Summary: We are to be the light of God to this dark world. How? We're to lead morally, to point the way to God, to warn them of the dangers ahead, to serve, give, and sacrifice -- to show them the love of God. We will change the world one small kindness at a time.
YOU ARE THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD!
A. HUMOR: YOUNG PREACHER TONGUE TIED
1. Preaching his first sermon, the seminary student had written a thoughtful line in his sermon, “God called me to heal the sick, raise the dead, and cast out the devil.”
2. But in his nervousness, it came out like this: “God called me to heal the dead, cast out the sick, and raise the devil.”
3. He got three glad “Amens;” one from an overworked mortician, an HMO exec, and a hippie.
14"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16.
1. Robert Lewis Stevenson, as a boy, was looking out the window watching a workman come by and light the gas lights along the street. When asked what he was watching, the young boy said, “I see a man making holes in the darkness.”
2. In John 9:5 Jesus said, “As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” But Jesus couldn’t stay here, so He has appointed US to be the ‘light of the world’ in His place.
3. The title of this message is, “You are the Light of the World!” The Lord commands that WE be light in three ways:
I. SHINE TO GUIDE (v. 14)
A. A METAPHOR OF THE TRUTH
1. Light is a very common metaphor in the Bible. Along with darkness, light is often used to contrast knowledge and ignorance.
2. Here, it almost certainly stands for the world’s opportunity to perceive the truth about Jesus. The world is “in the dark” about God, but Christians “turn on the light.”
3. Light allows people to see. We can’t see without light. Christians show the world how much God loves them and what Jesus has done to restore their relationship with him.
B. LIGHT ILLUMINATES THE WAY
1. We are meant to be conspicuous to others; “A city set on a hill cannot be hid.” Other’s eyes are to be upon us. A light bulb has no other purpose, nor do we! God takes obscure men & women, dignifies them with His character and puts them on display.
2. Lights are used to mark streets. Ever been through a town when the power was out? It’s very confusing and unnerving. Airport runways are marked with landing lights. Ports have their channels marked by channel markers.
3. All these lights show the way to the desired destination. In the same way we Christians are to mark the way to heaven/ Jesus. If people follow our example, they should be able to please God.
C. TAKING THE MORAL LEAD
1. Christians must set the example. Suppose there is a group of people and someone suggests some they do some bad things. Unless someone speaks up and protests, the wrong action will be acted upon.
2. But if someone rises and says, “I will not be a party to that,” then another may rise to say, Neither will I.” Christians must take the lead and not remain silent.
3. Many people in this world do not have the moral strength to take a stand by themselves, but if someone shows them the way, they will follow. It’s the Christian’s duty to take a stand.
D. EVEN DIM LIGHTS STAND OUT
1. One of the great things about camping out in the country is that you can get away from the city lights and really see the stars. Away from the city, a full moon is bright enough to find your way around in the dark. The sky is full of light from the stars.
2. In a world of darkness, we are those who reflect the light we have found in Jesus. But Jesus’ point is that we aren’t just to shine our lights in our own little circle of influence, but we are to shine them so that every place of darkness is either brought to the light or is exposed for what it is.
3. “Do everything without complaining or arguing, 15so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe 16as you hold out the word of life” Phip. 2:14-16.
E. OUR LIGHT: ONLY HOPE FOR THE WORLD
1. G. Campbell Morgan said that “the church did the most for the world when the church was the least like the world.” Today, many churches have the idea they must imitate the world in order to reach the world.