Summary: The Apostle Paul wants to share with us the Good News that we are "Children of Light". He reminds us of the majesty of our Spiritual Conversion and Challenges us to be God's Children of Light.
Theme: Light and Darkness - "CHILDREN OF LIGHT"
The Apostle Paul wants to share with us the Good News that we are "Children of Light". He reminds us of the majesty of our Spiritual Conversion and Challenges us to be God's Children of Light.
Grace and peace from God our Father and from His Son Jesus Christ who came to take away the sin of the world and give us New Life in His Holy Spirit.
A couple of weeks ago a majority of us living in the United States once again began our annual dance with Daylight Saving Time. Daylight Saving Time is that time of the year in the Spring that we set our clocks ahead one hour with the idea that we will be able to enjoy more sunlight/daylight in our evenings. Of course, we all know that merely changing the clock does not suddenly create another hour or two of sunshine. The number of hours each day that we experience sun light is determined by how our earth is rotating around the sun.
The main purpose (according to the Government) of Daylight Saving Time is for us to be able to make better use of our day light hours. The thought is that if we move one of our daylight hours from the morning to the evening it will give us an additional hour to do our work or enjoy a longer time of pleasure after our work hours. The idea of daylight saving was the brain child of Benjamin Franklin in an essay written back in 1784 entitled, "An Economical Project." Dr. Franklin saw Daylight Saving Time as an excellent way to save energy and enable the country to better use its day light hours for industrial and economic gain.
However, not everyone worldwide agrees with Dr. Franklin. Around seventy countries worldwide choose not to enjoy Daylight Saving Time. Those include countries like Japan, India and China. Each one of them believe that its best to merely leave things alone. And in our country the states of Arizona and Hawaii along with some parts of the state of Indiana have also chosen not to join the dance. When you begin to see who and who doesn't go along with Daylight Saving Time it can get very confusing. No wonder people who travel a great deal have some issues with being on time or on schedule. It's always best to do a double check on who is doing what and what the local time is before you either arrive to early or to late.
As we look at each of our scripture passages this morning we see that they too deal with the subject of light. Actually, they deal with the subjects of both light and darkness. Each of them challenges us to be a person of light. That is to say, they challenge us to be a "child of the light" who is living a life of being obedient to the LORD and listening to His guidance. Each of our passages reminds us that there are great dangers to living in the dark. Dangers that include at the very least missing out on some of the blessings of the LORD to missing out on the opportunity for peace with God and everlasting life.
For example, in 1 Samuel 16:1-13 we are invited to walk alongside the Prophet Samuel as the LORD leads him step by step out of a period of darkness into a time of great light and revelation. The LORD was calling Samuel to anoint a new king for His chosen people - Israel. This was necessary because the LORD had rejected King Saul because he had persistently decided to walk the path of spiritual darkness. Saul had chosen to use the Apostle Paul's words to take part "in the unfruitful works of darkness" (Ephesians 5:11 ESV) and because of that life choice King Saul was no longer fit to lead God's people. This news had caused the prophet Samuel great anguish and had actually lead him to a time of spiritual sluggishness. I believe we are to understand that Samuel, himself was in danger of missing out on God's leading and beginning his own walk towards darkness. In verse one God calls Samuel to come out of a period of despair and darkness and rejoin Him in the light.
"The LORD said to Samuel, 'How long will you grieve over Saul, since I have rejected him from being king over Israel.'" (verse 1a ESV).
In the following verses we watch as the prophet regains his spiritual footing and begins his walk back into the light. Initially, he stumbles and a bit and gets confused. He tries to get a little ahead of God in picking Saul's replacement. It takes Samuel a little while to understand that it's best to allow God to tell him who to anoint rather than thinking that he knows who to anoint. "The LORD sees not as man sees; man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart." (1 Samuel 16:7 ESV) Much to Samuel and to everyone else's surprise the LORD had chosen the young shepherd boy David to be the next king. Samuel would have missed this miracle in his life if he had not decided to walk in the light of the LORD's will and revelation.