Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Jesus is the light of the world! We’ve got to carry that light!

Anyone who has ever been to New York City has had the awesome optical pleasure of seeing the Statue of Liberty. Given to the United States by France in 1886. She stands at Liberty Island in the mouth of the Hudson River in New York Harbor as a welcome to all visitors, immigrants, and returning Americans. The copper statue, dedicated on October 28, 1886, commemorates the centennial of the United States and is a gesture of friendship between the two nations. The Statue of Liberty is one of the most recognizable icons of the U.S. worldwide, and, in a more general sense, represents liberty and escape from oppression. The Statue of Liberty was, from 1886 until the Jet age, often the first glimpse of the United States for millions of American immigrants after ocean voyages from Europe. Her given name is Liberty Enlightening The World because of the brilliant torch she holds up with pride that radiates for all to see.

If I can just pause here for a minute and speak on the matter of Church and State. Its funny to me that our country is not founded on the church yet the most prominent, most recognizable icon of the country is commissioned to be a light to the world like Jesus said. My critics are saying that’s not a probable argument because the Statue of Liberty is a gift. I know that she’s a gift!

Indeed she was a gift but the government could have changed her character. She was a gift but they could have put her someplace else where she wasn’t as visible, where she wasn’t as in the way. She was a gift but the only part they gave us was the actual statue so the pedestal she stands on, the beautiful park she’s in, the landscaping, the unavoidable island that was all the government’s idea! Yes, she was a gift but they could have changed her purpose!

I claim that the founders were practicing their undeniable faith in God when they put up the Statue of Liberty! I claim that they knew she exists as the inanimate manifestation of what Jesus called us to be in Matthew 5:14-16!

The question could be asked: if she stands for liberty, why is she holding a light? That is her given character. Sometime way back when a Frenchman was told to erect a statue to give to the United States in celebration of their independence. He wasn’t given further instruction or how-to. I could just see him sitting in his workshop with nothing more than his imagination and a ball of clay. Understand that God established our character a long time ago when all he had was some dirt and his imagination! Back in Genesis 1:26 he says “let us make man in our image!” So right there he gave us our character!

God is light! Jesus Christ said “I am the light of the World!” And here Jesus says “you are the light of the world!” That’s a compliment on my character! If God is light, Christ is light, and the believer is said to be the light of the world! The believer is what God and Christ are!

I’m excited because he thought highly enough of me, in my worldly state, to call me what he is! Regardless of what I was, he called me what he is! So what if I was sick! He called me healed! I may have been broken, but he called me whole! I may have been down, but he called me up! Lost…found! Out…In! Hungry…Filled! Dark…Light!

The disciple’s character is light. Christ said “I am the Light of the world!” Here he says “you are to be like me, the light of the world!” We’re to undergo a radical transformation! We are to become like Christ more and more and to reflect the light of Christ.

Now we are the light of the world. Jesus said “As long as I’m in the world, I am the light of the world.” He meant that physically! So what happened when he physically left the world? Now we don’t have light, all we have is darkness! But come back with me to my metaphorical juxtaposition. Remember that the Statue of Liberty is a gift? God cares so much for the world that through us he gives the gift of light! If there’s anything you take away from this today it oughta be that you and your light are a gift to somebody!

Because his light is now in my life, I am a reflection of him! I am a gift to somebody! So although there is sometimes darkness I can get with somebody and we can walk as the children of light! While the light is with me, I can help somebody find their way! For he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth! I can help somebody overcome addiction! I can help somebody overcome perversion! I can help somebody overcome sickness! I can help somebody out of their abusive relationship! God made me a gift to somebody!

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