Posts Tagged 'light'

The Living Word: Walking In The Light

Walking In The Light

John 11:1-16

An artist once drew a picture of a dreary, wintry twilight, The trees were heavily laden with snow, and a dark house, lonely and desolate, stood bleakly in the midst of the storm. It was a sad picture.

Then, with a quick stroke of yellow crayon, the artist put a light in one window. The effect was magical. The entire scene was transformed into a vision of comfort and cheer. The light of Christ is the determinative factor that brought hope, joy, and peace to this dark world.

How to Walk in Christ’s Light:

* A Timely Reminder ~ John 11:1-4

  • setup – Jesus hears of Lazarus’ sickness
  • 4 Jesus reminds: sometimes things we hate lead to God’s glory

* We Hurry To Worry ~ John 11:5-10

  • 5/6 reminder: love doesn’t always equal urgency, and urgency doesn’t always equal love
  • 7/8 we don’t know the reason why Jesus didn’t hurry back; disciples thought it was reasonable precaution?
  • 9/10 Jesus tells his followers: don’t worry about the time- We walk when it’s appropriate to walk;
  • a Commentary says: “…there is no danger yet, for the day – His day – is not yet over; and suggests also that danger need not be dreaded by those who follow Him on His appointed way.”

* But Trust Is a Must ~ John 11:11-16

  • 11 Jesus tells them He will bring Lazarus “out of sleep”
  • 12 they don’t get it; because it’s not NORMAL for someone to be brought back from death, so they went with the easiest understanding
  • 14/15 “that you may believe”- they already believed, but be drawn further into faith, to trust Him more (Tis’ So Sweet To Trust: “o for grace to trust Him more”)
  • 16 disciples are thinking they’re headed towards death (vs 8), but they’re really headed toward Resurrection!

How often do we get it wrong? How often do we live in faithless fear rather than asking to trust Jesus more, even in circumstances over which we no control? Don’t focus on fear: follow God in faith!

Out of the Ordinary: Squint or Shut?

Out of the Ordinary: Squint or Shut?

John 5:35-47

A worker in a lighting store tells this about her customers: one day, a customer is standing, looking at lights. She approaches and asks if he needs help. He ANGRILY replies, “No, you’re the 4th person to ask me that today! I just want to look at the light! Leave me alone!”

She walks away, and seeing another customer, asks the same question. HIS response: “Nah, I’m just looking right now, but you know, you’re the 3rd person to ask me that. What great customer service you have!”

When People React to God’s Light, Ask

Where’s The Spotlight? ~ John 5:35-38

  • 35 God’s light can shine from anyone, and even the world can see it
  • 36 BUT-what does God’s light shine ON? The ministry of Jesus
  • 37/38 and not everyone is willing to recognize His Ministry; they can see, but they won’t FOCUS

Why the Scorn? ~ John 5:39-42

  • 39/40 The Bible teaches that we need to SURRENDER to Jesus…
  • 41/42 …which only happens because of the Love of God placed IN US. If someone refuses to surrender to Christ, they can “say” they love God… but “it ain’t necessarily so”

When To Surrender? ~ John 5:43-47

God’s light IS shining: are we squinting? Are we shutting our eyes? Or are we sharing what we’ve seen?

The Road To Resurrection: Testimony of Two

The Road To Resurrection: Testimony of Two

John 8:12-20

A man decided to leave the wife of his youth; my pastor confronted him, and warned him of the consequences of his sin. Instead of repenting, the man decided that he was wiling to pay the cost of a broken marriage and shattered relationships with his children for his affair. The man couldn’t stand being told the truth, and he left the church… and his family.

Why Is Jesus Rejected?

Some Can’t Stand The Truth ~ John 8:12-16

  • 12 Jesus is the SOURCE of the Light of the World; we reflect Him
  • 13 Pharisees reject truth because of a Rabbinical technical rule (not Torah)
  • 14 Jesus’ answer is also technical: He’s testifying about what He KNOWS because of where He’s BEEN – this is a valid point for Pharisees
  • 15/16 Second technical point: Jesus is testifying on behalf of the Father: He’s passing along God’s message (like a prophet would)

Some Won’t Come To The Truth ~ John 8:17-20

  • 17 (cf Num.35) Jesus knows the content of the Law (what they’re trying to use to shut Him up)
  • 18 His rabbinical answer: two witnesses ARE involved – Jesus & Father
  • 19 they ask because they want to assume Jesus’ earthly father (possibly calling Jesus paternity into question) They’re being deliberately dense here; Jesus calls them on it (you don’t know the Father)
  • 20 These are fighting words BUT NO ONE SEIZED HIM… YET

Make no mistake: Jesus knew the world preferred darkness to His light; nevertheless, He came to light our way with His presence. Some will simply refuse to see the light no matter how brightly it shines. Shine it anyway!

It’s Time To Receive It – God Prepares His Prophet

It’s Time To Receive It – God Prepares His Prophet

Luke 1:67-79

We’re aware of the Star of Bethlehem this time of year. I’m a huge fan of astronomy, and so I’m interested stellar events regardless of what time of year it is. Did you know there’s a star system named Eta Carinae, which has a mass 100 times greater than that of our sun, is giving signs that its life is about over. Researchers say that it could become a supernova—a blazing, exploding star—within the next 10,000 years. What is especially interesting about this is the idea that since light from that system takes 9,000 years to reach the earth, the actual explosion could have already taken place. God’s promises are like that: ALREADY ACCOMPLISHED, but we just haven’t realized them yet.

God’s Intent Is To Bring Us Home. HOW?

By Remembering His Promises  ~ Luke 1:67-75

By Reminding US of Those Promises By a Prophet ~ Luke 1:76-79

  • 76 a Prophet speaks God’s truth: MESSIAH is coming!
  • 77 MESSIAH is sin forgiver (not war hero)
  • 78 God’s tender love motivates the MESSIAH
  • 79 Without HIM, we’re stuck in the dark; we need guidance!

God loves us too much to let us die in the dark, stuck in our sin. He promised to rescue us; He sent a prophet to remind us; He sent the Christ to redeem us; and He STILL calls us to repent when we relapse! God is not the God of second chances; rather, He is the God of seventy times seven chances.

Snapshots from Mark: Highlights in Darkness

Snapshots from Mark: Highlights in Darkness Sermon Audio Here

Mark 14:27-38

In 1942, an experiment was devised to determine how sensitive our eyes can be. We’ve learned that the human eye can recognize as few as 9 individual photons in a completely dark room. (1 photon~2 thousandths of a millimeter). The farthest away we could see a candle in the dark is 2.76 kilometers. But what about when our SOUL gets dark?

What Are Some Bright Spots In Our Darkest Times?

Knowing Trouble Is Coming ~ Mark 14:27-31

  • 27 Zechariah warns Israel that they would turn on the Good Shepherd; He wouldn’t be accepted (Jesus KNEW trouble was coming)
  • 28 He ALSO knew He’d come through it (Meet ME in Galilee – where are you meeting Jesus?)
  • 29/30 Good intentions aren’t enough to protect us from our own weakness
  • 31 this is a blind spot for us; we think we’re more competent than we really are (Dunning-Kruger effect)

Showing Trouble Who’s In Control ~ Mark 14:32-38

  • 32/33 Jesus “distressed”=amazed, STRUCK at the weight of the task ahead (ever feel overwhelmed, inadequate to face a tough time? Jesus has been there!)
  • 34 soul is “grieved all around” NO WAY OUT
  • 35/36 caught between God’s ABILITY and God’s CHOICE: Answer? Surrender to what God wants
  • 37 Peter has the ABILITY to stay awake, but doesn’t CHOOSE to exercise it (opposite of Jesus)
  • 38 Problem: It’s easier to give in than to give your all

An effective answer for blind spots in driving: S.M.O.G: Signal, Mirror, Over the shoulder, Go
What’s an answer for blind spots in our darkness? Talk about our blind spots; encourage each other; decisions in community: in other words: S.O.S: Speak truth; Offer support; Stand together

Lent: Our Light

Lent: Our Light Sermon Audio Here

Ephesians 5:8-14

Consider the history of the light bulb – all variations on a concept: power passing through a medium gives off light.

How Do We Live As People Of Light?

Ephesians 5:8-14

  • v8 my favorite verb: peripateo; walk around in the light; we are to MOVE
  • v9 we are to BEAR FRUIT of light: this is a natural result, not forced
  • v10 “find out” less ‘discover’ and more ‘determine’ we are to INVESTIGATE
  • v11/12 “have no fellowship” we are to EXPOSE (shine the right amount of light, like developing ground-penetrating radar of a minefield
  • v13/14 we are to SHINE (this little light of mine)

1 Sam.16:7 – But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.

Walking in Two Worlds: Where Do You Walk

Walking in Two Worlds: Where Do You Walk Sermon Audio Here

1 John 1:1-2:2

    Phil Keaggy – Walking in Two Worlds

When you walk in two worlds
Hold your head up high
When you walk in two worlds
Keep your sights to the sky.

Remember you’re in this place
But of another race
You move to a different pace
The drumbeat of the sky
Walking in two worlds.

As We Journey Together,

Start from a Place of Life
1 John 1:1-4

  • v1 we are eyewitnesses
  • v2 of eternal life
  • v3 which brings us into fellowship with God and each other
  • v4 complete=play-ro-oo=CRAMMED FULL

Continue in a Way of Light
1 John 1:5-2:2

  • v5/6 light is truth
  • v7 walk in the open
  • v8 “if we lay out that we are not sinners”
  • v9 when we lay claim to our sin, it no longer defines us
  • v10 but we NEED to admit our sin
  • v1/2 Jesus has paid for our sin – for ALL sin

There is POWER in confession – when we admit that we do NOT have it all together, we also have to admit that the only thing which gets us through the journey is the grace of Christ in us – and it’s available for EVERYONE.

Pastor Ed Backell

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