Sermons

Summary: The only way to get out of or avoid the dark is to find a source of light. Where is yours? How reliable is it? How easy is it to find? Once you do, how bright is it? How long and wide is its’ beam?

ANYONE GOT A LIGHT?

Sunday Morning, May 15, 2005

Rev. Todd G. Leupold

INTRODUCTION:

Light Bulb jokes

Why joke so much about light bulbs? Why are these jokes so common and why do we keep laughing at them? Let me suggest it is because laughter helps to dissipate the deep, natural fear of the dark and unknown that is such a strong part of our nature.

What’s wrong with the dark? It’s so . . . well . . . dark. Everything is mystery and unknown. There’s no telling what danger lurks there that we can’t see . . . The dark represents ignorance (not knowing what is really there, what is shadow and what is substance), danger, isolation, confusion (we are lost), vulnerability, and if we stay there long enough even a gradual loss of personal identity and impending hopelessness with nowhere to go to escape!

Personal Story: Walking down path at Del. Water Gap during dark evening storm.

The only way to get out of or avoid the dark is to find a source of light. Where is yours? How reliable is it? How easy is it to find? Once you do, how bright is it? How long and wide is its’ beam?

PRAYER

Transition:

I. You Have A Candle: Is it lit?

John 1:1-9; 3:19-21

John 12:35-36

Illustration: Ornate (unlit) & Plain Candle (lit)”.

Matthew 6:22-23

22 “The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light.23 “But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!

II. Your Light Has A Purpose: To Shine For God’s Glory!

* It is no coincidence that God’s first recorded words were “Let there be light . . . and it was good.”

John 12:20-21

Matthew 5:14-16

Illustration: Nite-light with & without a shade or large lit candle.

Just imagine if BBC really took this to heart and life application. (To paraphrase Robert Lewis) Imagine if we all so hungered to be a church that incarnated the gospel so well and so effectively that all of Lahaina and the surrounding area – rather than scoffing or ridiculing our proclamations, or worse, ignoring us altogether – would, instead, because of our good works in His Name, literally feet compelled to give glory to the God they saw working through us and heard about from us?! Now, that, is dreaming a dream!!!

Our faith visibly lived out is the proof that our world desperately needs before it will ever seriously consider our truth – God’s truth.

Please listen carefully as I re-read these essential last words in amplified fashion:

“Jesus is encouraging us: Let your light . . . that eternal and powerful light which His Spirit has ignited in each and every one of us who has been born again, that light that has transformed our lives, our abilities and resources . . . so shine . . . not just flicker or even light up, but shine – emanate forth and cast out . . . before men . . . not in secret or the shadows, not just when it is safe, when you are in church or among other Christians – but before all, those around us, our families, friends, colleagues, neighbors, city, Island . . . that they may see your good works . . . not simply put up with or endure our holier-than-thou attitude, righteous indignation, judgmental spirits, or arrogance – but our good works (as fruit of the Spirit) . . . and glorify your Father in heaven . . . because of that undeniable, self-less goodness, because of those humble, sacrificial works of love, our community, rather than ignoring, ridiculing, or reacting in unnecessary anger, would instead do something absolutely amazing – glorify God!!!

Power Point: Will YOU shine His Light before the wandering denizens of this dark, confused and torn world?

III. Your Light Has Power.

Have you ever noticed how the darker the darkness is, the lighter the light becomes?

So is God’s intervention into our lives when we trust and call out to Him. And so are we to be into the life of others around us.

Acts 26:12-18 (Paul’s encounter - refer & succinctly re-tell)

Romans 1:16

16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.

Psalm 27:1

The Lord is my light and my salvation;

Whom shall I fear?

The Lord is the strength of my life;

Of whom shall I be afraid?

To better understand just what kind of power is available for and through us, consider for a minute what we now know about lasers. Lasers are no longer just a part of our imagination or cool special effects in the Sci Fi shows. Today, we use lasers to operate our electronics, guide our production facilities, blast away those nasty kidney stones, make the blind see, cut diamonds, engrave our names, see in the dark, explore space, as a powerful weapon and even – according to a news report this past week – create remote-controlled flies! But what, really, is a laser beam? It is nothing more than a focused light and yet look what we can do with it!

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