I will be doing Hanukkah Candles 5, 6, 7, in today’s devotion.
Tonight is the 5th night of Hanukkah.
Messiah Yeshua is the greatest light of all:
In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light
shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it (John
As Messiah Yeshua was in the Temple in Jerusalem watching the
illuminating lights, He declared: “I am the light of the world; he who
follows Me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of
life” (John 8:12).
Aged Simeon was promised by the Lord that he would not die until
he saw Israel’s Messiah. When he saw Yeshua as an infant in the Temple,
he knew that this One was the light of Israel and the Nations. Simeon
declared: “My eye have seen Your salvation, which You have prepared in
the presence of all peoples, a light of revelation to the gentiles,
and the glory of Your people Israel” (Luke 2:30-32).
For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One
who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the
glory of God in the face of Messiah (2 Corinthians 4:6).
What we learned:
Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus. Candle Five pictures the baby Jesus as the greatest light of all. Simeon testified to it. John, the apostle, writes about it.
The lights of the Hanukkah lamp can teach us a lot.
Tonight we celebrate the sixth night of Hanukkah.
After we come to know Messiah, we are to be a source of light for the
world. King Messiah tells us in Matthew 5:14-16:
You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be
hidden. Nor do men light a lamp, and put it under the peck-measure,
but on the lampstand; and it gives light to all who are in the house.
Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your
good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
What we learned:
Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus. Candle Six makes the application to believers to be lights to the whole world. Live it, teach it, proclaim it, to all who will listen.
Our world is BLINDED by the wrong kind of lights. The holiday displays, commercial and residential, fails to portray the God of all creation, who was virgin born, sent to provide salvation to all, and who would eventually die on a cross for the sins of all mankind. They fail to pay reverence to God’s Son, second person of the trinity, and soon coming Judge.
So we have a choice to make. How will we celebrate Christmas this year? Will we follow the true light or a fake. Is Christmas, for us, still about Jesus and his birth or is it about the bells and baubles of commercialism? Each of us must decide and then act decisively.
Tonight we light the seventh Hanukkah candle.
With each night the light grows brighter. It reminds us that light dispels darkness. We live in a dark world. Open a newspaper, a news feed on the computer, or the evening news, and you will notice that the lead story is usually about death, wickedness, or some kind of sin. The light that Jesus gives allows men and women, boys and girls to live above what the world has to offer.
The prophet Isaiah speaks of the future glory of a restored Israel in
Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord
has risen upon you… And nations will come to your light, and kings to
the brightness of your rising.
God is not done with Israel. If you have any doubt, please read the books of Ezekiel, Isaiah, and Revelation. Israel will be restored to Her rightful place as God’s chosen nation and people. Today’s Scripture states that nations and kings will come to light of Israel and ultimately to the Messiah, Yeshua, the Lord Jesus Christ. What a glorious day that will be.
The message of salvation is woven through the whole Hanukkah celebration. I would be remiss in not sharing that message with you.
God created a perfect world, no sin. In Genesis 3, man chose to disobey God’s clear command not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The first sin. From that time to this God sees us as sinners. In the Old Testament, God directed a blood sacrifice for the covering of sin. We see this demonstrated in Egypt, just before the Exodus and the Priests sacrificing animals daily for the sins of the people.
God had a better plan. “But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.” (Galatians 4:4-5) How was this to be done? Jesus tells us in Mark 1:14-15, “Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.” What is the gospel? “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.” (1 Corinthians 15:1-6)
So, to summarize.
1) We are lost and need a Savior. “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:” (Romans 3:10) “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; (Romans 3:23)
2) God sent Jesus to redeem us. (See Galatians 4:4-5 above)
3) We must repent of our sins. Repent means turning in the opposite direction. Renounce all your wickedness before Jesus. (See Mark 1:14-15)
4) We must believe the gospel. That Christ died for our sins, that he was buried, and that he rose again on the third day. (See 1 Corinthians 15:1-6)
5) Last we must a make a decision to accept or reject God’s free gift of salvation. Romans 10:8-11, makes this very clear. “But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.”
Jesus came to earth as a baby, grew to manhood, preach God’s message of salvation, and then went to the cross for US! Jesus would love for you to trust Him as Lord and Savior this Christmas. If you know Jesus as Lord and Savior, tell someone about this good news.
Tom Stearns, WASI Chaplain, 907 715-4001