For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth)
We’ve moved seven times in our married life. And part of that delightful experience of picking up everything you own and moving it cross country is changing your mailing address. It’s one of the most disruptive things you can do in this life.
Yes, moving can be exciting. It can be a new start. A way to reinvent yourself, change who you are. But with moving comes all sorts of hard work, detachment from friends, and stress. Everything is new.
We leave behind the darkness we once lived in and now live as light. But it’s more radical of a transformation that you might think. Yes, we left the darkness behind, but we’re not just living in the light. We’ve been changed into light itself. We move from not having light to being light. This changes everything.
Not just a light, but light itself.
Not just a lamp, but light itself.
Not just a flashlight, but light itself.
Not just a giver of light, but light itself.
Now that we are light in Jesus Christ, it must change the way we live. Moving from darkness to light has got to change the way we think, the way we speak, the way we act. We are to be living, speaking, acting like children of light all the time. It’s a new way of living, a new way of acting.
Have you ever thought of yourself not just living in the light, but God actually making you light? Yes, we need God’s light, but he has transformed us from living in darkness, making us into light.
That’s even more of a radical transformation. Through the death of Christ, and the forgiveness of our sins once and for all, his Holy Spirit comes inside us, making us into light. With God’s Holy Spirit inside of us, we are transformed once and for all spiritually.
But there’s the daily working out of his presence, life, and light inside us. And like anything else, doing something over and over will create new habits. We are to leave the habits of a life in the darkness and live in the new habits of living as light.
As we live in these new habits, living as children of light, this will radically change the way we interact with other people. Yes, it will create a new person within. Our personal time with God in prayer, in his word, alone in our thoughts. It will all change.
Goodness – living in and reflecting all who God is.
Righteousness – living a life that is in line with who God is.
Truth – living within God’s creation and view of true reality.
The good news is that God is not finished with us yet. We have miles to go. And in the end, we will be like him. But like any trip, we can either complain about how long it’s taking or enjoy the journey.
And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.
God is not only with us, but he’s also working on us, with us, changing us. I find great encouragement in that. Yes, I sometimes get impatient with myself, wanting greater and faster change. Desiring more radical improvement in my thought life, and my attitudes.
I sometimes even yell at myself as a way of expressing disappointment. But reprimanding myself, beating myself up won’t change a thing. Or, as one very famous and influential author put it;
You’ll never beat a bad habit by beating yourself up, or someone else doing the beating.
Instead, I need to take that defeat, that frustration, that sin, that failure to the cross. And that changes everything. I see that his death totally covered my sin once and for all. This drives me to my knees in thankful worship. He also energizes me to change, deeply desiring to become more like him each and every day.
We’re on a journey that has a great finish. His work will be finished when we see him face to face. When we have that last heavenly address, there will be no more forwarding to be done.
Describe some ways that you’ve been transformed from darkness into light.
How does yelling at yourself prove frustrating and ineffective towards real change?
Describe your hope that God is not finished with you yet.
 Unless otherwise noted, all Bible references are from the New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.  2 Corinthians 5:17  Colossians 3:10  1 John 3:2 NLT  Chet Gladkowski