Lighting up your life 3
Christmas 2008 – Lighting Up Your Life 3 of 3 (nv 12/21/08) - Rise and Shine
OS: 1 BETTER THAN SHOPPING It was a few days before Christmas on the Oregon coast. Two men whose families lived next door opted to go sailing while their wives went Christmas shopping. An unexpected storm surprised the weekend sailors. Before long, the sea became angry, and the two had a difficult time keeping the sailboat under control. While heading toward the harbor, the craft hit a sandbar and grounded. Both men jumped overboard into the icy water and began to push and shove in an attempt to get the sailboat into deeper water. Knee-deep in mud and repeatedly bounced against the hull by unfriendly waves, the one said to the other, “Sure beats Christmas shopping, doesn’t it?”
WE DON’T HAVE TIME FOR THAT! Typical of last minute Christmas shoppers, a mother was running furiously from store to store. Suddenly she became aware that the pudgy little hand of her three year old son was no longer clutched in hers. In a panic she retraced her steps and found him standing with his little nose pressed flatly against a frosty window. He was gazing at a manger scene. Hearing his mother’s near hysterical call, he turned and shouted with innocent glee: "look mommy! it’s Jesus - baby Jesus in the hay". With obvious indifference to his joy and wonder, she impatiently jerked him away saying, "we don’t have time for that!" SOURCE: From "THE WONDER OF CHRISTMAS" by Glenn Pease
I. 2 Series Overview – Light makes all the difference in the world.
A. Arise, Shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you” (Isa. 60:1)
B. The Light of God’s glory came when God the Son was born in the flesh as a little baby in Bethlehem. Jesus, the Light of the world had come. (for Me)
C. Transformation ---Be careful what you eat!
D. 3 Challenge: Allow the Light of God to shine on us more and more, be transformed by it, and light up the world around us.
II. God’s light will make all the difference in the world for your life, and those around you.
A. Darkness to light is experienced in various ways:
1. Turmoil to Peace / Guilt to Forgiveness
2. Pain to Promise
B. Life with the light of God is so much better. The darkness of the world has one agenda – your destruction.
TS] Principles for Rise and Shine Christians…
I. 4 Jesus is the only source of light – there is no other.
A. Before the foundation of the world…
1. Darkness, “Let there be light”
2. God purposed to have a people who were His own.
3. Spiritual Darkness came on the scene in the Garden of Eden and the world became a dark place.
B. God had a plan for light to come.
1. Isaiah 60 (an example of God’s promise of light for a dark world.)
C. When the time had fully come God the Son arrived
1. Jesus Christ – a light having come into a dark world.
2. 8John 1:4, In him was life, and that life was the light of men.
3. John 8:12, “I am the Light of the world”
4. John 12:46, I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.
II. 5 Jesus’ people are the only conduit for His light.
A. John 12:35-36,
1. (Now, we are the only source of light)
B. 6 2 Corinthians 4:4-6, the god of this age…
1. How could people be so blinded?
2. Theological blindness (small percent – ex. James D. Tabor)
C. Atheist sign placed at the Capital in Washington (2008) The sign states, “At this season of the Winter Solstice, may reason prevail. There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell. There is only our natural world. Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds.”
1. SIGN ON CHURCH BULLETIN BOARD "Merry Christmas to our Christian friends. Happy Hanukkah to our Jewish friends. And to our atheist friends, good luck. SOURCE: Jeff Strite, Church of Christ at Logansport, Logansport, IN.
2. How could people be so blinded? …
3. Because we haven’t done our job!
4. Darkness cannot stand against light and if there is darkness that means there simply is no light being shined!
D. As bright as God's light shines (nature - rom without excuse) people of the world are blinded to it - they can't see it - it is up to you to reveal God's light by allowing God's light to live within you.
TS] So what do we do – how do we change our world?
III. 7 We can light up this world only when we light up our life.
A. Illustration: Muddied Mirror.
B. As people of Jesus Light for this world rests in our hands.
1. 8John 8:12, When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
2. Ephesians 5:8, For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light
C. 8 Illustration: Dark spots of the soul (mirror)