The Light Of The World

The Light Of The World

Thursday’s Column: Captain’s Blog

Carl Pollard

“Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life’” (John 8:12).

In the first century, the word “light” carried with it a deeper meaning. Light often described knowledge from the spiritual realm. Light meant true knowledge, in contrast with the darkness of ignorance. Knowing this gives more power to Jesus’s statement here. By saying these words Jesus is claiming to be the one who brings the true knowledge of God from heaven. 

Jesus isn’t just saying “I am a light” but that He is the light! The only way to know God is to recognize that Jesus is the ONLY light. Not Joseph Smith, or Buddha, but Christ alone is the light. 

Christ illuminates knowledge for this dark world. Jesus gives us real answers to the fundamental questions of life. Who am I? Where did I come from? What is my purpose? Where am I going?Questions that billions have struggled with are all answered by Jesus. Without Jesus, these questions will never be answered. Life following Jesus is a clear and wonderful life, a life where we have a purpose. We know who we are, and where we are going? 

Do you want to know why most people have nightlights in their homes? Because some guy was tired of hitting household objects when he got up in the middle of the night. We’ve all experienced it, perhaps the worst pain you can ever feel. Stubbing your pinky toe on a table or dresser at night. Think about a world without the true light. It’s futile. It’s a life spent stumbling and tripping in the dark. Living a life contrary to Christ’s teachings is “to walk in darkness.” The world is filled with people who live in darkness. 

They stumble through this world with no purpose or direction, groping around like people in a dark room. Picture Velma from Scooby-Doo. She was useless without her glasses, and when she dropped them she got on her knees and had to feel around and hope for the best. John makes it very clear that those who live in darkness have no fellowship with God, because God is light (1 Jn. 1:5). Why do people live in darkness? Some have never heard of Jesus while others reject Jesus because of their love for the darkness of sin. 

John 3:19 says, “‘And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.’” On the other hand, those who have chosen to follow Jesus, “come to the light,” and are walking in the light (1 John 1:9). These people have a clear direction in life. They know what pleases God, and they make the right changes. 

These are the Christians that have true joy. These are the Christians that experience the blessing of having their sins continually cleansed by the perfect blood of Christ. 

Which one am I? Have I accepted Jesus as the light of the world? Does Jesus give me my direction and purpose? Darkness or light are the two paths, and we must choose where to walk. 

Love, Hate, And A Song (1 John: Part 3)

Love, Hate, And A Song (1 John: Part 3)

Wednesday’s Column: Third’s Words

Gary Pollard

I’ll be repeating the book of I John in present-day terminology. It’s not a true translation of the book, as I am not qualified to do so. It will be based on an exegetical study of the book and will lean heavily on the SBL and UBS Greek New Testaments, as well as comparisons with other translations (ESV, NASB, NIV, ERV, NLT). My goal is to reflect the text accurately, and to highlight the intent of the author using concepts and vocabulary in common use today. 

This is not an “essentially literal” translation, and should be read as something of a commentary. 

Love & Hate

Loved ones, I’m not giving you a new commandment here. It’s the same one that’s existed since the beginning of time: love each other deeply. You’ve heard this before. It is new in a way, though. The same truth that existed in Jesus now exists in you. Darkness is disappearing and the true light is already shining through. 

If someone claims to be in this light but hates their Christian family, they’re actually in darkness. If you love your Christian family, you’re a part of this light. You don’t trip other people in their walk, either. Anyone who hates their spiritual family lives and walks in darkness. They’re lost because the darkness has blinded them. 

A Song

Children, I’m writing to you because Jesus forgave your sins. 

Fathers, I’m writing to you because you’ve known this from the beginning. 

Teens, I’m writing to you because you’ve defeated the evil one. 

Children, I’m writing to you because you’ve always know the father. 

Fathers, I’m writing to you because you’ve known this from the beginning. 

Teens, I’m writing to you because you’re strong. God’s word lives in you, and has defeated the evil one. 

1 Peter–Part IV

1 Peter–Part IV

Wednesday’s Column: Third’s Words

Gary Pollard

For the next several weeks, I’ll be repeating the book of I Peter in present-day terminology. It’s not a true translation of the book, as I am not qualified to do so. It will be based on an exegetical study of the book and will lean heavily on the SBL and UBS Greek New Testaments, as well as comparisons with other translations (ESV, NASB, NIV, ERV, NLT). My goal is to reflect the text accurately, and to highlight the intent of the author using concepts and vocabulary in common use today. 

This is not an essentially literal translation, and should be read as something of a commentary. 

I Peter – Pt IV

We’ve been a nation-in-the-making for a while, a group of people who serve God the right way through Jesus. We’re only in a good place with God because of Jesus. He was the first brick in this house, but no one on earth wanted him. God saw him as the most valuable! Each of us are also bricks being built into a special house by God and for God. You’ve read, “Look, I’m building a perfect foundation with a special stone. If you believe him, you won’t ever be disappointed.” If you believe him, he’s the most valuable thing in the world. 

For everyone else, “He’s the stone none of the builders wanted to use, but he became the foundation of the house anyway. They tripped over him and couldn’t stand him.” They couldn’t stand him because they didn’t follow his words. They are destined to die. 

That isn’t you, though. You’re a select group. You’re valuable servants. You’re a distinct nation. You’re destined to be God’s. We tell everyone about how perfect he is because he pulled us out of darkness. We exist in his awesome light now! Before he saved us, we had no identity. We have one now! Before he saved us, we had no special favor. We have it now! 

The Coolest Intro

The Coolest Intro

Wednesday Column: Third’s Words

gary and chelsea

Gary Pollard

One of the most concise and beautiful teachings about God is in John. He plainly states some awesome things, full of impact and depth.

“The Word existed in the beginning…” This, along with other statements made in this context, highlights how tragic it is that the world systemically rejects him. There was only a “beginning” because of him.

“…the Word existed with God, and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God, who created everything through Him. Nothing that exists was created without Him.” God took a demotion to save us (Heb. 2.9). The same one who used the Father’s power to fabricate reality.

“Life came from Him…” Humans only had the power to take life away from the source of life because He let them.

“…and this life was humanity’s light.” His selflessness gave us hope for a better existence.

“This light shined through the darkness, and darkness can’t smother it.” Evil is on borrowed time and it knows it. Jesus put a countdown on the existence of evil. When its time runs out, it’ll never bother His people again (II Pet. 3.13; Rev. 20.12-15).

We deal with real problems thanks to darkness. What Jesus did wasn’t just a nice gesture. He destroyed the very possibility of darkness, creating a reality in which His own – made eternally perfect through His sacrifice – can never mess things up again. I want to live in that kind of reality with that kind of God.

A Bat’s Worst Nightmare

A Bat’s Worst Nightmare

Thursday’s Column: Captain’s Blog

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Carl Pollard

I’m gonna be honest. I am not a fan of winter. It’s cold, snow is terrible, It’s freezing, and I hate snow. The worst thing about winter is that It gets dark at like 3 pm. In the summer you have these nice long, warm days but In the winter you got about 6 hours of daylight before it gets dark again.
Darkness is referred to quite a bit in scripture and many times it is used to describe sin. For example, “Walking in darkness” = walking in sin. “Living in darkness” = living in sin.
As Christians we are described as being taken out of darkness (sin) to walk in light (righteousness) (Ephesians 5).
But how did we get to this point? We read in John 8:12, “Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
Because of Christ and His sacrifice and love for us we can now have the light of life. Without Christ we are forever in darkness, but with Christ he is our light that leads to salvation.
The choice to follow Christ means that our standard is The Light. Notice, He says, “will not walk in darkness…” This word is skotia which is described as, “the state of being devoid of light, darkness, gloom.” When we choose to live like the world, there is no light in us. When we remove Christ as our guide and live in sin, we are plunged into darkness.
But if He is our standard of living, in hard times we will have light, when we lose a loved one we will have light, and when we face difficult decisions we will have light.
The question we need to ask ourselves is this, “Do we prefer darkness over light? Do we prefer sin over righteousness?” The choice is ours, and each one of us makes this decision every day.
You may be asking what all of this has to do with the pandemic going on right now…well a bat started this whole thing, and bats live in caves, caves are dark and living in darkness is living in sin. Don’t be a bat.
maca-solitary-roosting-bat