Summary: A few truths about This Little Light of Mine (Outline and material adapted from Alan Carr at: http://www.sermonnotebook.org/new%20testament/Matthew%205_14-16.htm)
An evangelist once said, “When you live in darkness, you not only have no ray of light, you don’t even know where home is. That is the way it is for the majority in the world. Some folks are born, raised, and die in cultures that have never seen their first flashlight of hope. Imagine it! When the truth of that hits me, I find myself a little impatient with Christians who do nothing but shine lights for themselves. They even have what we might call flashlight parties where they just shine the light on each other. Lots of light! Too much light to be hoarded! Jesus says to shine for the world. Shine your light into the darkness; that’s where it is really needed. Spend less time in your own little well-lighted all Christian world and more time there in the darkness!”
Last week we talked about salt and how as Christians we are to preserve this world from rotting away. Salt preserves meat and Christians are to preserve society from decay and deceit.
This morning we are talking about light. Scientifically, chemically, salt is NaCl and called sodium chloride. Light is more difficult to define scientifically. Webster’s Dictionary defines light this way: An electromagnetic radiation in the wavelength range including infrared, visible, ultraviolet, and X rays and traveling in a vacuum with a speed of about 186,281 miles (300,000 kilometers) per second; more specifically the part of this range that is visible to the human eye.
Anyway, salt and light can alter their world. So does the Christian! This is probably why Jesus used these common, everyday images to describe His people and the influence we are to have in the world.
Talked last time about salt, this morning going to focus in on light. God has something to say about when, where and how we are to let our light shine for Him.
Thesis: A few truths about This Little Light of Mine
The Power of light (Matthew 5:14a)
Light is an amazing thing. Light lacks physical properties but it affects physical objects. Light is a wave of energy that can be seen by the human eye. Let’s look at a few ways light affects our world.
A. Light conquers darkness
If we have the least bit of light, darkness is forced to flee. We can be in the darkest place imaginable and just a tiny match, when lit, has the power to drive away darkness.
The same is true in the spiritual world. “In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:4, 5, RSV.
B. Light changes deadness
The ancient Greeks, in their mythology, told of a goddess who visited earth unseen but whose presence was always known by the blessings she left behind in her pathway. Trees burned by forest fires sprouted new leaves, and flowers sprang up in her footprints. As she passed a stagnant pool its water became fresh, and parched fields turned green as she walked through them. Hills and valleys blossomed with new life and beauty wherever she went. Mostly this myth is explaining the beauty of spring time after the deadness of winter. We know that spring breaks forth because God designed it to do so.