Light of the World

Today I will try to keep my message on the light side, pun intended.

 

How does “Light” relate to Jesus?

(John 1:1-10 NIV)  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. {2} He was with God in the beginning. {3} Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. {4} In him was life, and that life was the light of men. {5} The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. {6} 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. {10} He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him.

 

(John 8:12 NIV)  When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." Rich Pearson’s Lighthouse gift.

 

(John 12:35-36 NIV)  Then Jesus told them, "You are going to have the light just a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you. The man who walks in the dark does not know where he is going. {36} Put your trust in the light while you have it, so that you may become sons of light." When he had finished speaking, Jesus left and hid himself from them.

 

(Mat 5:14-16 NIV)  "You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. {15} Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. {16} In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

 

The blind are in darkness whether they are physically blind or spiritually blind. The biggest difference being that spiritual blindness is the worse of the two. We may be able to help, if, we are not reluctant to share the knowledge we have. Here’s a story that illustrates the point. I don’t know the source of the story is unknown.

 

“A woman named Rose Crawford had been blind for 50 years.  "I just can't believe it!"  she gasped as the doctor lifted the bandages from her eyes after her recovery from delicate surgery in an Ontario hospital.  She wept for joy when for the first time in her life a dazzling and beautiful world of form and color greeted eyes that now were able to see.  The amazing thing about the story, however, is that 20 years of her blindness had been unnecessary.  She didn't know that surgical techniques had been developed, and that an operation could have restored her vision at the age of 30.  The doctor said, "She just figured there was nothing that could be done about her condition. Much of her life could have been different.

            As I read the news account of her case, some questions came to mind.  Why did she continue to assume that her situation was hopeless? Had no one told her about the wonderful advances in eye surgery?  Then I thought of the plight of those unreached by the Gospel.  How many will go on living in moral blindness unless we bring them to the Savior?  Millions will never know anything but spiritual darkness because no one has shared with them the Light that has come into the world.”

 

(Rom 10:14 NIV)  How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?

 

Why are we reluctant to share the GOOD NEWS? Perhaps it’s because we don’t prepare the way in our daily lives. That is, people are not eager to be near us or here what we have to say. Here’s a neat and effective way to solve that situation. Listen.

 

*   It costs nothing, but creates much.

*   It enriches those who receive without impoverishing those who give.

*   It happens in a flash, and the memory of it sometimes lasts forever.

*   None are so rich they can get along without it, and none so poor but are richer for its benefits.

*   It creates happiness in the home, fosters goodwill in a business, and is the countersign of friends.

*   It is rest to the weary, daylight to the discouraged, sunshine to the sad, and nature's best antidote for trouble.

*   Yet it cannot be bought, begged, borrowed, or stolen, for it is something that is no earthly good to anyone until it is given away.

*   And if, in the course of the day, some of your friends should be too tired to give you a smile, why don't you give them one of yours?

*   For nobody needs a smile so much as those who have none left to give!

 

CONSIDER THIS

*   If I was guilty of a heinous crime.

*   And if I was caught.

*   And if I learned the righteous penalty for my crime was death.

*   And if I realized there was nothing to do to help myself.

*   And if as a result I was truly sorry for what I had done.

*   And if I determined in my heart of hearts that if just given the opportunity I would do my best to always do right in the future.

*   And if then my wish came true, but even beyond what I had wished for.

*   So that not only was my life spared but was prolonged such that I would never die.

*   And not only that but my life would become perfectly happy forevermore once I finished a probationary period.

*   And then I discover that what happened to me can happen to anyone that responds as I had responded.

*   Then, then…. Do you think I would have good reason to smile? To be happy? To share this good news with my family, my friends, even casual acquaintances?

*   Perhaps it could be said I even have an obligation to share this GOOD NEWS!

 

Here is another story to consider: “A man was driving through a mining region one Sunday when he noticed a large number of mules in an open field.  When he inquired about this unusual sight, he was told that the work animals had been brought up from the dark passages below to preserve their eyesight. Unless they were regularly exposed to the sunlight, they would eventually go blind.  The Christian needs similar experiences to keep him from losing his spiritual vision.”

 

Brothers and Sisters, we are like those mules. We need to let our light shine or we will become blind. We need to let our light shine to help those around us from becoming blind.

 

A few words about light and the rainbow:

*   God instituted the rainbow, as a sign of a covenant that never again will God flood the earth. The rainbow reminds us of God and His promises.

*   The rainbow is used symbolize God Himself.

*   (Rev 4:3 NIV)  And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian. A rainbow, resembling an emerald, encircled the throne.

*   (Rev 10:1 NIV)  Then I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven. He was robed in a cloud, with a rainbow above his head; his face was like the sun, and his legs were like fiery pillars.

*   When pure white light is broken into its components we have the colors of the rainbow. God is that pure white light.

*   Therefore a rainbow is a fitting symbol of God’s presence! It can remind us that all though God is one He is beautiful in all His infinite expressions.

*   In other words white is not a color it is a summation of all colors.

*   Similarly black is not a color. It is the absence of color, which is the absence of light.

*   Imagine closing your eyes and then being taken to a very dark place where there is absolutely no light. Now open your eyes and tell me what you see. Answer: Nothing! No light and no color.

 

Is it any wonder then that light and especially white light is a universal symbol of righteousness and purity.

*   The bride dressed in white

*   The cowboy with the white hat on the white horse.

 

And black being the opposite of light and especially white light is a universal symbol of evil and corruptness.

*   The villain with his black cape and his black heart

*   The burden of being behind the eight ball

 

Let’s revisit (Mat 5:14-16 NIV)  "You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. {15} Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. {16} In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

 

Now here is a black and white question for each and everyone of us… Does Matthew 5:14 through 16 describe me?

*   How can I more fully cause Matthew 5:14 through 16 to apply to me?

*   How will I know if my light is increasing or extinguishing?

*   When will I become a blazing fire, a bright light that is the reflection of God in me?

*   And finally, what am I waiting for?

 

We, as a church, can shine more brightly together than any one of us alone. We need each other. And the world needs us so that they might see Christ in us!