Monday, January 1, 2007

Celebrate the Light!

Students in a science class had good answers when they were asked what light is. "If we didn't have light we couldn't see", something that makes us happy" Grandpa likes to sit in the sun. It makes him feel good." But they missed the answer I was seeking, so I put a pot of ivy into a dark closet for a few days.
On the third day I brought the ivy back into the light. "It's all droopy! Said one pupil. "It looks sick!" said another, But I knew I had made my point when one student exclaimed: "Living things need light to live." Children have such insights. In reality they became my teacher.
We need the Light of God to live, too. "God is light, in him there is no darkness at all" {1 John1:5}
Knowing this is truly something that makes you happy, like the student said. Sitting in the presence of the Son makes one feel good, like the student's grandpa.
Walking in the light of Jesus enables the believer to see by faith, and that leads to a victorious life. "But if we walk in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin" {1 John 1:7}
Sin, on the contrary, breeds in darkness. Most crimes are committed in the dark. Suicides increase in gloomy weather. Cabin fever occurs in a long dreary winter.
Without light, life cannot exist, physically or spiritually. How we need the "Light" of a risen Savior.

Christians Are the Lower Lights "Matt.5:14-16"

Dwight Moody used to tell of a ship that crashed on the rocks near Cleveland, Ohio, because the lower lights of a lighthouse had gone out. Moody's song evangelist, Philip Bliss, was so moved by it that he wrote the song "Let the Lower Lights Be Burning."

1. Christians Are Not the Main Light.
A. They are like John the Baptist was:

John 1:6 (NIV) There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John.
7 He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe.
8 He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.
9 The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world. {[9] Or This was the true light that gives light to every man who comes into the world}
B. Jesus is not only the Main Light; He lit us up as well.
C. His light brought us out of darkness safe into the harbor.

Ephe 5:8 (NIV) For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light

Ephe 5:13 (NIV) But everything exposed by the light becomes visible,
14 for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said: "Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you."

Colo 1:12 (NIV) giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you {[12] Some manuscripts us}to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.
13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves,

2. Christians Are to Keep the Lower Lights Burning.
A. It's a tremendous responsibility.

1The 5:5 (NIV) You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness.
6 So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled.

Phil 2:15 (NIV) so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe
B. It is so men can see {Matt.5:16}
1. What if our light has gone out?
2. What if it is burning faintly?
3. "Brighten the corner where you are... Someone far from harbor, you could guide across the bar."
C. No matter the cost, keep the light burning!
1. Not all appreciate the John 1:9 (NIV) The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world. {[9] Or this was the true light that gives light to every man who comes into the world}
10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him.

John 3:19 (NIV) this is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.
20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.
21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God." {[21] Some interpreters end the quotation after verse 15.}
2. Sometimes lighthouse keepers paid with their lives. A long list of martyrs, beginning with Jesus, died letting their light shine!
Conclusion: Bliss, the author of this grand song, was killed in a train wreck, along with his wife, while traveling to Chicago for a meeting at Moody Tabernacle. He was only 38. But his light was brightly clear while he lived – and still does, whenever his song is sung.
Let’s not be like "Lava Lamp Believers"
Lava Lamps have made a comeback in recent years. Many of today's versions are more creative than when they first introduced some forty years ago. They do have one thing in common, though. None of them is very adequate as a source of light. They were called lamps, but they were not lamps.
Unfortunately, many Christians aren’t much better than lava lamps; they don't really want the whole Light of God, just enough so they can go by the name of the Genuine Light yet remain in the shadows.
Let’s be the Light that Jesus wants us to be!! This year!!
Yours truly in Jesus Christ, Pastor Jim