Summary: LIVING IN THE LIGHT REQUIRES DEALING WITH SOME BURNED OUT LIGHT BULBS.
Turning on the Light: Deal with the Burned Out Bulbs
There are 700 billion lights on the strip.
Over five miles of lights are used to decorate the tree every year (+250,000).
It takes 20,000 light bulbs to make the Eiffel Tower sparkle at night.
There are 15-30 light bulbs in the average home.
They all have one thing in common. When they are burned out they need to be changed.
T. S. We've been talking about learning to live it in the light. About how to live after we've had our light switch moment, the moment we decided that we really wanted to live in this new way enabled by a relationship with Jesus.
No one assumes that a burned out light bulb is normal. Everyone assumes that a light bulb is supposed to light up. Burned out light bulbs need to be addressed.
Imagine how long it would take someone to tell one of the pastors at the church that the light bulb in the women's bathroom was burned out. I'm sure I'd be told right away. Because burned out light bulbs need to be changed.
In Ephesians, Paul who is challenging us about learning to live in the light now turns to some specific issues, burned out light bulbs if you will, that need to be changed.
Turn with me this morning once again to Ephesians 4:25-32.
25 Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body. 26 "In your anger do not sin": Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold. 28 He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need.
29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
LIVING IN THE LIGHT REQUIRES DEALING WITH SOME BURNED OUT LIGHT BULBS.
T.S. Just as a burned out bulb is hard to ignore, these issues, faults, failings, sins, are hard to over look if we're supposed to be living in the light.
Paul declares that the challenge to live in the Light will require addressing five areas that can become like a burned out light bulb.
I -- Falsehood rather than Truth
25 Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body.
A -- Putting away of the false hoods.
* Lies to get out of trouble. Lies to get what we want. Lies of convenience.
* Exaggerations that promote ourselves
* Accounts that portray other in as a bad a light as possible.
* Minimizing of our culpability.
B -- Speak truthfully.
One of the clear signs that you are not living in the light is the evidence of the burned out bulb of falsehood.
Do I stretch the truth?
Do I manipulate truth to control how others see me?
Do I exaggerate the facts to make others appear worse?
If so, then God wants to change this light bulb in your life.
II -- Anger that leads to sin
26 "In your anger do not sin": Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold.
A -- Not all ager is sin.
B -- There is a line to be crossed.
* When anger is expressed as a weapon.
C -- God expects us to deal with anger in ways that do not lead to sin.
D -- Failing to learn the difference gives the enemy ground to use against you.
In his book It Came from Within, Andy Stanley tells of a man whose faith sprang back to life once he dealt with his anger. Stanley writes:
I met Joe at Starbucks. He was sitting in one of those overstuffed chairs with headphones on and a scowl that said, "Don't anybody come near me." Everything about his countenance and posture communicated anger. So when I saw him, I avoided eye contact and went on about my business.
As I was waiting for my soy latte, Joe approached me and said, "Aren't you Andy?" At that particular moment, I wasn't sure if I should be Andy or not.... "Somebody gave me one of your CDs," he said. "I've been listening to it. But I've got to tell you, I have a real problem with God, and the church, too, for that matter."