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Living as a Lighthouse

January 28, 2007

Challenge of Lighthouse Living

1 Thessalonians 2:13-3:5


When she was 1 1/2, she was extremely ill, and she lost both her vision and hearing. It was like entering a different world, with completely new rules, and she got very frustrated. By the time she was 7 she lived and acted more like an uncontrollable animal than a child. Her parents knew they needed help, so they hired a tutor.

But how do you teach and blind and deaf child. How do you communicate? Where all others had given up one tutor found success. Using a manual alphabetic formed into the palm of her hand, words were repeated over and over again to the little girl.

While she quickly mimicked the movements with her own hands, there was no awareness of their meaning.

Then one day at the water pump, with one hand thrust under the flowing water, while the tutor repeated signed the letters W-A-T-E-R into her hand recognition dawned. The child made the connection that the manually letters stood for the wet flow cascading over her hand. By days end she knew and understood 30 words.

Thanks to Anne Sullivan’s willingness to face the challenge of teaching a blind deaf child, Helen Keller’s life was reborn. Before her death she would write 11 books and learn to read five languages in Braille.

We are talking about living as a lighthouse. If we accept that call we will face challenges. But if we face them and prevail we will offer the world a similar gift¡Xrebirth¡Xnew birth¡Xwith the forgiver.

T.S. Turn with me to 1 Thessalonians 2:13-3:5 and let’s look at the challenges we will face living as a Lighthouse.

1 Thessalonians 2:13-3:5

13 And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is at work in you who believe. 14 For you, brothers, became imitators of God’s churches in Judea, which are in Christ Jesus: You suffered from your own countrymen the same things those churches suffered from the Jews, 15 who killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets and also drove us out. They displease God and are hostile to all men 16 in their effort to keep us from speaking to the Gentiles so that they may be saved. In this way they always heap up their sins to the limit. The wrath of God has come upon them at last.

17 But, brothers, when we were torn away from you for a short time (in person, not in thought), out of our intense longing we made every effort to see you. 18 For we wanted to come to you-certainly I, Paul, did, again and again-but Satan stopped us. 19 For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you? 20 Indeed, you are our glory and joy.

3:1 So when we could stand it no longer, we thought it best to be left by ourselves in Athens. 2 We sent Timothy, who is our brother and God’s fellow worker in spreading the gospel of Christ, to strengthen and encourage you in your faith, 3 so that no one would be unsettled by these trials. You know quite well that we were destined for them. 4 In fact, when we were with you, we kept telling you that we would be persecuted. And it turned out that way, as you well know. 5 For this reason, when I could stand it no longer, I sent to find out about your faith. I was afraid that in some way the tempter might have tempted you and our efforts might have been useless.

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