Summary: Our churches can be so active these days, but without love we’re not going to reach our potential. Activity can not take the place of attractiveness, and we are to shine so we can draw men and women to Christ. Love for others will cause us to want to be a
Loose Your Love, Loose Your Light
I heard a story once about a lighthouse and rescue squad off of a dangerous point on a certain seacoast. They did a wonderful job rescuing the hurting and lost, that is until the town got the idea of reconditioning the old lighthouse for a newer and better one. It was completed and so nice that the community began meeting there and having other club social events. Before long everyone was having such a good time at the club socials that no one wanted to do the rescuing. But after all, rescuing was in its mission, and it was a lighthouse so they appointed a rescuing committee.
One rainy evening there was a terrible shipwreck off the coast and the rescue committee went out and returned to the lighthouse with hurting and bleeding victims. At the next club meeting a vote was taken to build a bathhouse to clean up the bleeding victims before they brought them into the lighthouse. Someone argued against it, but was told to go start your own lighthouse if you didn’t agree, which they did.
Today the seacoast is still a dangerous place and there are many shipwrecks. The coast is filled with elaborate lighthouses, but most of the victims these days drown.
WE HAVE BEEN CALLED TO BE LIGHT
If the church is affective today the evidence of it will be how we affect the darkness in this world.
The Bible says in Philippians 2:15 That Christ wants us to be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;
And again the Bible says in Matthew 5:14,16 “Ye are the light of the world.”
• Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father, which is in heaven.
The church shines today by being different from a crooked, and perverse world. Unfortunately, it’s getting harder to tell the churches from the world. Our churches are just about as selfish as our local clubs. The works that are carried out are not done in love, but to make them look good. We need to be filling our communities with good works, and the key to good works is going to stem from the love we have for those we offer the good works to.
Light is influencing, and we are called to be that influence. We have to penetrate the darkness because there are lost souls at stake. Our neighbors, our friends, and our families need us to step up to what God is calling us to do and make a difference in this world.
WE’VE BEEN CALLED TO LOVE
Christ summarizes the best way we can be that light to a particular lawyer when the Lawyer asked Him in,
Matthew 22:36-40 Master which [is] the great commandment in the law?
* Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.
* And the second [is] like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.
You see, if we ever accomplish great evangelistic campaigns, if we ever make the church a positive influence in the world again, it will only happen because the church has fallen back in love with God and others.
Christ, told the church of Ephesus, “You have left your first love!” They had some good characteristics. They could recognize what was good and what was evil, but without love it was as “sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal” (1Cor.13:1) You see, in God’s eyes love is the key factor, not duty, not laws, but love!
Now here’s an interesting thing God says to the church of Ephesus, He tells them that if they don’t repent, He will remove the candlestick from them. In other words, God said to the church, all of your works are not going to make a difference in your communities without love. We need to do what we do because we love one another and God. That is when our neighbors will experience Christ’s church at its best.
So here’s where my title comes from, loose your love and you’ll loose your light!
So what do we need to do? Well the first thing we need, if we‘re going to influence our community is have:
A LOVE FOR GOD THAT KEEPS US FROM LOVING THE WORLD
1 John 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things [that are] in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
James 4:4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.