War. It is not something we like to dwell on, and we certainly don’t dream of being part of one. As a nation, there were many times when Israel had to fight in wars for God.

Today there is still a war for God taking place; a war we all fight in. Whether we like it or not, we are all at war. It is a war that takes place within ourselves; a conflict between sin and godliness. Paul describes it this way: “But I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive of the law of sin that dwells in my members” (Rom 7:23 ESV ). If you choose not to actively engage in this war, you will still be affected by it and, in fact, you will be so much more vulnerable than if you decided to actively stand up and fight, as Paul instructed us in his first epistle to Timothy where he writes, “Fight the good fight of the faith” (6:12).

Not only is this war difficult because it is within ourselves; it is difficult because the temptations and spiritual wickedness are all around us. We live in a godless generation where, much like in Israel, people worship their own kind of idols and false gods.

Let’s imagine something. List as many teenagers as you can that you know who are actively pursuing the life of God. Actively. For most of us, this list may not be very long at all, especially for those of us who may have friends who are not from Christadelphian families or backgrounds. We should note that even if we have come from a Christadelphian family, this does not automatically make us an active pursuer of the Truth. Sometimes this background can work against us and we can take things for granted and just go with the flow instead of being active.

Sometimes I think that we can lay the blame for our failures at the door of those ‘outside’ the Truth: a sort of ‘them’ and ‘us’ situation. But have you ever stopped to think that part of the problem may actually be us too? What are we doing to help these people ‘inside’? To open the door so to speak? How do you support your friends, maybe even your family, in the faith? Are you sharing your light, or hiding it somewhere else?

In the beginning of the Scriptures, what is the very first thing that is recorded about God? He saw the earth was covered in darkness and He said: “Let there be light” (Gen 1:3). What does this tell us? Well, it wasn’t something done at random because He saw and acted. God never does anything without a purpose in mind. It tells us that light is a fundamental, essential element of human life. And so is the spiritual light of His Word.

Again, recall the process of creation. God created light, the waters were divided, and then there came life to the earth. Light, water, life. This is also true of the spiritual as well: the light of the Truth, the waters of baptism, the coming of new life! All of this just goes to emphasize the importance of light in every sphere of God’s activity.

The world has become covered in darkness again but there are still sparks of light out there in people. The Apostle Paul recorded these words in 2 Corinthians 4:6 (ESV ): “For God, who said ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God”. We are this light for the blind. How can we help the blind see if we are hiding that precious light for ourselves?

That spark will fade over time if we do not continually pursue those things that help us to reflect God’s light. Daily reading, prayer, Bible classes, camps, personal Bible study and conversations with others: these are all important and must be repeated continually to keep our flame alive. Almost everything worth doing, or required in life, needs repetition. If anything is worth doing once, it is worth doing again.

God chose you so that in the future age you will shine as the brightness of the firmament and as the stars for ever and ever (Dan 12:3). He wants you to shine now, however, to be that spark for someone else. Have you ever stopped to think that maybe He has used you as a channel to choose someone else? He instructs us to give water to the thirsty and light to the blind. But sometimes we look at the blind and how they stumble, and we let them keep on stumbling. We forget that if we just use our lamp to illuminate their path too, even for a little while, and give them a little spiritual drink along the way, they might soon become lamps as well. More often than not, we neglect to share the Truth with people because we think, No, it’s not for them. But what if it is? Didn’t Jesus often reach out to those whom everyone else would otherwise avoid? Didn’t he share his light with every single person he met? How important then are his words in Matthew5:14? – “You are the light of the world”.

We meet people all the time: at school, at university, at work. They are in darkness and we have light to offer them. We are blessed with the hope of Israel so we should share this as much as we can with others.

Matthew 5:15-16 (ESV) says, “People do not light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven”. There is one great thing we know about light. When anything is exposed by light, it becomes visible (Eph 5:13). If there are two rooms next to each other and one is full of light, and the other is dark, as soon as the door is opened between them what happens? The light conquers the darkness.

I want to leave you with this quote about our Lord Jesus Christ, our leader and our example. In John 8:12 (ESV ) we read: “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’”. Let us shine as Christ did, demonstrating in our actions and in our words the brightness of the Truth. Do not be ashamed to share the truth with others (Rom 1:16). Do not be afraid because you are young to stand up for your faith.

Let us conquer the darkness together by opening that door of faith and let’s find the opportunities to shine forth and provide others with light, hope, and life.