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Reflect

Light is a powerful thing! Darkness can’t exist where light is, but just a pinprick of light can shine in the darkness. Jesus’ light is the same in the darkness we experience in our lives: the moment we surrender our lives to him, his light breaks into our darkness to transform us and the things we go through. The more we embrace his light, the more we know what it is to walk in hope that defies our circumstances. Join us this Sunday for a powerful message about our hope as followers of Jesus!

Realize

1. God is light.

1 John 1:5
Leader Notes

  • When God gives himself a description for us to understand him better, it’s important for us to reflect on what he is trying to tell us about himself.
  • God calls himself light, and there are a number of things we know about him as a result. For instance, light is pure, fully good, totally without darkness – God is all those things too! And within his character, there is no variation or shifting. There are not parts of his character that are less good or partly dark. He is who he claims to be, through and through.

Describe a situation you’re currently walking through where it’s easier to trust your interpretation of your circumstances than it is to trust the Word of God. How does knowing Jesus is the Light of the World affect how you look at that situation?

2.  Walk in light.

1 John 1:6-7
Leader Notes

  • At every crossroads we face in life, God is inviting us down a certain path. And even when other people’s opinions are contrary, God’s plans for us unfold when we take the path he’s leading us down.
  • Chasing the light, walking in the light, doesn’t just occur in the big decisions. Sometimes we walk in the light in the small things, like telling the people in your life that you see everyday that you love them. But God wants to remind us that, at every point, no matter how big or small, there are choices we make to either follow the light or live the way we always have – but it isn’t God’s best for us.
  • As we walk in the light with God, we have fellowship with others. We have to choose our company based on whether we want to walk in the light or in the darkness. Godly friends who are also following Jesus push us to know him and love him more. But companions that live in the ways of darkness we left behind will only pull us back down the path we left behind.

What is one pattern of walking in darkness you left behind to walk in the light? Do you ever still struggle with it today? How do you continue to purposefully walk in the light, and how does your current community influence you in that process?

3. Get honest and get cleansed.

1 John 1:8-9
Leader Notes

  • In this passage, John talks about the cleansing of Christ not only as something that happened to us in the past when we put our faith in Jesus, but something that Jesus does for us now. He “cleanses” us, John says, as if it’s an ongoing thing. Of course, our salvation is once-for-all: when we surrender to Jesus, we receive the gift of eternal life. But then as we walk with Jesus, he continues to cleanse us.
  • The finished work of Jesus working its way out into our lives often doesn’t happen all at once.
  • God’s ongoing work of cleansing in our lives occurs at least in part through our confession. We have to confess our sins in order to be forgiven, so it’s important that we’re honest with ourselves, God and others as we seek to live differently.

What do you need to confess? And who is a safe person in your life you can confess to?

Optional Follow-up Questions:

  • What makes you say that?
  • How do you feel about that?
  • How would you explain your answer to a non-Christian friend or neighbor?
  • Why did God design it to work that way? Why not just do (whatever else) instead?
  • What would you say to someone who disagrees with that?
  • Why do we really have to do it like that? Why can’t we just go (some other route) instead?