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Light in a dark world

Christmas Eve 2014

December 24, 2014


Do people see Jesus? Is the gospel preached? Does it address the person who is: Empty, lonely, guilty, or afraid to die?  Does it speak to the broken hearted? Does it build up the church? Milk – Meat – Manna Preach for a decision Is the church loved? Target 3300 words

Is it just me, or does it seem to you that the world we live in is getting darker, darker, and darker?

You can see how our world has changed just by the TV shows we watch.

We’ve gone from “Ozzie and Harriet”, to “Modern Family”.

The violence in society, whether it’s school shootings, racial violence, or the killing of cops.

The immorality available at the click of your mouse.

Perhaps you’ve noticed that as our service has progressed, the lights had gotten progressively dimmer.

That was on purpose.

Did you notice that as the room got darker, it seemed your little lights got brighter?

They didn’t really get brighter, but when things get darker, the light just becomes more apparent.

As this world gets darker, several things become apparent.

We stick out more.

Even if you think you only have a “little light”, just having a little light will stick out more and more.
You might not think that you’re that important, but in a very dark world, even a little light is vital.
All it takes for a person to make their way out of a dark room is just a little light.

We need to shine.

You don’t want to hide your light under a basket.
(Matthew 5:14–16 NKJV) —14 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
What would this room look like if all of us covered up our lights? (try it).
The world wants to make you embarrassed to say you are a Christian.
But the world needs to see your light.
If there’s no light in the room, how will people find the “exit”?
Sometimes even Christians get caught up in dark things.
(Ephesians 5:8–14a NLT) —8 For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light! 9 For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true. 10 Carefully determine what pleases the Lord. 11 Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, expose them. 12 It is shameful even to talk about the things that ungodly people do in secret. 13 But their evil intentions will be exposed when the light shines on them, 14 for the light makes everything visible.

How do we expose works of darkness?  Sometimes it’s no more complicated than turning on a light – by you living your life the right way.

Whether you are aware of it or not, there is a great spiritual battle going on in this world between invisible spiritual forces of light and invisible spiritual forces of darkness.  Paul wrote,
(Romans 13:11–14 NKJV) —11 And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. 12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. 13 Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.
This world needs to see your light.
Watch how much the room changes when we all hold up our lights.

The people living in Israel in AD 30 were also living in very dark times when Jesus began His ministry.

(Matthew 4:13–17 NKJV) —13 And leaving Nazareth, He came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is by the sea, in the regions of Zebulun and Naphtali, 14 that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: 15 The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, By the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles: 16 The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, And upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death Light has dawned.” 17 From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

Just like that ancient land of Galilee, some of you are currently in a very dark place in your life.

You might see others around you with light in their life, but all you see in your life is darkness.
I’ve got good news for you.
Jesus is here tonight to put light in your life if you will let Him.  Jesus said,

(John 8:12 NKJV) “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”

I was a teenager when I opened my heart to Jesus.
I had some dark, secretive things going on in my life.

I have to admit that even as a teenager, I was afraid of the dark.

I used to keep my bedroom door open just a crack so I could see the hall light at night.

After I opened my heart to Jesus, I found some of those dark things beginning to change, and they’re still changing.

And oddly enough, months later I realized that I had been closing my bedroom door at night and I was no longer afraid of the dark.

Tonight we want to offer you God’s Christmas Gift to you – Jesus.
Jesus is here for you.
He wants to help you, if you will let Him.