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Christmas Eve Candlelight 2017

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Introduction

In February 1954, a young navy pilot returning one night from a combat patrol to an aircraft carrier near Japan, he encountered trouble. Rather than picking up the signal from the aircraft carrier, as the two other American planes had, his instruments were picking up a signal being broadcast from Japan. Circling in the air, unable to locate the correct signal or the ship, he turned on his cockpit lights and it created a short circuit. The entire cockpit went pitch black. Now he could not rely on technology to guide him back to the aircraft carrier. The young navy pilot looked at the dark ocean below and saw a faint green glow.
Returning one night from a combat patrol to an aircraft carrier near Japan, he encountered trouble. Rather than picking up the signal from the aircraft carrier, as the two other American planes had, Lovell's instruments were picking up a signal being broadcast from Japan. Circling in the air, unable to locate the correct signal or the ship, he attempted to use a device that he had designed to search the radio frequencies. But when he plugged it in, it created a short circuit, and the entire cockpit went pitch black. Now he could not rely on technology to guide him back to the aircraft carrier. Lovell looked at the dark ocean below and saw a faint green glow. Several types of algae can glow green—they produce light as a part of their biological processes (similar to lightning bugs). The propellers of an aircraft carrier can churn these organisms into releasing their light, forming a trail of glowing green behind the ship. Although this is the least reliable way a pilot can guide himself in for a landing, it could be used as a last resort. Desperate to try anything, Lovell followed the glow and landed safely on the ship. He would not have been able to see the faint glow below had he not shorted out the cockpit and been surrounded by total darkness—what could have been disastrous was actually a stroke of luck.1
While he was taking off in stormy weather, his directional finder malfunctioned, and he mistakenly headed in the wrong direction.
Lost radio contact with his ship.
To make matters worse, his instrument panel suddenly short-circuited, burning out all the lights in the cockpit.
To make matters worse, his instrument panel suddenly short-circuited, burning out all the lights in the cockpit.
The pilot "looked around … and could see absolutely nothing; the blackness outside the plane had suddenly come inside." Running low on fuel, he looked down and thought he saw a faint blue-green glow trailing along in the ocean's ebony depths. His training had prepared him for this moment, and he knew in an instant what he was seeing: a cloud of phosphorescent algae glowing in the sea that had been stirred up by the engines of his ship. The young navy pilot—future Apollo 13 astronaut Jim Lovell—followed the light of the glowing alage and found his way to safety.
Genesis 1:1–3 KJV 1900
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
While he did not articulate it this way, Jim's life was saved because he followed the light. If He did not follow the light from the glowing algae, he would not have found his ship and would have perished in the darkness of the sea.
In , Jesus states...
Our world has never been the same since God created light.
Our world has never been the same since God created light.
John 8:12 KJV 1900
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.
Exodus 10:23 KJV 1900
They saw not one another, neither rose any from his place for three days: but all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings.

“I am the light of the world.”

Why does the world need light?
Romans 5:12 KJV 1900
Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
Just like Jim, humanity was thrust into darkness by the Adam’s disobedience—hopelessly lost in the darkness of sin.
Are there other lights?
He is not a light—one of many lights in this world. CANDLELIGHT
He made it very clear—”I am THE light of the world.”
Jim Lovell needed something outside his own lost condition to find his way out of the darkness.
Romans 5:12 KJV 1900
Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
TRANSITION: It may seem like a simple decision, but Jim had to choose to follow the light—the glowing algae.
Jim Lovell needed something outside his own lost condition to find his way out of the darkness.
Jim Lovell needed something outside his own lost condition to find his way out of the darkness.

“He that followeth me.”

How do you follow?
Following Jesus means you trust Jesus—that you believe on Him to save you from the darkness of sin.
Romans 10:13 KJV 1900
For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Romans 10:9 KJV 1900
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
Following is a choice—a personal choice. No one can make you follow Jesus.
What choice must I make?
Romans 10:9 KJV 1900
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
Jim Lovell could have said, “No, I will save myself. I will find my own way. I will ignore the light.”
Jesus promises to bring you out of the darkness of sin—bringing hope to the hopeless.
When you follow Jesus, the Light of the World, you will be led out of the darkness into His marvelous light.
TRANSITION: Like Jim , we must choose to follow the light. followed a light, so Jesus is our light out of the darkness of sin.
When you follow , you have a guide.
When you follow someone, you have a guide.
When you follow someone, you have hope.
When you
We all follow something or rather someone.
Jim Lovell needed something outside his own lost condition to find his way out of the darkness.
As Jim followed the light that led him to safety, so each one of us

“Shall have the Light of Life.”

When we follow the Light of the World, we have a GUIDE. JESUS LEADS THE WAY
When we follow the Light of the World, we find HOPE. NO LONGER LOST IN DARKNESS
In the darkness, you only find fear, sorrow, and hopelessness, but in the light—in Jesus Christ, you find comfort, joy, and hope.
Following darkness only brings fear, hatred, and sorrow.
They bring no joy—no light of life. They only bring light of life when you follow the Light of the World.
They bring no joy—no light of life. They only bring light of life when you follow the Light of the World.
Shall have — possession
Light of life = joy
Luke 2:25–32 KJV 1900
And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law, Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart In peace, according to thy word: For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.
Psalm 36:9 KJV 1900
For with thee is the fountain of life: In thy light shall we see light.

Conclusion

Like Jim Lovell, every man, woman, or child must choose to follow the Light—to follow Jesus Christ. I do not know where you are along your spiritual journey in this world. What I do know that to find lasting comfort, joy, and hope this Christmas, you must receive Jesus Christ as your Savior.
Perhaps you have never that step to follow Jesus, tonight, will you like Jim Lovell did, follow the light. Will you follow the Light of the World by receiving Jesus Christ as your Savior?
You find yourself in the darkness of this world bearing the weight of your sin, and you are looking for the Light--looking for hope. READ
You find yourself in the darkness of this world bearing the weight of your sin, and you are looking for the Light--looking for hope. Jesus said,
John 8:12 KJV 1900
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.
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.
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.
Receive that Light--receive Jesus Christ as your Savior.
Receive that Light--receive Jesus Christ as your Savior.
Romans 10:9 KJV 1900
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
Would you do that tonight? Would you receive the Light of the World?
Would you do that tonight? Would you receive the Light of the World?
Perhaps you have taken that step to follow Jesus, but find yourself lacking joy this Christmas season. Remember, what Jesus has done for you—how the Light of the World has led you out of the darkness into His marvelous light.
Perhaps you have never that step to follow Jesus, tonight, will you like Jim Lovell did, follow the light. Will you follow the Light of the World by receiving Jesus Christ as your Savior?
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