SHOW & TELL. (6 AUGUST 2016)
A surprising spiritual message for my brothers & sisters in Christ on…OUR MESSAGE. “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.”(A) Christ told his disciples that they were light shining in a dark world, and that the light that they gave off could not be hidden. If that be true, then men & women naturally radiate their message of light. A street light at the top of a hill does not have to go to seminary 5 years to shine, it just has to stay connected with its source. What is that “message of light” that shines so naturally?? “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.” (B) “Awake…and Christ shall give thee light.”(C) Ahh! So by following him, we reflect the light of Christ. Christ is the light. Christ is our message of light, and we share it to the world, by reflecting the light of his life! Wow, the profound simplicity of this seems to get lost, as so many Christians think their message is one of religion, of denomination, of church, of do’s & don’ts…but it is none of these…it is to reflect the one true light: “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life, of whom shall I be afraid? (D) To sum this thought up: “For you were once darkness, but now are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light.”(E) No one can stop your message of light IF it is truly reflecting Christ. They can only destroy it. So how will Satan destroy it? His main tactic is going to surprise you!!
TURNING YOUR LIGHT OFF. During Bible times, and throughout history, certain godly men & women have physically glowed, they were so full of the Spirit of God, that their glowing faces seemed as an angel.(F) Christ radiated. We get a word picture of that in various scriptures, incl. “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”(G) So what was Satan’s plan to shut off Christ’s light?? The answer will surprise you! The Word of God warns us that Satan comes as an angel of light, and that lying comes naturally to him, for he is the father of lies.(H) That gives us a little clue about his approach, but doesn’t give us the answer! When Christ was full of the Spirit of God after fasting & praying, Satan decides this is his moment. He says basically, “Take care of your hunger, show some of God’s power and turn that stone into bread.”(I) Take care of your needs! And show God’s power when you take care of your need! That’s it?? YES! That was his clever attack, and he does this kind of thing every day with Christians and they get blindsided. What you ask??
CHRIST’S END TIME WARNING. When Christ warned about the end times, the times of great apostasy, and great evil…just what exactly did he warn about? The full answer will surprise you. Christ said that the end times when he is getting ready to return will be “just as it was in the days of Noah” (J). And this warning or comparison is pregnant with lots of meaning…we know that those days were filled with all kinds of perverse evil, genetic tampering, nephalim, etc….but what does Christ warn about??…the answer will surprise you: “People were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage….Then the flood came and destroyed them all. It was the same in the days of Lot. People were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building.”(J) Huh? He left off talking about all the outrageous disgusting sins they were doing. Why was Christ warning us about everyday affairs of life?? Because more important than the gross sins is the neglect we Christians have of God, we are distracted with everyday life. Christ preached to a large crowd, “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple.”(K) Christ modeled that behavior when he refused to turn a stone into a loaf of bread to feed his hunger.
Our lives are not about us! Our lives are not about some denomination or church! Our lives are about Yahshua ha Messiach—(aka Christ Jesus)…who was both the Son of Man & the Son of God. “For me to live is Christ”. (L) Any other light is a false light…and the Word warns us that many false lights will appear in the end times! Christ taught his disciples how to follow Him: “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches, he that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.”(M) If your light is to reflect the light of His life, we need to allow Him to live His life of light in us. We abide in Him, and He in turn abides in us! Now it makes more sense what Yahshua told Satan, when Satan said to make bread and feed himself. He replied, “It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.”(N) He was modeling the behavior he expects of us. In essence, we ourselves don’t have ministries, we are the ministry of Christ. We merely reflect his light, and as much that we show the light of Christ’s life, we have a genuine ministry. And that has nothing to do with being ordained as a minister by the state, it has nothing to do with wearing special robes or clergy garb, it has nothing to do with the things typically associated with a ministry, such as a fancy ministry name & logo. And as much as we get distracted by the world with mundane things, forget God, and forget to abide in Christ, that’s how much our light goes out. As the song sings, “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full into his wonderful face…”
FRIENDSHIP WITH THE WORLD. “You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the World is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the World becomes an enemy of God.”(O) “Do not love the World or anything in the World. If anyone loves the World, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the World—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the World.”(P) Yet, it tells us that “God so loved the World, that He gave His only begotten Son…”(Q) What’s up? What’s the difference??? There is a right way to love the world, and a wrong way to love the World. It’s the crux of this message. The first commandment that Christ taught is that we are to love the Lord our God with all our heart and mind. And then we are to love His Creatures (those He created) as we love ourselves. Place God first. There is nothing wrong with loving your parents. There is nothing wrong with eating and drinking—UNLESS it distracts you from loving the LORD first!!! Don’t crowd the Holy Spirit out of your life. People get their lives so organized, and full of everyday things—there is no room for the Holy Spirit. How many sermons are so organized & busy that the Holy Spirit has no opportunity to direct the heart & mind of the minister?
FINAL ILLUSTRATION. Those who know me well, have heard me tell this true story. A German soldier was wounded on the Eastern front and sent home to recuperate. He went home & his mother tried to get him to visit the military hospital but he wanted to spend his time with his family. Finally, he gave in to his mother’s insistent pleas, and went to the hospital. As he entered the hospital, with typical German efficiency, signs directed you here & there. One sign separated the officers from enlisted men. He went down the hall for enlisted men. The next sign separated Nazi party members from non-Nazis. He took the direction of non-Nazis which led to a door. He opened the door and found himself outside of the hospital. When he got home, his mother asked, “How’d it go?” He answered, “They were so organized, that it not helpful.” That is what we do with the Holy Spirit of Christ. We are so organized, that we organize the Spirit of Christ out of our lives. And that busy-ness might even be normal activities—eating & drinking, or even church activities! Dear brothers & sisters, take time for Christ. Abide in Him, i.e. pray with Him, and let Him live His life in you, and you will have a natural genuine ministry. In a way, it’s far more simpler than people make it. As the prophet said, “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.”(R)
(A) MT 5:14 (B) JN 8:12 (C) EPH 5:14 (D) PS 27:1, 36:9 (E) EPH 5:8 (F) One example is ACTS 6:15, cf. PS 34:5, and the disciples on the Mount of Transfiguration are another example (G) 2 COR 4:6 (H) 2 COR 11:14, JN 8:44 (I) LK 4:1-4, cf. MK 1:12 (J) LK 17:26 (K) LK 15:26 (L) PHIL 1:21 (M) JN 15:4-5 (N) LK 4:4 (O) JAS 4:4 (P) 1 JN 2:15-16 (Q) JN 3:16 (R) ISA 60:1
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