L I G H T

(HOLINESS MEETING)

Reading:Matthew 5:1-16

Text:verse 16

"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."

INTRODUCTION

(*) As I mentioned this morning, Christmas means so many different things to so many different people. But to the Christian who loves the Lord, it speaks of the time when the Light of the World, the Lord Jesus Christ, came to shine amongst us, with all that means. As Jesus said to Nicodemus in John 3:19, "Light is come into the world."

  • (a) Some years ago, while on holiday, one of our days out, took us to Landmark Centre at Carrbridge near Avimore. (Scotland)
  • (b) There was a large adventure playground there for the children, with chutes climbing bars, ropewalks, a maze, a treetop trail, a nature trail, and a twisting tubular chute called appropriately enough, "THE TUBE". You started off high up, and came hurtling down through this twisting dark tube at breakneck speed. Our 'Downs' son Phillip, a lot younger, and smaller, wanted his dad to go with him, and although he loved it, father had some reservations! I got the feeling, maybe it wasn't made for someone my size!
  • (c) During our day at Landmark, we went up the Treetop Trail a thin wooden walkway made out of tree trunks, along which you could walk at treetop level!
  • (d) We also went on the Nature Trail, which was at ground level.
  • During this walk, we saw a tree that had been struck by lightening a couple of years ago. You could see where the bark had been gouged out in a spiral by the lightening bolt!
  • POINT 1

  • (a) We came to a place that was rich in heather and other vegetation.
  • As we read the details at that spot, we found that the area was originally covered in pine trees. So thick were they, that the ground was in constant darkness, and nothing grew there except moss. Shortly after the trees were felled, it was found that the light had brought the whole area alive, as the heather and other plants grew in profusely.
  • (b) It now looked so rich and fertile, where once it had appeared barren, and it struck us, how that so many people's hearts are barren, because they do not have the light of God shining into them.
  • (c) Sometimes we need to take stock in our lives, to make sure that there are no trees growing in our lives, that need to be chopped down, because they are blocking out the light - that light which must continually shine in our lives, if we are to be fertile for God!
  • (d) A few years ago whilst on holiday in Ireland, my wife went to an Army meeting in Belfast, and heard someone tell a Y.P. story, illustrated by two plants of identical types which had been grown in pots in the hall.
  • (e) One was really healthy and flourishing, because it had been growing in a place where it had plenty of light.
  • (f) But the other plant, even though the same type, had hardly grown at all, and looked really weak and sickly, because it had been kept in a dark place!
  • The Author Dennis Wheatley has said,
  • "In light all things thrive and be"
  • IT IS ESSENTIAL THAT THE LIGHT OF GOD BE PERMITTED TO SHINE CONSTANTLY IN OUR LIVES!!

    POINT 2

  • (a) Someone has said, "You can't stop the sun shining, but you can stop it coming into your home by drawing the curtains."
  • (b) If you have read 'Great Expectations', or perhaps seen it dramatised on the T.V. then I'm sure you will remember one of the characters, who, after being jilted at her wedding, locked herself away, in her wedding dress, at the wedding breakfast, with the curtains drawn, with only the spiders and their webs for company.
  • HOW AWFUL YOU SAY - AND YET IT IS A PICTURE OF WHAT MANY PEOPLE ARE DOING IN THEIR HEARTS!

    (c) Many Christians would be affronted if they could see the spiritual spiders and cobwebs that have grown up in their hearts because they have drawn the curtains to keep the light out!

    I'm reminded of the dear old Christian of whom I have spoken previously, who prayed every week in the prayer meeting, 'Lord sweep the cobwebs from my heart', until one of the other folks there, could stay silent no longer, and prayed immediately after - 'LORD KILL THE SPIDER!'

    (d) Many of us could probably do with killing the spider in our hearts, but to see it clearly, we must throw back the curtains and allow the Light of God to fill us completely!

    (e) There is a teddy in our house, which you hold up to the light, and then when the light is turned off, it glows in the dark! But in order for it to shine, , it first of all must take in the light, by being exposed to it!

    (f) The Christian too, must absorb the Light of God in order to , as our text says in Matthew 5:16, "Let your light so shine before men" ; and to fulfil God's plan when He says, in verse 14, "Ye are the light of the world."

    WE CANNOT GIVE OUT WHAT WE HAVE NOT TAKEN IN!

    POINT 3

    (a) The great preacher D.L. Moody, told the following story: - It was a dark tempestuous night, as a ship approached Cleveland harbour. They had taken a pilot on board to guide them safely in. As they approached, they could only see ONE LIGHT - that of the lighthouse itself! The captain asked, "There is only one light! Are you sure this is the harbour?"

    "Where are the other lights?"

    "Yes" said the pilot, "this is the harbour, but the SMALLER LIGHTS HAVE ALL GONE OUT! "

    The startled Captain asked, "CAN WE MAKE THE HARBOUR?"

    Solemnly the pilot replied, "WE MUST OR WE PERISH!"

    That dark and terrible night, THEY MISSED THE CHANNEL, AND HIT A ROCK! The SHIP SANK AND MANY LIVES WERE LOST!

  • This story was the inspiration for Phillip Bliss to write the words,
  • Let the lower lights be burning,
  • Send a gleam across the wave,
  • Some poor fainting struggling seaman,
  • You may rescue, you may save.
  • (b) The Lord will take care of the LIGHTHOUSE - IF WE KEEP THE LOWER LIGHTS BURNING!

    WHAT A GREAT AND AWESOME RESPONSIBILITY IS OURS - FOR IF WE FAIL, HOW MANY LIVES MAY COME TO GRIEF AND SHIPWRECK, SIMPLY BECAUSE WE ARE FAILING TO SHINE FOR JESUS!

    (c) With modern technology, I suppose we could also liken the smaller lights in some ways to the FIBRE-OPTICS cable, which as we know can make pretty lamps with the little pinpricks of light. But more importantly, a thin piece of fibre-optics cable can carry millions of telephone calls, or television programs for long distances from their source.

    (d) By letting God's light shine through us, we will be carrying His message to lost mankind!

    POINT 4

    (a) Another way in which we can show the Light of Christ, is simply to reflect it, as did the face of Moses when he came down from the mountain after meeting with God!

    1. One evening some time ago, whilst on holiday, we stopped to admire and take pictures of a beautiful sunset reflected over LITTLE LOCH BROOM , NEAR ULLAPOOL. (Scotland)
    2. That wonderful woman of God, Amy Carmichael, had this to say, "It is easy to think of the silver surface of a lake reflecting the glory of the sun; but the merest scrap of metal will reflect, if only it is clean, and nothing comes between it and the sky. So that ALL includes the most 'tinny' of us, and the only thing that matters is that we should be clean, and that nothing should come between us and our heavenly Sun."

    (d) She brings out so clearly and concisely, the two important facts, FIRSTLY - WE CANNOT REFLECT IF WE ARE NOT CLEAN!

    SECONDLY - WE CANNOT REFLECT, IF THERE IS ANYTHING BETWEEN US AND OUR LORD, BLOCKING THE LIGHT!

    Remember what I said earlier about the TREES BLOCKING OUT THE LIGHT!

    (e) Have we not all at times been very taken with the different colours of the sea as it reflected the the light of the sky.

    (f) During one holiday, we travelled through some mountains, and were surprised to see, that although it was not raining, were we were, we saw the end of a beautiful rainbow, which seemed to be suspended above one of the nearby mountain peaks!

    (g) God wants us to be like that rainbow - allowing His Light to be split into it's spectrum in our lives, that all may see the glorious colours in us of the Fruit of the Spirit, through our Christian living.

    In other words - LET THE BEAUTY OF JESUS BE SEEN IN ME!

    CONCLUSION

    1. God wants His people to shine for Him!
    2. It is not just a children's concept to be a SUNBEAM FOR JESUS!
      1. "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in Heaven." (Matthew 5:16)

    SALVATION ARMY SONG BOOK AND 'HAPPINESS & HARMONY'

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    43 HAPPINESS AND HARMONY

    478 [386]

    84 [103]