The light of truth
Mark chapter 4:21-25
Good Morning everyone, if you would turn to Mark chapter 4:21-25.
We will be listening to advice Jesus gives us from the Gospels concerning our lives, concerning our behavior, concerning things that should be important to us as we live out our purpose on this earth.
Red letters in the Bible means that Jesus spoke these words and should be a flag that we are paying attention to what He has said.
If you look at the gospels, you see all those red words, you realize real quick that some of Jesus messages were not 20 minute sermons. He declares blessings, He declares ethical behavior, and He declares what it is like to be a follower of Christ.
Jesus says - you are to be the light of the world!
As a believer, we have a responsibility to the gospel, it is not just good reading, or a suggestion, it is a mandate of how we are to operate as believers.
Jesus in the gospel of Mark
Jesus talks about
Sowing seed and growing seed
Talks about calming storms in your life and in others
Talks about doing more than what your talent level is and doing what God has asked you to do.
He tells us to be light! That is our text and you will see that being a light is being an example but it also is a whole lot more than just walking around like a billboard that says come to Jesus.
Mark chapter 4:21-25 read from Bible
The gospel of Christ talks about light- Jesus himself talks about light.
He tells us to be the light- a testimony to others of what God has done and is doing in your life.
He tells us to shed His light- To have a hunger to spread God’s Word and His love.
Believers should be living in His light/ the world living in Satan’s darkness.
He declares His light to be good/ Satan’s light to be darkness.
His light to be what chases the darkness of Satan away.
With His light, you and I are able to do more than we could ever do in ourselves.
He tells us that His light is truth!
People are always watching you- whither you like it or not.
We are always influencing someone positive or negatively.
It is not about perfection, it is about obedience.
We are called by God to be authentic- the real deal. In the light of God we are to impact others in a variety of ways.
We are the church sign
We are the church sign of Rosedale Church of the Nazarene.
We are the banner of Christianity to those that are struggling to find the truth of God or the banner of why they do not come to Christ. We are the sign.
We do not want to just be an irritant to people- we want to be the light that changes how they look and respond to God and His love. We cannot let the world affect our usefulness and we need to know that we are being watched and graciously desire to be a blessing instead of a stumbling block to those journeying around us.
Light must be seen
Jesus Himself tells us that the function of a lamp is not to be hidden under a bed but put up on a stand that the light shines and gets the most coverage.
A light is revealing- it shows us and it shows our surroundings and exposes those things that are in the darkness.
Must remember that in Jesus day they did not flic a switch and turn on a light. They had to light a candle.
When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."
Jesus light is also truth- truth must be expressed and seen!
God’s truth cannot be concealed- it is not meant to be hidden under the bed of our lives.
That is why I have such a problem with secret agent Christians that believe that just living the life is enough- it must be seen and shared with those that we come into contact with.
There will be times when it is dangerous and awkward to share your faith. Persecution and troubles may happen because of your faith.
The true women and man of God (Christian) will stand by the truth of God even if there is persecution or heartache.
The reformation of 1517 was started by Martin Luther and other Protestant reformers. They believed that it could not be business as usual. They believed and lived out that if you believed something strongly that you are willing to die for what you believe.
Martin Luther took his beliefs to the public forum, not in the shadows, but listed his demands on the door of the public square, not as an anonymous person, but signed his name.
Luther felt he discovered the truth, his goal was to display the truth and live out the truth of God.
In everyone of our lives there are and will be times that we have to do what is right, even when it is unpopular or dangerous.
Light or truth must not be suppressed
“For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open. If anyone has ears to hear, let them hear.”
There is something about truth-
Some may refuse to face it
They may try to suppress it
Try to wipe it out
Refuse to accept it.
But the truth will in the end prevail.
The great theologian Judge Judy says that “if you tell the truth, you don’t have to have a good memory.”
Truth (God’s light) applies to our lives and our conduct and sharing the truth with others.
Adam and Eve broke the Commandment of God and tried to hide- (Genesis 3:8)
You cannot hide from God what is going on.
Those that harbor secrets are never happy.
Deception is never permanent.
Each one of us must take care that we are not fighting against the truth of God.
Each one of us must make sure that we are not hiding from the light of God.
Each one of us must be the light that God intended us to be where God intended us to go.
The truth is this world of ours lives in darkness- I didn’t say it Jesus said it- we are to be His light in this world the same way that He was and is the light to this world.
Some weeks we do weddings and funerals- Cloud 9 one moment and heart broke the next.
Everything going great and next slid under the bus.
Does not change the fact of the light of God working in us and through us at those times- all of those times.
Jesus gives us the whole light example in the text, then He tells us to have ears to hear- then He tells us in verse 24-
“Consider what you hear, he continued, with the measure you use it, it will be measured to you- and even more, whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them.”
Pay attention to what you hear-
What you get will depend on what you give-listen, you will gain more.
What you give, you will get back and more…
I do not believe there is anything to Karma in the Bible but I believe that you cannot out give God in any aspect of your life.
In life there is balance-
You work hard, you get things. You do not work, things are not as available.
You study hard, the more you are prepared to give to study, the more study gives back to you.
The ancient Greeks believed that they would not give their young men meals until they broke a sweat- they had to work before they ate. Pleasure and satisfaction was based upon the effort they put forth.
It is the same in the study of the Bible- some believe it to be too hard so they never pick it up and never reap the benefits of the contents of God’s Word changing us and empowering us.
Certain parts of the Bible are hard to understand- if we study those parts, we will find the most blessings.
Superficial study will leave us uninterested, but serious study will leave you satisfied and hungering for more.
There is excitement in finding new truth in God’s Word. When it becomes personal and the Spirit of God draws out new discoveries.
It is the same in worship of God- there are wrong ways to approach God when entering into worship.
Coming entirely to get! Key word entirely.
Coming without expectation that God will show up.
Coming out of habit and routine instead of desiring fresh anointing.
Coming without preparation- spending time with God before you enter His house so that corporately He can talk to all and to us individually.
Jewish rabbi “They pray best together who first prays alone.”
It works in every avenue of our lives-
You want friends – be a friend
You are who you hang around with-
Want people to love you – love others
As we close, don’t miss the warning Jesus left us in verse 25- “ Whoever has will be given more, whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken away.”
Use it or lose it!
Knowledge and wisdom-
Skills that God gave you and the skills God has taught you
The devil will steal and destroy if you let him. He will take from you the very things that you thought important if you no longer think they are important.
As believers, we have a responsibility to God for the gift of salvation that He has given us. We have a responsibility to those God has brought in our paths to share the good news that God has revealed to us. We are compelled by the gospel to go into the world of darkness and bring the light of God. We are commanded to desire the truths of God and make efforts to be the light of God to this world.
Some are struggling today because they have allowed certain areas of their life to be in darkness and the darkness is overtaking the light instead of the light of God breaking through darkness as God intended.
Charles Smith was a Jehovah’s Witness, working his way up in the organization for 37 years. Outside one of their meetings, he noticed someone with a sign that simply said, “1 John 5:13.” He decided he would read it later.
“I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.”
“The verse was shocking to him. He tried reading it again to be sure he had not misread it the first time. “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know... that ye may know... that ye may know that ye have eternal life...”
Watchtower theology does not allow them to know they have eternal life. Charles Smith was shocked and confused. After 37 years of working his way up in the organization, he did not know he had eternal life. He did not even know he could know. He took the rather unusual step (unusual for Jehovah’s Witnesses) of reading the verse in context. Much of 1 John 5 was contrary to his JW teachings. When he asked questions about it, what did his superiors tell him? “Don’t worry about it.”
Charles could not stop worrying about it. He struggled with this chapter for a year before deciding he had to know or go mad. He finally knew he had to accept the real Jesus, not the Jesus of the Watchtower, as his savior.
The last time I talked with Charles, he had not met the person holding the sign outside of one of their meetings. The person holding the sign does not know what happened to Charles. I pray that the person has not become frustrated and given up trying to witness. Only God knows all the results of all our efforts.
The truth of God is our light and our path-
Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. Psalm 119:105