Summary: Analysis of some of the characteristics of light, breaks it done a bit into different functions.
LET THERE BE LIGHT
A STUDY OVER THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT: PART VIII (TOPIC: LIGHT)
DARK WORLD: We live in a dark world, a world of unattached people seeking success or pleasure or something, but all the while avoiding God.
BARNA STUDY: Barna.org did a study in March of this year about those who are unattached from a body of believers. Here is what they found.
Compared to regular churchgoers, the Unattached are:
more likely to feel stressed out
less likely to be concerned about the moral condition of the nation
much less likely to believe that they are making a positive difference in the world
less optimistic about the future
far less likely to believe that the Bible is totally accurate in its principles
substantially more likely to believe that Satan and the Holy Spirit are symbolic figures, but are not real
more likely to believe that Jesus Christ sinned while He was on earth
much more likely to believe that the holy literature of the major faiths all teach the same principles even though they use different stories
less likely to believe that a person can be under demonic influence
more likely to describe their sociopolitical views as "mostly liberal" than "mostly conservative"
TRANSITION: The world needs a light.
BIBLE VERSE: Matthew 5:14-15
You are the light of the world. A city upon a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand and it gives life to everyone in the house.
1. PENETRATES DARKNESS:
MIKE KNIGHT STORY: I had a friend years ago who was a Christian, and was the head wrestling coach of a University. But some times he would just flee from God, he would just stop attending, stop fighting, almost like he stopped believing. I asked him about this, I found it odd. What he told me was that there are times that he messes up, when he does, he doesn’t feel worthy to be in God’s presence. So he essentially runs from God until he “cleans up his act” and comes back. But the only problem is he is never able to clean up his act by himself.
TREE SWALLOWS DOG: This is kind of like a video clip I saw on the internet yesterday, it was titled “Tree Swallows Dog.” Essentially, an owner trained his dog to attack a large evergreen tree. The dog runs, jumps, and disappears in the tree. And it reminded me a lot of what happens to Christians when they try to fight their sin without giving it go God, they get swallowed up.
BIBLE VERSE: Genesis 26:1-4
26:1 There was a famine in the land, subsequent to the earlier famine that occurred in the days of Abraham. Isaac went to Abimelech king of the Philistines at Gerar. 26:2 The LORD appeared to Isaac and said, “Do not go down to Egypt; settle down in the land that I will point out to you. 26:3 Stay in this land. Then I will be with you and will bless you, for I will give all these lands to you and to your descendants, and I will fulfill the solemn promise I made to your father Abraham. 26:4 I will multiply your descendants so they will be as numerous as the stars in the sky, and I will give them all these lands. All the nations of the earth will pronounce blessings on one another using the name of your descendants.
BIBLE VERSE: Genesis 26:7
26:7 When the men of that place asked him about his wife, he replied, “She is my sister.” He was afraid to say, “She is my wife,” for he thought to himself, “The men of this place will kill me to get Rebekah because she is very beautiful.”
BREAKING IT DOWN: Isaac is a faithful man of God, but is desperately afraid. Low on funds, area is suffering, and he receives a message from the Lord on how to get through it. One of the Lord’s pieces of information is “stay!” But Isaac, doesn’t hear it. He already has his mind made up, moves away to Gerar, and even lies about his relationship to his wife because he is afraid that there are so many people that would desire his beautiful wife that they might kill him for her. In the process he just about loses her (not to mention if the people of that area might go to the extent of killing him to get to her, why in his right mind would he think to make her publicly available). He pursues darkness, rather than the light.
TRANSITION: But the light penetrates darkness. If we would only claim it and take advantage of it.
FLASHLIGHT: If you have a flashlight, now would be a time to use it. In my example, I have one of those attach to your head flashlights and I’m going to put it on. I am hoping that this will be a goofy but strong visual for those fighting darkness. “We need to put the light on, and keep the light on!”