Intro: The Lord Jesus uses two powerful metaphors to describe His people in The Sermon on the Mount. He refers to us as both light and salt. Both of these materials are useful and valuable. However, their approaches to their respective responsibilities are vastly distinct. For example: Light is obvious, salt is hidden. Light operates openly while salt operates in secret. Light comes from outside, salt comes from within. Light depicts the gospel's direct communication, while salt represents its indirect influence. Salt is mostly bad. Corruption can be slowed down, but it cannot transform corruption into incorruption. Light makes things better. Not only does it show what is false and wrong, but it also helps make what is right and true.
We were left in this world to influence it for God's glory when Jesus referred to us as Salt and Light. We are to be salt to slow down the corruption in this world and light to clear up the confusion we see everywhere. Miracles include light and salt. The elements sodium and chloride make up salt. God has combined these two highly explosive elements in such a way that they are stable, edible, and valuable. Light is a wonder. Are you familiar with a definition of light? According to Webster's Dictionary, light is defined as 1 a : something that allows for vision b: the feeling that results from stimulating the visual receptors c: an electromagnetic radiation that travels at a speed of about 186,281 miles (300,000 kilometers) per second in a vacuum and has wavelengths that include infrared, visible, ultraviolet, and X rays; more precisely: the portion of this range that can be seen by the naked eye. [1] Many thanks, Mr. Webster! To me, that sounds like a miracle as well as a bunch of scientific gibberish! Moreover, the redeemed child of God is also a miracle! The world can be changed by both light and salt. The Christian does too! It's possible that's why Jesus used these everyday images to talk about His people and their role in the world. While both of these images convey our proper place in the world, I'd like to concentrate on the one that depicts God's children as beacons of light. I want to use the song that the kids sing as my title and preach on the idea: This tiny ray of my own light. I want to demonstrate to you that God has a plan for when, where, and how we should shine that light for Him. As I attempt to preach about This Little Light Of Mine, I want to highlight a few truths from this passage. I. v. 14a, "THE POWER OF THIS LIGHT" (Ill.) Light is a wonderful thing. Even though it lacks physical properties, it can have a significant impact on tangible objects. The fundamental unit of light is an energy wave that is visible to the naked eye. Here are a few examples of how light affects our world.) A. Light Overtakes Darkness: Darkness is forced to flee wherever there is even a trace of light. When lit, even the tiniest match has the ability to dispel all that gloomy, oppressive darkness even in the darkest location imaginable. (Note: In the spiritual realm, the same is true. "The entrance of thy words giveth light," says the Bible. It makes complex things understandable,” Psalm 119:130. In Psalm 119:105, the Psalmist also wrote, "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." Darkness vanishes when light enters! Moreover, a godly Christian can bring light to the most difficult of circumstances! (Ill. God bless light! It may prevent us from making mistakes that we would only make in the dark. When he went to call on his best girl in the days before there was electricity, a strict old farmer was accusing his hired man of carrying a lit lantern. Why, he exclaimed, "I never carried one of those things, I always went in the dark when I went a-courtin'"? The hired man smiled and replied, "Yes, and look at what you got!" B. Drabness of Light Colors: Did you know that there is no such thing as color? Color is really just an illusion. You have to understand that although light is typically perceived as white, it actually consists of energy of varying wavelengths. All of the colors in the spectrum are represented by these wavelengths. Light will either be absorbed or reflected when it hits an object. Now, some things also refract light, while others scatter it. However, I want to concentrate on the concepts of light absorption and reflection for our investigation. An object will appear black if it reflects all of the light it receives. An object will appear white if it reflects all of the light that hits it. For instance, an object will appear to be the color blue if it absorbs all wavelengths except blue. It will appear red if it absorbs all of the light's wavelengths except red. You get the idea? Our world would be dull and gloomy if there were no light. Color would not exist! (Note: Jesus described His followers as "the light of the world." Our presence ought to not only make the darkness flee, but also make the world a more colorful and beautiful place. Meeting a Christian who radiates the Savior's light is unlike anything else. In a dark place, that individual is a beacon of light. In a dull world, that person is a thing of beauty. Phil, this is what the Bible says every believer should be. 1:27!) C. Light Changes Deadness – The mythology of the ancient Greeks described a goddess whose presence was always known by the blessings she left behind in her path, despite the fact that she never appeared to the world. Her footprints left violets and new leaves on burned-out trees and forest fires. She walked through dry fields that turned green as she passed a stagnant pool whose water became fresh. Everywhere she went, hills and valleys bloomed with new life and beauty.[2] The ancient Greeks were praising their gods for the beauty and life they saw around them as they observed the beauty of spring after the deadness of winter. We are aware that God created the season of spring to occur. The light that reaches our planet is capable of bringing life out of the deadness as the earth gets closer to the sun in its orbit. A dying plant can often be revived on a smaller scale by being exposed to the sun's warm, life-giving rays. (Note: Presently, we realize that it was the radiance of the Good news of effortlessness that brought life into our dead spirits. We were saved from death and darkness by His light, and the truth of God's Word warmed our hearts. The same thing happens when we shine our lights in a dead, dark world. God uses the light of our testimony to warm the hearts of people who have committed a grave sin and bring them to Jesus for salvation. A means of bringing the life of Heaven to the dead on earth is our light, which is really His light that we reflect.) D. Dreary Light Conditions: How many times have you witnessed days of gloomy, dreary weather suddenly being replaced by the shining sun? How frequently have we witnessed the instantaneous release of the autumn chill by the sun as the sky above us became brighter? We have all witnessed how the appearance of light immediately transformed gloomy days. (Note: It's possible that this world is gloomy. The spiritual climate, not the weather, is what I'm referring to. I am instantly brightened when I am exposed to the light of the people of God, no matter how gloomy, dank, or gloomy a day may be! Although there may be a chill in my own soul, spending a few minutes with a brother or sister whose hearts are filled with the Light of Jesus can help me feel a little warmer and the chill melt away. God be praised for His redeemed children! In a gloomy setting, they are like a warm ray of light! (Ill. All of these are excellent reasons to shine our spotlight!) II. v. 14b–15 THE PLACES OF THIS LIGHT (Ill. Given how precious and powerful this light is, where and how should it be seen? A. There Is the Light of an Institution—Jesus describes a "city set on a hill" in his words. A city is more like a collection of many lights than a single light. White limestone was frequently used to build cities during that time. Imagine a city built of limestone and perched atop a hill. That city is reflected in the rising sun. During the day, it was visible for miles. You couldn't hide it! The moon would also illuminate that city at night. The city lights and the houses' windows could be seen for miles around even if there was no moon shining on it. It also couldn't be hidden at night. (Note: The metaphor of "a city on a hill" suggests that as a faith community, we shine brightly. It talks about how the church affects the world around us. By our standards, our worship style, and the values we uphold, our church shines brightly. A church's preaching can tell you almost everything you need to know about it; their use of the Bible; the songs and activities they participate in. We cannot be concealed, like a city perched on a hill! We either declare our support for Jesus and demonstrate His power and saving grace; or we stand with the rest of the world. You can't have it both ways! Lenoir's Calvary Baptist Church is intended to be a hilltop city. In the midst of this town's growing darkness, we are to be a loud, clear, and active witness for the Lord Jesus Christ. This church was not established by God so that, like so many other churches, we could follow our own paths and drift away from Him. This church was established by Him as a beacon of light for Him in the gloom of this location. Are we accomplishing our goal?) B. There Is an Individual's Light – Jesus then refers to the candle. The ancient oil lamps are referred to in the translation as "candle." Typically, olive oil was placed in these clay containers, and a piece of twisted flax was used as a wick. The majority of homes did not have windows, so the people who lived there had to use an oil lamp to see. However, no one turned on a lamp and hid it beneath a basket. It would have been foolish to do so! The lamp was turned on so that everyone in the house could see what was going on in the room and receive light. (Note: The significance of the individual believer's witness is the subject of this verse. You also have a testimony, just like a church does! We were saved by Jesus to shine a light for Him. People who are in darkness around us are helped to see their way to God as He shines His light through us. When they go to the church, so many people believe they have fulfilled their calling to be a witness. Friend, the reason you come here is to worship Him and get ready to leave. You are entering the mission field when you enter through those back doors! We are to leave this location and go into a hopeless, dark, dead, deceived world to tell people about a Savior who loves them and will save them if they come to Him by faith. Mark 16:15 states that this is our duty. This is our goal, Acts 1:8 states. Do you personally live up to God's call to be a light for Him? Did you notice that Jesus mentioned a few people who kept their candle in a bushel? Under a variety of bushels, people conceal their light. According to Ill. Joseph of Arimethaea in John 19:38, some conceal theirs. Ill. A young Christian man worked at a lumber camp during the summer. Because he knew it would be hard to be a Christian and a light for the Lord, his pastor became concerned about him. When the boy returned from his summer job at the lumber camp, the pastor told him, "Son, I want you to know I knew you'd just been saved and I knew it was going to be difficult on you, so I prayed for you while you were working this summer at the camp;" I prayed that they wouldn't make you feel too bad. The young man responded, "Oh no, Preacher, I wasn't hard at the lumber camp." He stated, "You know, Preacher, in point of fact, none of them ever discovered that I was a Christian.") Apathy is covering up the light that other people have. They don't seem to be concerned about the lost world around them going to Hell. What a tragic situation a Christian must be in! According to Luke 16:19–31, the Rich Man in Hell had a heart for his five brothers' souls. The fact that people are dying every day without Jesus ought to consume us! We have that remedy in our possession as they perish! We would tell them about Him if we truly cared about them! Keep your light shining brightly! You will experience one of two outcomes as a result. The candle will either burn out of the basket or consume the bushel! It will be difficult for you to conceal Jesus' light when He is truly present in your life. Ill. A missionary was once asked, "What do you put on your face to make it shine?" by a Hindu trader in India. The God-man's surprise response was, "I don't put anything on it!" His questioner became impatient and assertively stated, "Yes, you do! It seems like you all have it if you believe in Jesus. I've seen it in Surat and Agra, as well as the city of Bombay. The Christian's face lit up even more as he said, "Now I know what you mean, and I will tell you the secret." The Christian suddenly understood. We don't put it on from the outside; rather, it comes from within us. It is our hearts' reflection of God's light." However, if He isn't around, you won't have any trouble concealing your own light wherever you choose. Additionally, Jesus adds the phrase "or, putteth it under a bed" to Luke 8:16. The labor market is mentioned in the bushel; The bed depicts a leisurely world. Jesus seems to be implying that some people are too busy to shine, while others are too sedentary. I'm curious if either of those touches your heart! III. v. 16: THE PURPOSE OF THIS LIGHT (Ill. Jesus explains that the light He has placed within our hearts serves two purposes.) A. It Is A Witness For The Lost – When people who are lost see the redeemed's lives shining with the light of Jesus, they will pay attention. We all perform acts, but Jesus referred to "good works" here. What is a good deed? Good works are those that are carried out with the power of the Holy Spirit, are motivated by love, and are done for the glory of God. In other words, good works are those that Jesus Christ Himself performs in and through us (Ill. Paul, Gal. 2:20. I demonstrate to the world that my profession of faith is genuine (James 2:18) and that Jesus Christ truly does possess the power to transform a broken life into a thing of immense beauty (Eph.) as I yield to Jesus and He lives His life through me. 2:1-10! B. It Is A Witness To The Lord: A born-again believer who reflects the light of the Lord Jesus Christ is the greatest witness. A life that demonstrates His presence through the fruit of the Spirit is the most powerful testimony, Gal. 5:22-23. Ill. The testimony of the Gadarene Demoniac reveals this truth – Mark 5:1-20; and in the testimony of the well-wound woman, John 4:39. God is praised and honored when a lost world sees the difference Jesus makes in His children. In the same way that light does not exist to draw attention to itself but rather to the objects it illuminates; Our actions are not magnified by our witness. Our testimony is about a great god who loved us and saved us when we should have been condemned to hell! Our goal is not to make people think, "Man, what a great Christian!" when they see what we do. No! When they see us, we want them to think, "They must serve a great God! I too would like to know Him! Conc: Ill. Woodrow Wilson related a time when he worked in a barbershop. When I noticed that a powerful personality had entered the room, I was in a barber chair. The man sitting in the chair next to me had quietly entered on the same business trip as I was on to get his hair cut. Even though the man's speech was not in the least bit didactic, his personal interest in the person he was serving was evident in every word. And because Mr. D. L. Moody was sitting in that chair, I was aware that I had attended an evangelistic service before I finished what was being done to me. After he left, I purposefully stayed in the room to observe the unique effect his visit had had on the barber shop. They spoke with undertones. They didn't know his name, but they were aware that something had changed their thoughts, and I felt like I should have left a church. “[3] That is the kind of person that God wants us all to be! Would you have to admit that your light wasn't as bright as it should be today if you were to be completely honest with yourself? Our childhood kerosene lamps might be analogous to your heart. They would get soot on the inside of the glass that made it impossible for light to pass through as intended. However, once more the light came through as we cleaned the interior. Have you heard from God regarding your own testimony? Do you shine as a light for Jesus? Could things be better for you? Are you saved at all? Do you have any people on your heart who you would like to pray for tonight? Respond to Him for whatever reason and allow God to direct your life in the best possible way! What plans do you have for your light? What I intend to do with mine is as follows: Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine, I'm going to let this little light of mine shine. Let it shine, let it shine, I'm going to let it shine. Put it behind a bushel? No! I'm going to let it shine. Should I cover it up? No! I'm going to let it shine. Should I cover it up? No! Let it shine, shine, shine. I'm going to let it shine. Don't let Satan destroy it; I'm going to let it shine. Don't let Satan destroy it; I'm going to let it shine. Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine. Let it shine. I'm going to let it shine everywhere in Lenoir. I'm going to let it shine everywhere in Lenoir. Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine. I'm going to let it shine until Jesus comes; let it shine until Jesus comes; let it shine until Jesus comes; let it shine until Jesus comes; let it shine until Jesus comes.

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