that are good, then there must also be things that are bad. If there are things that are right, then there must also be things that are wrong. If there is truth in the world, then there must also be false.
Postmodernism says we cannot define good, right, or true. But Jesus tells us, “I bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” If we are to walk as children of light, we must agree that there is light. And as God’s word states, light is “all that is good, and right, and true.” If we can’t agree on the good, right, and true, then we can’t take another step in this walk. Because the next step is treacherous without truth.
You won’t know what is dark if you don’t know the truth. Ephesians 5:11 command us, “Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.” You might not even realize how dark it is without the light. “When anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light” (Ephesians 5:13-14).
When we have the light, then we can see what is dark. Too often, you hear someone say something like “I didn’t realize how lost I was,” or “I didn’t realize how bad things were.” We live in darkness and don’t even know it until we see the light.
We’ve got to stay out of the shadows. Overwhelming darkness often begins as an underwhelming shadow. Ephesians 5:15-16a provides the guideline to “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.”
The other night, my wife and I fixed some pizza and a little fruit medley for our supper. I made the mistake of eating the fruit first, which meant I was then too full for my typical third slice of pizza. I had filled up on too much good fruit. I assure you it won’t happen again!
On a more serious note, Christians must walk carefully, and fill up their days with the good. Then, we won’t have room for bad. Fill up your heart with Godly desires and you won’t have room for sinful desire. Rather than filling up on darkness, fill the darkness with light.