February 2024 Column

Cultivating Light

Living Righteously

In a world often overshadowed by challenges and uncertainties, the concept of light holds a profound significance, both metaphorically and spiritually. As believers in Christ, we are called to undergo a transformative journey – a journey from darkness to light. Ephesians 5:8-10 beautifully encapsulates this journey, reminding us that we were once in darkness, but through Christ, we have become light. This transition is not merely a change in perception; it is a call to action. 

The metaphorical journey from darkness to light is a central theme in many spiritual traditions, symbolizing the transformative power of faith. Ephesians 5:8-10 captures the essence of this journey, highlighting the profound shift from being engulfed in darkness to becoming radiant bearers of the divine light. It signifies a personal and spiritual metamorphosis, where the believer is no longer defined by the shadows of the past but is illuminated by the grace and truth found in Christ.

Embracing the light involves more than a mere acknowledgment of faith; it calls for a radical change in lifestyle. As Ephesians 5:8-10 urges, we are called to live as children of light. This implies not only radiating the light within but also actively embodying the virtues that characterize the light. Living as children of light means embracing goodness, righteousness, and truth as guiding principles in our daily lives.

The verses in Ephesians emphasize that the fruit of the light consists of goodness, righteousness, and truth. These virtues are not arbitrary; they are the natural outcomes of a life illuminated by the divine light. Goodness encompasses acts of kindness, compassion, and selflessness, echoing the very nature of Christ. Righteousness involves living a life aligned with God’s principles and moral integrity. Truth is the foundation on which the Christian journey stands, for Christ himself declared, “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6).

Goodness is not a passive state but an active choice. Cultivating goodness involves intentional acts of kindness, generosity, and love. As children of light, we are called to bring positive change to the world around us. Whether through small gestures of kindness or larger acts of charity, our lives should reflect the inherent goodness that flows from our newfound identity in Christ.

Living righteously is a commitment to aligning our actions with God’s will. It means making choices that reflect moral integrity and ethical conduct. As children of light, we are ambassadors of righteousness, contributing to a world hungry for justice and fairness. Righteous living

extends beyond personal piety; it involves actively seeking justice and standing against injustice in our communities and beyond.

Truth is the cornerstone of the Christian faith. Ephesians 5:8-10 emphasizes the importance of truth in our lives as children of light. Walking in truth means living authentically, embracing the teachings of Christ as the ultimate truth. It involves honesty, transparency, and a commitment to sharing the transformative power of the gospel with a world desperately seeking meaning and purpose.

The ultimate goal of living as children of light is to find out what pleases the Lord. This pursuit requires an ongoing relationship with God, a constant seeking of His will, and a humble submission to His guidance. Pleasing the Lord involves not only adhering to a set of rules but cultivating a heart that beats in rhythm with His, a heart motivated by love and a desire to bring glory to His name.

Questions for Discussion

How do you personally interpret the metaphorical journey from darkness to light, as mentioned in Ephesians 5:8-10, and what practical steps do you take to actively live as a child of light in your daily life?

The blog emphasizes the virtues of goodness, righteousness, and truth as the fruits of the divine light. In your opinion, which of these virtues do you find most challenging to cultivate in your life, and how do you overcome those challenges?

The concept of pleasing the Lord is highlighted as the ultimate goal of living as children of light. How does your understanding of what pleases the Lord influence your decision-making, relationships, and engagement with the world around you?

Cultivating light is a transformative journey that transcends the personal realm and extends into the world around us. Ephesians 5:8-10 beckons believers to embrace the profound shift from darkness to light, to actively live as children of light. The virtues of goodness, righteousness, and truth are not mere ideals but the fruits of this divine light, manifesting in our actions, relationships, and impact on the world. As we cultivate these virtues, we become beacons of hope and agents of positive change, ultimately seeking to please the Lord in all aspects of our lives. May our journey from darkness to light be a testament to the transformative power of faith, radiating the brilliance of Christ in a world that yearns for the warmth and truth that only His light can provide.

Contributors

Editor
Xiomara Perdomo

Xiomara Perdomo

Assistant to the President for Mission

Writer
Wilbert Pacheco

Wilbert Pacheco

AYP Member

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David Asscherick

David is a speaker/director for Light Bearers and ARISE co-founder and instructor. Since his baptism in 1999, David has traveled the globe preaching and teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. He and his wife Violeta are the happy parents of two boys, Landon and Jabel.

Keynote Speaker

Benjamin Lundquist, host of Rise & Lead, will headline 2023 AYP Convention.

Benjamin Lundquist is a top motivational speaker and one the leading voices for leadership development and empowerment. He is passionate about helping students and professionals see their worth and value, see themselves as a leader, and see their potential to change the world. The message he shares is motivating, relatable, and highly practical. Audiences are challenged to take extreme ownership of the unique gifts and opportunities they have. He is an international speaker and host of Rise and Lead Podcast which has been downloaded in over 110 countries providing aspiring and experienced leaders of all ages with world-class content and conversation. He frequently speaks at corporate and faith events, universities, and high schools.

Identity in Christ | Breakout Track

April is currently an associate pastor for discipleship at Keene SDA church. She is enrolled in a dual graduate program for Public Health and MDIV chaplaincy. She enjoys working with different ministries that highlight service, hospitality, and life enrichment. 

Her hobbies include traveling, reading, music, and extreme sports. An introvert at heart, she enjoys moments with close friends and in the quiet. Her and her husband, Blake Snyder reside in Burleson, Texas.

Purpose & Calling | Breakout Track

Ann Roda likes to describe her life as one long adventure with God. She began her career as a registered nurse in OB then transitioned into healthcare administration. Then, God unexpectedly redirected her path to the Adventist Theological Seminary, for an MDiv, and into pastoral ministry. She spent 15 years as a church pastor in Marietta, Georgia and Fulton, Maryland. Six years ago, God had another adventure for Ann, and called her back into the health care ministry, serving with Adventist HealthCare as Vice President for Mission and Spiritual Care. 

This position is the perfect combination of both pastoral ministry and health care. Ann is married to Jose Hernandez, a licensed professional counselor. Ann and her husband enjoy hiking, biking, and traveling.

Relationships | Breakout Track

Stephen and Felecia Lee are partners in the mission. They share a mutual passion for young adult ministries and using their talents to share the Gospel online and through speaking engagements. Stephen helps individuals and businesses function more efficiently through time management and productivity techniques. Felecia is a full-time homemaker and also the founder of the New Wives Club. 

In addition to this, she runs a program teaching women of color how to learn principles of faith through natural hair care. They live in New Hampshire and speak in different places on topics related to singleness, courtship, communication, evangelism, and faith.

Spiritual Health | Breakout Track

Shawn is passionate about generations coming together! She grew up in a four-generation family business and knows, from first-hand experience, that when people of all ages work together, everyone wins!

She has a B.S. in marketing from the University of Nebraska and is an award-winning sales and marketing professional. Her professional certifications include being a member of the John Maxwell Team and DISC Behavioral Consultant. Recently she published her first book “Strategies for Generational Inclusion at Work.”

Communities | Breakout Track

Michael Gibson currently serves as the Lead Pastor at the Keene SDA Church where he most previously served for four years as Pastor for Young Adults and lead Elevate, a growing and thriving young adult community in Keene. Michael is married to Melissa and they both enjoy the outdoors, long walks, and traveling to new, unexplored places. 

Most days, when he’s not teaching, preaching or studying, you’ll find him playing disc golf or working on home renovations with Melissa. They recently welcomed their son, Micah Eden, into the world last October and ever since, life has taken on a whole new meaning. Above all, Michael and Melissa have a passion for discipleship and telling others about the incredible God they serve. For them, the gospel boils down to loving God and loving people.