Matthew 5:14-16 (NIV)
14 “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither 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. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.
Can you imagine what life would be like without “light?” I have a good idea it would be pretty dark! Often the power of light is described in “candlepower.” Tonight I?m going to talk about the identity, intentionality, and intensity of our candlepower as Christians. On the eve of the New Year I think it is good for us to be reminded of the vision God has given us. As we enter into the New Year we have the opportunity to let Christ?s light burn in us and through us for the advancement of His kingdom.
1. The Light Identifies ? “You are the light”
Matthew 5:14 (NIV)
14 “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.
Our identity in Christ Jesus is not a hidden identity but one that is to been seen by all.
1a. Identifies the Source
All light is able to be traced to a source.
John 1:4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.
John 8:12 Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”
1b. Identifies the Children
John 12:36 “While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.” These things Jesus spoke, and departed, and was hidden from them.
1 Thessalonians 5:5 You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness.
Ephesians 5:8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light
1c. Identifies the Problem
John 3:19 “And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
It’s tough to be in the dark and not let the dark get in you. The unending struggle for the Christian is to walk in the light and at the same time keep moving into the shadows. — Tim Goble
Matthew 6:23 “But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!
John 11:10 “But if one walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.”
2 Corinthians 6:14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?
2. The Light Intentions ? “It gives light to all”
Matthew 5:15 (NIV)
15 Neither 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.
2a Intentions of Seeing
Religious instruction, however sound, is not enough by itself. It brings light, but it cannot impart sight. The assumption that light and sight are synonymous has brought spiritual tragedy to millions. The Pharisees looked straight at the Light of the World for three years, but not one ray of light reached their inner beings. Light is not enough. The inward operation of the Holy Spirit is necessary to saving faith. The gospel is light but only the Spirit can give sight. — A.W. Tozer
Acts 26:18 ‘to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.’
2b. Intentions of Leading
The greatest use of the light in us is to lead others to the light of Christ.
Romans 2:19 and are confident that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness,
3. The Light Intensifies ? “Let your light so shine”
Matthew 5:16 “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
How intense (bright) is your light shining for Jesus? If the light of Jesus identifies and shows us our intention as light . . . it will intensify.
3a. Intensity of Manifesting
There is no life so humble that, if it be true and genuinely human and obedient to God, it cannot reflect his light. — Phillip Brooks
But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. 14 Therefore He says: “Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light.”
3b. Intensity of Fellowship
1 John 1:5-7 This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
3c. Intensity of Love
1 John 2:9-11 He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now. 10 He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him. 11 But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.
We need to understand ? the problem is not with the darkness. The darkness is being and doing exactly what it is suppose to do. The problem is with the light.
Luke 11:34-36 “The lamp of the body is the eye. Therefore, when your eye is good, your whole body also is full of light. But when your eye is bad, your body also is full of darkness. 35 “Therefore take heed that the light which is in you is not darkness. 36 “If then your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, the whole body will be full of light, as when the bright shining of a lamp gives you light.”
Is the candle power of letting our lights shine for Jesus is growing dim? (TURN OFF LIGHTS AT THIS TIME) If it is then its time to let the Holy Spirit kindle it once more (LIGHT MY CANDLE). His light burning in you has the power to push the darkness away.
But sometimes it still seems as though the darkness is overwhelming, that the task is endless, that you are all alone. This is why Christ birthed the church ? (LIGHT SOMEONE ELSES CANDLE AND HAVE THEM LIGHT SOMEONE ELSES UNTIL ALL CANDLES ARE LIT) Because when we let His light shine in us together ? unified we dispel more darkness and the light of Christ goes further than it would have in one person. Church we need to let this image burn in our mind – may we be a church in which no one stands alone and where we are unified and together in letting Christ?s light shine in the world.