Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” [John 8.12]
Christ calls us to follow Him numerous times throughout the gospels. By these words, we are called to imitate His life and actions if we desire to be freed from the darkness within our hearts and truly enlightened. Therefore, let our chief purpose—our main goal, our primary task—be to comprehend the life of Our Lord Jesus.
Those who are filled with Christ’s Spirit will find valuable sustenance within His teaching. Currently, many of those who hear the Gospel often care nothing for it because they ignore or even reject the Spirit of Christ. However, anyone who longs to understand completely the words of Christ must try to pattern their whole life on that of Christ.
What benefit is it to understand all mysteries and gain all knowledge but do not have love and mercy as exemplified by Christ? Indeed, it is not learning that makes a person holy and just, but a virtuous life, pleasing to God; for what does the Lord require of us but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with our God? The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart God will not despise. What advantage would it be for us to memorize the wisdom of every modern-day philosopher or quick-fix guru if we dwell without grace and the love of God? Vanity of vanities and all is vanity, except to love God and serve Him only.
This is the greatest course of action—to seek the kingdom of God by rejecting the ways of this world. Therefore, it is vanity to accumulate and trust in wealth, which can be stolen, burned, and rust. It is pointless to seek honors, becoming conceited and prideful. It is useless to give into the lusts of the body and to covet things that only lead to emptiness and severe, eternal punishment. It is meaningless to hope for a long life while leading a spiritually unproductive life. It is senseless to be focused upon the present only without consideration for eternal matters. Why long for things that are fleeting and not strive for the place where eternal joy abides?
Recall the words of the Preacher, “Everything is wearisome beyond description. No matter how much we see, we are never satisfied. No matter how much we hear, we are not content” [Ecclesiastes 1.8]. Therefore, turn your heart away from the pursuit of things visible and pursue that which is eternal because those who follow their own selfish desires corrupt their morals, disregarding the grace of God.