(Sermon By: Evangelist Carolyn Malaika Foster- Brooks
of Lyons, Georgia delivered to the St. Luke AME Church.)
SCRIPTURE: Matthew 5:14-16....Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorif your Father which is in heaven.
TEXT: Let your good works glorify your Father...Let your light shine!
DOXOLOGY: Praise God for whom all blessings flow; Praise Him, all creatures here below; Praise him above, ye heaveny hosts, praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost........................Amen!!!!!!!!!!
INTRODUCTION: Giving honor and respect to the spirit of women preachers and Evangelists who have paved the way for me, such as Elizabeth, born a slave, who in 1808 became a preaching woman; Jarena Lee who in 1809 had an encounter with the Holy Ghost and was implored to go preach the gospel!! After which Bishop Richard Allen (organizer of the African Methodist Episcopal church) sanctioned her ministry from 1818 to her death in 1849 and most recently to the first AME female Bishop in over 213 years, Rev. Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie.
And most of all, to the highest honor and respect, my Lord and my Saviour who died on Calvary for my sins, Jesus Christ, the Light of the world!
This message comes from God who is ruling my life. I have asked to be used as candlestick set up on a hill, exposing myself as an example of what God can do for you if you will simply let Him!
To encourage the discouraged and to give hope to those who might feel that the whole world is against you simply because you love the Lord and you want to serve Him.
I have looked closely at the word "light" and I wanted to be certain of its spiritual meaning. Too often we are in church and we hear scriptures used from the pulpit..we hear scriptures used as a text subject for a sermon and still among the "hoop", we are receiving no real meaning of God’s Word. Therefore I pray that God will open your mind so you can receive Him, for in Luke 4:18, it lets us know that THE LORD HAS PUT HIS SPIRIT IN ME, BECAUSE HE APPOINTED ME TO TELL THE GOOD NEWS TO THE POOR. HE HAS SENT ME TO TELL THE CAPTIVES THEY ARE FREE AND TO TELL THE BLIND THEY CAN SEE AGAIN. GOD SENT ME TO FREE THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN TREATED UNFAIRLY AND TO ANNOUNCE THE TIME WHEN THE LORD WILL SHOW HIS KINDNESS....
Earlier I gave honor and respect to the women of God, who are now dead and gone. Yet these women were "lights" to the world. Bishop Vashti Mc Kenzie who is now leading the AME church...these are women such as is written in the Book of Daniel in the 12th chapter and the 3rd verse.....wise people who shined like the brightness of the sky. Those who teach others to live right, who will shine like stars forever and ever.
But let’s look at the women in our communities today. Those who are the salt of earth, though sometimes treated with contempt, should be treated with respect and considered blessings in the communities.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus preached the gospel to his Apostles, and His sermon is meant for us today! All Christians, especially ministers are the salt of the earth. Salt is penetrating, powerful, it is cleansing and it preserves goodness, it cures the bad and it keeps things from becoming rotten.
The world around us is still sitting in darkness, but we have to be as the lights of the world...illustrious and conspicious- living a life where our good works will glorify our Father in Heaven!
...and understand that anytime you are a child of God and your walk with God is evident, many eyes are upon you. Some people will admire you, some will commend you and some study you in order to imitate you. But others will envy, hate and will tell lies on you. You yourself might even feel that you are not worthy of your calling, but remember the Disciples of Christ were obscure men before He called them! The character He put upon them also dignified them. And that is what the Lord will do for you.
Collossians 3:23-24 tells us that IN ALL THE WORK YOU ARE DOING, WORK THE BEST YOU CAN. WORK AS IF YOU WERE DOING IT FOR THE LORD, NOT FOR PEOPLE. REMEMBER THAT YOU WILL RECEIVE YOUR REWARD FROM THE LORD, WHICH HE PROMISED TO HIS PEOPLE. YOU ARE SERVING THE LORD CHRIST.
By doing such good works as men may see; such works as are of good report, and as will give cause to think well of Christianity. We must do good works taht may be seen to the edification of others, but not that they may seen to our own ostentation. What lies between God and our souls, must be kept to ourselves; but that which is of itself, open to the sight of men, we must study to make suitable to our profession, and praiseworthy. ( Phil. 4:8)
....let your good works glorify your Father, not yourself. The glory of God is the great thing we must aim at in everything we do in religion. When people see your good works, it will move others to be convinced of the truth and excellency of the Christian religion may be provoked to imitate your good works, and so, may glorify God.