We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.
I will have the honor of preaching later today. My topic is how God used difficult circumstances in the life of the apostle Paul, namely his imprisonment— to advance the gospel and further His kingdom.
While we are not technically in prison, it can sure feel that way. But God doesn’t waste a thing. His desire is for us to make the most of these extremely difficult circumstances for His glory while we can.
Just like Jesus made the most of His time while on the earth.
The entire narrative found in John 9 is about the Healing of the Man Born Blind.
This is one of Jesus’ seven miracles or signs chronicled in the Gospel of John.
The events of this chapter are sandwiched between the heated discourses of chapters 8 and 10– of Jesus engaging and enraging the Jews by His claims of deity in what are outstanding examples of the development of either belief or unbelief.
On more than one occasion, the argument resulted in sheer hostility, with the Jews picking up stones to hurl at Jesus. So there was tension in the air—a sense of expediency, of urgency. On His way out of the temple, He encounters the blind beggar. This was a pretty common sight just outside the temple—where those in need would hope to be the recipients of charity and good deeds.
And one of the greatest miracles in all Scripture happens—Jesus heals him. In fact, John wanted us to make sure his readers saw the magnitude of this healing—it wasn’t a medical condition that came later that Jesus could remove or reverse, such as a cataract or some eye infection. This man was born blind! He had no power in himself to recover.
And that is only the beginning because after bringing light to his eyes, He does the same for his soul.
Here is Jesus is making the most out of every opportunity. He knew He would only be walking the earth for a short while. He knew this would be an opportunity to show the works of God through this man, while He was still with them. We know how this narrative ends. Upon further interrogation from the Jews, who accused Jesus of being a sinner, the Man Born Blind said this about Jesus, in one of the most powerful statements in all of Scripture: He replied, “Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!” John 9:25
Here was a man healed by Jesus—not just his eyes but, it turns out his very soul! Jesus is the only one that can turn the soul’s lights on. That is why He was wanted to make the most of His time while He was with them! He knew then, like today, people are walking around in the dark—not physically but in their hearts. Remember His words: “As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. 5 While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”
Notice Jesus said, “We must do the work of Him who sent me.” Note He doesn’t say, “I”, He says “We!” This statement identifies us with Jesus’ mission. While we can! How awesome!
When we make the most of every opportunity to be light—we share in Christ’s work!
While we are all anxious to get back to some sense of normalcy (even a “new normal” as Pastor Andy put it in his last devotional), the question is, are you making the most of this difficult season for the glory of God?
Just as Jesus knew He would only be around a short time at this point, being only a matter of months before His crucifixion, we have only have a short time (hopefully) to work the works of God during this particular crisis.
Part of our mission statement at ICC is found in Matthew 5:16, Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
The Father put us here to be light in this world. I encourage you to make the most of this time while you still can! Show the love of Christ in tangible ways to your families, friends, co-workers and neighbors. They’re hurting— especially those without Jesus!
So let us work! Jesus said WE must work—He wants us to work hand-in-hand with Him! Let’s get our lives matched up with Him and let’s together do something—not our works, but God’s works.
Remember, when we make the most of every opportunity to be light—we share in Christ’s work!
Here’s what I’d ask you to do. In your next prayer time, ask God what particular works He would have you do. (Many of you are already shining your light!) Then write it down and do it! Jesus said, “WE must work!!!” He’s looking for laborers. He’s counting on you and me—while there’s still time.