"... the joy of the LORD is your strength." (Neh. 8:10)
A. Can you imagine what a Sad Experience it would be to be a small Child who gets a New Bicycle for his birthday --- on a Rainy Day!
1. He looks out the window at the Dark Stormy Clouds and thinks that they will Never Go Away.
2. Deep inside of his Disappointment, he Despairs that the Sun Will Never Return.
3. Yet, Above The Clouds, the Sun Still Shines!
a. The sun will burn off all the clouds or the winds will blow them away.
b. Soon, the days are Sunny Again.
B. The Sun is the Light of The Earth --- no matter how bad the storm may be --- the Sun Shines Above It --- and will Triumph Over It.
C. Jesus, The Son of God --- is the Light of The World.
D. Christian, Children of God --- are also the Light of The World.
I. Lets look at the Tabernacle and the Temple.
A. Zech. 4:1-6, "And the angel that talked with me came again, and waked me, as a man that is wakened out of his sleep, 2 And said unto me, What seest thou? And I said, I have looked, and behold a candlestick all of gold, with a bowl upon the top of it, and his seven lamps thereon, and seven pipes to the seven lamps, which are upon the top thereof:" --- V. 6, "Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts."
B. When the Priest entered the Temple Area, he was in the Natural Light from above, because the courtyard was Open.
1. The light of the Sky furnishes the light for the courtyard area.
2. However, Without the Menorah, when the Priest entered the Holy Place, there is No Natural Light --- it would be Completely Dark.
C. Likewise in our lives, Without Light Being Provided for us, we live in Total Darkness.
1. We Need Guidance (light) in this storm-riddled world.
2. Guidance in your life and mine is an Absolute Necessity.
D. When the Priest entered the Holy Place --- the room was Not Dark --- because the Menorah (candlestick) was there.
1. When the Priest entered the Courtyard, there was Natural Light.
2. When the Priest performed his duties at the Laver and the Altar --- there was natural light.
3. The Priest Duties at the Laver and the Altar were Not His Worship To God --- they were in Preparation for his worship unto God.
4. When we come into the presence of God, We Require Guidance Beyond Ourselves.
a. When you came into this service, you Acknowledged That You Need Guidance Beyond Yourself.
b. We have every hope of finding Direction In Life:
Guidance --- Direction --- Correction --- Motivation --- Instruction
E. Letís look at the Menorah. --- Which Gave Guidance (Light)
1. It was hammered out of One Piece of Pure Gold. (Exo 25:31)
2. There were Six Bowls filled with Fresh Olive Oil Each Day --- It was the Only Source of Light.
The Oil represented the Spirit and Power of God.
Zech. 4:6, "Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts."
Eph. 5:18, "And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;"
F. Everything the Menorah stood for was Fulfilled In Jesus Christ.
John 1:1-5, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not."
Before Studying Our Subject of "Light" Letís Notice:
The Darkness of This World
II. We Live In A World of Darkness Ruled By The Prince of Darkness.
Eph. 6:12, "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."
A. John Calvin --- talking about Following The Light tells about a man who was caught in a thunderstorm while trying to get from one place to another.
1. In the darkness he could see the lighting flashing all around him.
2. He decided to Use The Flashes of Lighting As A Guide to lead him.
3. If he does that, the lighting will only Lead Him From One Storm To Another.
B. There are a lot of people in the Religious World today who are using External Lighting To Guide them through life --- they are just being Lead From One Storm To Another.
1. You and I do Not Have The Capacity to find our way to God Ė to Salvation --- to Life --- to Worship --- in and of ourselves.
Rom. 3:11, "There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God."
John 6:44, "No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day." --- V. 65, "And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father."
2. What we need is something that is Reliable --- something Beyond Ourselves.
3. What we need is "Divine Revelation" --- which God Has Given Us!
C. Most of us do not live Storm Free Lives --- At least I don't, do you?
1. How Easy is it for you to make Right Decisions in life when the Storms come?
2. All of us need guidance --- The Reason You Are Here Is Because You Know That You Canít Make It On Your Own!
3. The Menorah in the Temple says to me that I Canít Make It On My Own --- I Require Light (Guidance) Beyond Myself.
D. I Donít Need God to just Understand Me --- I Need Him To Guide Me!
1. If all God ever did was say, "Yes, Travis, I understand, I feel your pain, yes, son, I understand, I want you to know that I understand." --- It Wouldnít Help Much!
2. But Praise God --- He Does More Than That --- As We Shall See!
3. Every time I open His Word, in the Pulpit, in the Classroom, in a Bible Study, Individually --- God is shining His light in a dark world
Psa. 119:9, "Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word." --- V. 105, "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
4. At that point I am able to --- Celebrate!
III. Jesus Christ Is The Light of The World --- He Is Our Guiding Light!
A. Jesus Christ (The Son) is the Light of the World.
1. No matter how Tough the times or the Indignities we must suffer --- Jesus Christ Never Ceases To Shine.
a. God Gives you enough Light to Know Right from Wrong --- even Love for each other.
1 Thess. 4:9, "But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another." --- (Unity)
b. It is because of this Light that our Conscience either Accuses or Excuses us.
Rom. 2:15, "Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)"
c. Even our Blessings and Godís Promises are given us In Christ Jesus.
2 Cor. 1:20, "For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us."
Eph. 1:3, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:"
d. If we truly Follow Jesus, We Will Not Walk In Darkness.
(1) Anytime there is a Shadow, there Must Be A Light.
As long as we Face The Light --- the Shadows Will Be Behind Us!
(2) If it were possible for us to follow the Sun in its Complete Circuit, we would Always Be In The Sunlight.
(3) As long as we follow the Son of God, we shall never be in the dark.
John 8:12, "Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life."
2. Sometimes Clouds get in our way and Prevent Us From Seeing The Sun --- but we do Not Lose Faith that the sun is still there and shinning.
a. We do not call up the Navy Observatory and ask where has the Sun gone and will it return.
b. Why is it when the clouds of Adversity Block Our View of Jesus, we ask "Where Is God?" and "Will He Ever Come Back?"
We Sometimes Have More Faith In The Sun God To Do Its work --- Than In The True & Living God To Do His Work.
c. Sometimes we lose faith altogether and conclude that We Have Been Abandoned By God!
3. We do Not Cease To Believe In The Sun because of a cloudy day, but if One Little Adversity clouds our view of Jesus, We Lose Heart And Faint.
Luke 18:1, "And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;"
2 Cor. 4:16, "For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day."
Gal. 6:9, "And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not."
Heb. 11:27, "By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible."
B. Now, Satan rules over the kingdom of Dishonesty, Deceit, Delusions, and Darkness in this world.
1. Without God, this World is groping in Moral and Spiritual Darkness --- their Consciences have even become Perverted.
2. John 3:19-21, "And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. 21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God."
Why will people Not Listen to you --- Nor Come with you to church? --- (V. 20)
C. However, Satan was Defeated on the Cross and Jesus Rules Supreme in this world.
1. Rev. 1:18, "I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death."
Col. 2:13, "And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it."
1 Pet. 3:19, "By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;"
2. Jesus Is Still In Control Today!
Heb. 1:1-3, "God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, 2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; 3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;"
Col. 1:16-17, "For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: 17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist."
3. Jesusí Light Is Not A Fragile Flicker that must be carefully tended by His Huddled Faithful.
a. It is a Bright, Blinding Light that engulfs everything.
b. Like the Light of The Sun, the Shadows do Not Extinguish The Light.
4. The Gates of Hell --- Cannot Keep The Light Out!
IV. Christians Are Also The Light of The World.
A. We Are Reflectors of The True Light.
1. John The Baptist --- John 1:4-9, "In him was life; and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. 8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. 9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world."
a. John Was Not That Light But, Like Christ, You Are --- As We Shall See!
b. Matt. 4:12, "Now when Jesus had heard that John was cast into prison, he departed into Galilee;" V. 16, "The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up. 17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."
c. That is a Fulfillment of:
Isaiah 9:2, "The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined."
2. As the Father sent Christ to be the Light of The World --- Christ has sent Us to be the Light of The World.
John 8:12, "Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life."
John 9:5, "As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world."
John 20:21, "Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you."
B. The Christianís Greatest Privilege and Greatest Responsibility.
1. We Are The Light of The World.
Matt. 5:14-16, "Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. 15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."
Eph. 5:8, "For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:"
Phil. 2:15, "That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;"
Acts 13:47, "For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth."
2. We Are Ambassadors (Representatives) of Christ In This World --- We Are Here In His Stead --- Carrying On His Work.
2 Cor. 5:17-20, "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. 20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christís stead, be ye reconciled to God."
a. We do Not represent our Church, our Denomination, not even Ourselves --- We Represent Christ.
b. The World has No Desire to see You.
John 12:21, "The same came therefore to Philip, which was of Bethsaida of Galilee, and desired him, saying, Sir, we would see Jesus."
c. The First thing the World will Notice about a True Representative of Christ --- Is Christ.
Acts 4:13, "Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus."
3. God Has Trusted Us To Faithfully Carry On The Work of Christ --- The Continuation of Christís Work Is Dependent Upon Us!
1 Thess. 2:4, "But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts."
1 Tim. 1:11, "According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust."
1 Tim. 6:20, "O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called:"
As we become the Light of The World
Our whole lives become Lives of Worship.
If we come here and receive Godís Guidance, Instruction, and Motivation and Donít leave here and go out and Share it with others --- Our Worship Is Not Complete.
Donít Hid Your Light Under A Bushel!
C. Paul had a Fear that his converts would Not Grow Spiritually And Live Up To this high Privilege and high Responsibility that God Has Seen Fit To Trust Us With.
Gal. 4:11, "I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain."
Why? --- What was Paul afraid that they would or would not do that would Cause His Labor To Be Vain?
Col. 1:27, "To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:" --- V. 19, "My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you,"
Phil. 2:12, "Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling."
2 Cor. 13:5, "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?"
Phil. 2:14-16, "Do all things without murmurings and disputings: 15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; 16 Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain."
1 Thess. 3:5, "For this cause, when I could no longer forbear, I sent to know your faith, lest by some means the tempter have tempted you, and our labour be in vain."
D. Just what is Paul saying that we as Christians Ought To Be?
Mirror --- Christians Pass By And Look Into It -----
2 Cor. 3:18, "But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord." --- 4:1-2, "Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; 2 But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every manís conscience in the sight of God." --- V. 5-7, "For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesusí sake. 6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us." --- V. 10, "Alwayss bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body."
E. If we are true Reflectors of Christ --- we will Suffer As Christ did!
Paul--- Gal. 6:17, "From henceforth let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus."
Col. 1:24, "Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his bodyís sake, which is the church:"
2 Tim. 3:12, "Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution."
V. Light And Life Go Together Like Darkness And Death. --- You Must Choose Christ Or The Devil!
1. Christ --- John 12:35-36, "Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. 36 While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them."
2. Devil --- 2 Cor. 11:4, "For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him." --- V. 14, "And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light." --- (Another Light)
Will You Follow The Lighting
From One Storm To Another?
Will You Follow Jesus Christ,
The True Light of The World?
Like Christ --- The Light of The World?
There Is No Second Chance After Death!
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