Summary: Christmas is a time of beautiful lights decorating homes and businesses. Little does the world take notice that the lights are prophetic in that they speak of the celebration of Him who is the Light of the world.
The Light of the World
Introduction: Christmas is a time of beautiful lights. Everywhere homes and businesses are decorated with a multitude of colorful bright lights. Little does the world take notice that the lights are prophetic in that they speak of the celebration of Him who is the Light of the World – Jesus Christ. Many use the German Advent candle to announce the coming holiday. Each candle represents a facet of the Holy Shining Light of Christ. They speak of hope, peace, joy, love and light.
I. Hope for the Hopeless
A. Ephesians 2:12 and that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world.
B. Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
C. I have hope in the future. The Bible speaks about bodies being glorified. I know the meaning of that now. It’s the time after my death here when I, the quadriplegic, will be on my feet dancing. - Joni Eareckson Tada, quoted by John R. W. Stott, "The Up-to-the-Minute Relevance of the Resurrection," Preaching Today, Tape No. 79.
II. Peace for the Troubled
A. Isaiah 48:22 There is no peace, says Jehovah, to the wicked.
B. Without justification it is impossible to have real peace. Conscience forbids it. Sin is a mountain between a man and God, and must be taken away. The sense of guilt lies heavy on the heart and must be removed. Unpardoned sin will murder peace. The true Christian knows all this well. His peace arises from a consciousness of his sins being forgiven, and his guilt being put away. ... He has peace with God, because he is justified. - J.C. Ryle in Foundations of Faith. Christianity Today, Vol. 35, no. 8.
C. Romans 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
III. Joy for the Sorrowing
A. Ecclesiastes 2:23 For all his days are sorrows, and his labor sadness; yea, his heart does not take rest in the night. This is also vanity.
B. Psalms 16:11 Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
C. When Handel wrote the "Hallelujah Chorus," his health and his fortunes had reached the lowest possible ebb. His right side had become paralyzed, and all his money was gone. He was heavily in debt and threatened with imprisonment. He was tempted to give up the fight. The odds seemed entirely too great. And it was then he composed his greatest work--Messiah. Could we not say of Handel that the Spirit entered into him and set him upon his feet?
IV. Love for the Unloved
A. Psalms 142:4 I looked on my right hand, and I watched, but no one recognized me; escape was lost to me; no man cared for my soul.
B. According to an old legend, a man became lost in his travels and wandered into a bed of quicksand. Confucius saw the man’s predicament and said, "It is evident that men should stay out of places such as this." Next, Buddha observed the situation and said, "Let that man’s plight be a lesson to the rest of the world." Then Muhammad came by and said to the sinking man, "Alas, it is the will of God." Finally, Jesus appeared. "Take my hand, brother," he said, "and I will save you."