Verse of the Day – Matthew 6:22-23
The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!

Daily Scripture Reading1 John 1

Devotional Thoughts
We have all heard the idea that in each person is a divine spark, an internal inherent goodness. I believe that while people know (but fail to understand) that we are made in the image of God, they often want to believe that at heart we are all basically good. You know, those to whom everyone is a “good ol’ boy”. Beside, we have been taught by movies and books that there is no such thing as a bad boy.

But are we good? Really deep down in our human nature, are we good?

In our text this week we have seen that the eye is the lamp of the body. If the eye is good we are full of light, we see, we perceive correctly and can respond and act accordingly. But if our eye is bad then we cannot get the light in – we are left full of darkness. And now, this last phrase tells us:

If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!

In other words, if our eyes are bad and we are only full of darkness, then how bad is the situation, really? Think about it – especially if we look at darkness all the time. If all we fill ourselves with is darkness then how bad a situation is it in our hearts and minds? All the light, all that supposed spark of divine light and human goodness that is there in each of us is really just vast and utter darkness!

In the physical realm it is like saying that if we lose our eyesight through disease or damage, then what light do we have? What can we see? It is only darkness, and a great darkness at that – darkness that cannot be corrected outside of healing. Spiritually speaking, what we put in our minds and hearts will affect our “sight.” Those things we dwell on, think about, and look at – the imaginations of our hearts – these things can either enlighten us (Psalm 19:8) or they can lead us further and further into darkness and moral decay.

But, some would still insist that there is a little light in all of us. How delusional! The only spark that all of us have is found in the fires of our tongues! (James 3:5).

This darkness is not a lack of light, mind you. The light is there. In fact, the Bible tells us that the light shines on every man (John 1:9). But if our eyes are bad, if our heart depraved, if our spirits bound in sin, then we will not, we cannot see that light. It is as if someone turned out all the lights.

So who did turn out the lights? Remember, this is a trick question. The light never goes out. God began His creation by saying, “Let there be light.” And there has always ever since been light. Further evidence is seen in the truth that Jesus is the light of the world and He never changes. His Word is a lamp and light (Ps 119:105). And even we His people are told that we are the light of the world and should let our light so shine before men. We were darkness but now we are light (Matt 5:16; Eph 5:8). The light is always on.

So no one turned the lights out. But we are all still born in darkness. Our nature depraved (Rom 3:23), our minds darkened (Eph 4:17), our hearts desperately wicked (Jer 17:9). We are from conception sinners (Ps 51:5). Our eyes are bad due to sin and the fall (Rom 5:12). And we are not in the dark, we are darkness (Eph 5:8).

We know then from the testimony of Scripture that men are not basically good, that there is no divine spark, and that instead we are depraved, dead in sin, and full of darkness – until our eyes are opened by the Holy Spirit and we see for the first time the Light of the World (John 8:12).

And there is the message of hope – there is the light! God can and does open our eyes to the light of His Son! By grace, according to His good pleasure, not because of anything He sees in us, He gives us freely of salvation, adopting us as sons and daughters so that we might now walk in the light (Eph 2:8-9).

Since this is true, since we are so dependent upon Him for light and for life, let us spend a moment today meditating on 1 John 1. This our Scripture reading for the day will remind us how great and awesome our God is and how we are in such need of His grace, and His light, day to day.

1 John 1

1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life— 2 the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us— 3 that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. 4 And these things we write to you that your joy may be full. 5 This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.

Links for Further Study
(links to study each daily topic in more detail if you have the desire and the time)

Obstacles in Coming to Christ by AW Pink
A True Map of Man’s Miserable Estate by Nature by Christopher Love

Bible Reading For Further Study
Psalm 19:8; James 3:5; John 1:9; Ps 119:105; Matt 5:16; Eph 5:8
Rom 3:23; Eph 4:17; Jer 17:9; Ps 51:5; Rom 5:12; John 8:12

Recommended Songs for Worship
Lighten the Darkness
The Light of the World is Jesus