Summary: Believers bear the Light of the World...Jesus! It's done through Expectations, Revelation and Anticipation.
Also He said to them, "Is a lamp brought to be put under a basket or under a bed? Is it not to be set on a lampstand? For there is nothing hidden which will not be revealed, nor has anything been kept secret but that it should come to light. If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear”. Then He said to them, "Take heed what you hear. With the same measure you use, it will be measured to you; and to you who hear, more will be given. For whoever has, to him more will be given; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him." Mark 4:21-25
Lighting the World
Introduction – Making decisions in the dark
Making decisions in the dark can lead to some regrettable consequences. Back in the days before electricity, a tightfisted old farmer was taking his hired man to task for carrying a lighted lantern when he went to call on his best girl. “Why,” he exclaimed, “when I went a-courtin’ I never carried one of them things. I always went in the dark.” “Yes,” the hired man said wryly,” and look what you got!” Source unknown
It’s an Issue of EXPECTATIONS 21
Transformation Jn 15:5-6
Illumination Mt 5:14-16 LIGHT
Illustration – Expectations
You can have a brighter child, it all depends on your expectations. Before you’re tempted to say, “Not true,” let me tell you about Harvard social psychologist Robert Rosenthal’s classic study.
All the children in one San Francisco grade school were given a standard I.Q. test at the beginning of the school year. The teachers were told the test could predict which students could be expected to have a spurt of academic and intellectual functioning. The researchers then drew names out of a hat and told the teachers that these were the children who had displayed a high potential for improvement. Naturally, the teachers thought they had been selected because of their test performance and began treating these children as special children.
And the most amazing thing happened—the spurters, spurted! Overall, the “late blooming” kids averaged four more I.Q. points on the second test that the other group of students. However, the gains were most dramatic in the lowest grades. First graders whose teachers expected them to advance intellectually jumped 27.4 points, and the second grade spurters increased on the average 16.5 points more than their peers.
One little Latin-American child who had been classified as mentally retarded with an I.Q. of 61, scored 106 after his selection as a late bloomer.
It’s an Issue of REVELATION 22-23
A Word to deliver
A Warning to consider
Jn 14:17 "the world does not see or know the H.S." Why? Because He is spiritually discerned 1 Cor 2:14
Illustration – We are coming!
During the American Civil War, General William T. Sherman was driving his troops on his decisive march to the sea. He had left behind in a fort on Kennesaw Mountain a small contingent of men to guard the rations. General John Bell Hood of the Confederate Army attacked the fort, and a fierce battle followed. One-third of the men were killed or wounded, and J. M. Corse, the general in command, was severely injured in the fighting. Just as he was about to hoist up the white flag and surrender, a message came through the signal corps set up on a chain of mountains. General Sherman was within 15 miles of the fort and had sent the message: “Hold fast. We are coming.” Those few words so encouraged the defenders that they held on and kept the fort from falling into the hands of their attackers.
It’s an Issue of ANTICIPATION 24-25
Illustration –Great Anticipation
Football practice was over, and Denny was sore from head to toe. Slowly he climbed the graffiti-laden stairway of the aging apartment building. Suddenly, his mother’s chilling screams pierced the cold, still air. He had heard the sound many times before. Still, a sickening knot formed in Denny’s stomach. Denny had tried for years, without success, to quell his father’s drunken fits of anger and abuse. Today would be different. Something snapped inside him. With adrenaline pumping, Denny stormed through the apartment door and tore his dad away from his mother. Hardened by years of football training, he hammered his dad with two quick punches. Then, empowered by years of burning memories, he lifted his father from the floor and threw him through their second-story window. Amazingly, his father sustained only minor injuries in the fall. But memories of what he’d done haunted Denny through two marriages and a string of friendships shattered by a fiery temper. Alcoholism, something he swore would never destroy his life as it had his father’s, slowly ate away at him as well. Little did Denny realize that if he had any chance at all for a worthwhile life, it would come by learning to honor his dad. Miraculously, even Denny discovered the freedom to be found in honoring his dad. After six years Denny finally consented to attend church with an old high school team-mate and placed his faith in Jesus Christ. Soon he met and married a wonderful Christian widow. Prompted by his wife and several Christian friends, Denny placed three phone calls to his dad over the course of seven years. Each call began with, “Dad, I love you,” only to be abruptly cut off with a prompt “click” on the other end. Finally, on the fourth attempt, Denny was able to convince his father to listen. In the ensuing moments, he explained how much his life had changed, and how he could forgive and honor his dad now because of all he had been forgiven. Several months passed. One day his mother called him at the office with the shocking news that his father was near death. Before he could leave for the airport, his mother called again to report that his dad had disappeared. His father had checked into an alcoholic rehabilitation clinic in order to be able to talk with Denny about spiritual things, sober, before he died. Denny did see his father again, and had the incredible privilege of leading him to the Lord. Several months later, his dad died. Denny waits with great anticipation to see him again, eager to pick up where they left off. Having found the freedom in giving the gift of honor, Denny now moves through life unencumbered by the chains of hate that once paralyzed him. By choosing to bestow honor, even when it wasn’t deserved, he liberated himself and brought his dad to Christ. For Denny, and for many others, the gift of honor is the gift of life. (Gary Smalley)