Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: The way God desires us to live.

Genesis 1:1-4

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

3 And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light.

4 God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness.

God created us to live in the light.

Light is so important to each of us. God who created all things saw the light He spoke into being and declared it to be good.

I could read a great dialogue regarding the Visible Spectrum. Some here would understand it, to others like me it would be little more than words. I get a little more understanding when they talk about the speed of light, because although I cannot understand speeds of that magnitude, (194,188 miles in one second of time, or terms referring to light years) I can understand that it takes time to travel from a - b but not much more.

God created. In verse 3 He spoke light into being. Before the creation of the sun and the moon, God, who John (1 John 1:5) describes as light and in whom there is no darkness at all, stepped into the formless and empty darkness and brought light. Light certainly in most cases brings life and that is what God wanted for His creation, not a lifeless form but a created masterpiece full of the richness of the Creator.

It is as if this creation story, not only teaches us of God’s methods but shows what His desire for His creation should be, a creation of LIFE. Elihu said to Job, while trying to bring human wisdom to Job’s situation. (Job 33:30) ‘to turn back his soul from the pit, that the light of life may shine on him.’ Jesus said of his purpose in coming, (John 8:12) ‘"I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."’ Then we have what Paul wrote to Timothy saying, (2 Timothy 1:10) ‘but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Saviour, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.’ We can have a real understanding about God’s purpose and life for us, through the light of the Gospel.

Are we enjoying the light or living in the gloom?

We turn back to Job and see what he is saying, (Job 17:12) ‘These men turn night into day; in the face of darkness they say, ’Light is near.’’

Job was certainly ‘in the gloom’ and we would hardly blame him for feeling like he did. But here are his friends trying to lift his spirits. The gloom had overwhelmed Job, he could see nothing but the blackness of his life.

How do some answer the hopelessness of their situation. If we take a look at the Bible (Ecclesiastes 2:20 NLT) ‘So I turned in despair from hard work. It was not the answer to my search for satisfaction in this life.’ It was a little bit like making oneself so active all the pain would simply go away. It’s so sad when we see folk trying to deal with their misery themselves. Some drink, some get into other habits while still others sink into depression and despair. (2 Corinthians 1:8 NLT) ‘I think you ought to know, dear brothers and sisters, about the trouble we went through in the province of Asia. We were crushed and completely overwhelmed, and we thought we would never live through it.’ Again (2 Corinthians 4:8 NLT) ‘We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed and broken. We are perplexed, but we don’t give up and quit.’

The problems were real, they looked as if they would be crushed and fail but here were men who put their faith in God, not in what they could achieve, nor in their own efforts. (2 Corinthians 1:9 NLT) ‘In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we learned not to rely on ourselves, but on God who can raise the dead.’ God is the God of light and the light of life! Even if the pain of life’s problems are too much for us to cope with, as Job found, God steps in and brings forth life. (2 Corinthians 4:9-10 NLT) ‘We are hunted down, but God never abandons us. We get knocked down, but we get up again and keep going. 10 Through suffering, these bodies of ours constantly share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.’

Paul never ever shrunk away from the fact that there were times when he simply didn’t know what to do. (Acts 22:10) ‘What shall I do, Lord? I asked. ‘Get up,’ the Lord said,...’ Here he is telling the story of his conversion and this is at the time when he is literally floored. The circumstances may be very different for you right now, but if you are floored, listen to what the Lord has to say to you. It certainly will not be like the friends of Job or his wife’s advice... sort of curl up and die. - Oh, and what was it that had happened to Saul at this time? - He had seen the light!

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