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(STEP UP TO THE LIGHT!!!)
SCRIPTURE - John 8:12, Jas 1:23 - 24 MARCH, 2005
Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness,
but shall have the light of life.
For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:
For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.
SUBJECT - STEP UP TO THE LIGHT!!!
This month's subject, reveals a common trait that we, as humans seem to have, that in many instances, leads us to not be all that God wants us to be. As much as we may claim to love Christ, and want to be pleasing in His sight, we have a problem, when it comes to how far we are willing to go, to attain the righteousness that we should have. The righteousness that is, or should be the goal of every Christian.
Taking a look at the first subject scripture, we see Jesus speaking, and He is letting His followers know a couple of things. The first is that, He is the Light of the world. Meaning, that if you know anything about light, it does several things. It Illuminates things, so that they are easy to see. It also reveals things that are not visible.
Naturally, light, is important to us, primarily when we consider what this world would be like if there were no light at all. We would be in serious trouble, because none of us would be here, because the light we get, naturally, comes from the sun. And if there was no sunlight, then there would not be any life on this planet at all, because all life, depends on the sun. Then we have the artificial light that is man made, to help us when we are in places, or times of the day, where sunlight is not available.
But, this message is not so much about these types of light, as much as it is about what light, is sometimes used for. The light that I am referring to, can best be described by using natural light and one of its uses, to explain a deep spiritual truth, that Jesus was really talking about.
As an example, let me tell you a story. There was a cartoon, in an old 'Mad Magazine', that showed an individual, coming towards a person. And, what we are seeing, is what he sees, through his eyes, as the person gets closer to him.
First, at a distance, you can't tell that much about the person, whether they are male of female. In the next frame, the person is close enough to make out that it is a woman. The next frame, shows her as being a blond with long hair, and a dynamite figure. At this point the person who is looking at this woman, is beside himself, saying, 'I can't wait for this gorgeous woman to get close enough to me, so I can talk to her, and get her phone
number. This looks like to woman of my dreams. The one I have always dreamt of.' Then, the last frame shows the woman up close, and to the horror of the man, she is snaggle toothed, with buck teeth. Her skin is covered with acne and pimples. She smells like, well I won't mention it here, but you can get the message, that she is totally repulsive.
The message is, things that look good at a distance, can look like anything but, close up.
Now, let's talk about you. That's right you. After all you are the one reading this, aren't you.
If you are married, have a girlfriend, or boyfriend, or maybe a good friend, boss, or business associate, and you went out on a date, or business meeting, with this person and you really wanted to impress them, what did you do before you left the house?? Especially you ladies.
If you are like most of us, you set about to make yourself look as perfect as can be. You took a bath, combed your hair, got your best clothes, and mad sure you didn't have the slightest thing, out of place. Your makeup was immaculate. Everything was in place.
Now, how did you accomplish making sure you looked good?? You got in front of a mirror, and had a real bright light shining on yourself, so you could see every possible flaw, that you had, so you could fix it up. You either removed it, or covered it up. You may have had a friend standing there with you, to see if they could see anything that you may have missed, so you could correct it.
You did all of this, to make yourself look perfect. You didn't want any flaws or blemishes, to be seen.
Now it stands to reason, that the light, played the biggest part. Why?? Because the brighter the light, the more flaws, blemishes, and other things that were wrong with you, could be seen.
Watching my wife, over the years, I see her take hours, making herself up, and fixing her clothes, when going to work, or to a meeting, or even to church. And she gets in front of the mirror,
under a bright light, and nearly puts her mouth on the mirror, getting that close, to make sure everything is in place, before she leaves the house.
The point is, she is doing everything she can to look presentable. She wouldn't think about going out of the house any other way. The key is, the light, the brighter, the better, and the mirror.
Well, Jesus, when He is talking about being the light of the world, is not necessarily referring to 'light', as sunlight, but 'Light"
that reveals all of the flaws that we all have in our lives, that we don't want anyone to see, that we cover up.
The problem is, these flaws are made visible, by the Light (Jesus Christ), when we get close to Him. The closer we try to get to Him, it is like getting closer to that bright light, that reveals those little tiny discrepancies, not in our clothes, or on our skin, but in our souls.
You see, the Light that Jesus is really referring to, is the light, of the Word of God, that penetrates the outward veneer of clothes, makeup and skin, and get down to the very core of our existence, the soul.
It is interesting that Jesus says He is the Light, and the bible says in St. John 1:1, 14 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
What this is telling us, is that since Jesus is the Light, and He is also the Word, then that means the Word is the Light.
Now In case you aren't getting what I am saying, I am saying that the bible, which is the Word of God, and the preaching in the church of the Word of God, has the same effect on us, as that bright light has on anyone that stands real close to it.
And it is for this reason, that many people, don't want to get too close to Jesus, because the closer they get to Him, and the Light of the Word of God is shown on them, the more they begin to feel inadequate, or guilty, and want to go and hide somewhere.
Mankind, does not like to be made to feel like they are guilty of anything. They want to feel like they are, perfect, you know, "All that!!!!" Well, if they get around Christ, or a place where the Word, is being preached, they get uncomfortable, so they keep their distance, if they
don't run and hide. Even a lot of Christians, may be in the Church, but they don't want to get too close to Christ, because they are uncomfortable, with what might be revealed, when the light of the gospel, is shown on them.
The second subject scripture talks about a person, seeing themselves in a looking glass, then going on with what they are doing, and forgetting what they saw in the mirror.
This translates in to the fact that if a person wants to get close to Christ, and to be all that He wants them to be, then, He, or the Word, is there to show the person, the real them, so they can set about, admitting the flaws they have, so Jesus can set about fixing them. You see, Christ is not going to fix something
that you don't ask Him to fix, or are trying to hide from Him.
Today, we have a serious problem, both outside of the Church, but moreso, inside. Many Christians don't like certain types of preaching, because it is just like shining the light on them, while they are involved in things that they shouldn't be involved in. It is like, please excuse the analogy, going in to a dark room in a house that is infested with roaches, and turning on the lights. What do you see?? The roaches are running for cover. Well, that is the same way it is, with a lot of Christians, no less. They, head for cover. Just like their father, Adam, when he sinned in the garden. He and Eve, hid themselves, figuratively, from God.
That is what keeps a lot of Christians from being what the should be. They want to avoid the light of the Word of God, so they choose churches that focus on the love of God, and make it appear that everything is just fine between them and God.
Have you ever seen a person that looks at themselves in the mirror, that is going to a special event, seeing that their face is dirty, their hair is wild, they are just plain raggedy, sand smell like road kill, and not do something to fix it?? Well, if the person that I was describing above, sounds like you, and you are a Christian, then, you have a problem. Here is why.
You have been invited to a special event, that will be like nothing that you have ever seen, and will never see again. It is a monumental event, and guess what, you are going to be the guest of honor.
It is a wedding feast, and you, that's right, you, are the bride. The Church is the bride, and Christ, is the Groom.
Those of you that are married, that had a wedding ceremony, remember all of the planning, rehearsals, and the money spent to make sure that everything was perfect. Each of you, made sure you looked the best you could be. You had all types of people helping you, to make sure every hair was in place, every spot and wrinkle in you clothes was gone. That meant you and your friends went over every detail of your personal being, to present yourself perfect, to your intended. Especially, if you are the bride. Makes no difference if you are a man, if you are in the Church, you are the bride.
Now, as a bride, if you intend to be the bride, you best believe this, you are not going to be one, is you present yourself to Him, in any old sloppy messed up condition. You must be, as the bible says, Eph 5:27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
That means work, on your part.
And the only way you can get that way, is you have to come close to the light, so it can reveal all of your flaws, wrinkles, dirt, and other debris that is in your life, so you can get rid of it, to prepare yourself for Him.
Of course, if you don't want to stay the way you are, you are welcome to do it, but I wouldn't want to be in your shoes when the time comes. If you miss the wedding, then you know what's left, don't you??? Outer darkness, with weeping and gnashing of teeth. Mat 22:11-13 And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Come on Christian, don't be afraid, step up to the light. Get rid of the flaws, spots and blemisshes, so you can be ready when the time comes. Heb 12:5-8 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.