Monday, July 5, 2010

Bucket Brigade

Darkness has been defined as the absence of light, so then when light is introduced darkness is always defeated by light. Additionally the more light there is the more the darkness recedes.

The Bible calls a number of things light.

God is light

1 The Lord is my light and my salvation-- whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life-- of whom shall I be afraid?
Psalm 27:1 (NIV)

Jesus Christ is light

12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."
John 8:12 (NIV)

5 While I am in the world, I am the light of the world."
John 9:5 (NIV)

46 I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.
John 12:46 (NIV)

God’s Word is called light

105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.
Psalm 119:105 (NIV)

Israel was called to be the light of the world

6 "I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles,
Isaiah 42:6 (NIV)

6 he says: "It is too small a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring my salvation to the ends of the earth."
Isaiah 49:6 (NIV)

They were to reflect God and his glory to the Gentiles. This light included peace, joy and salvation in knowing and serving God. There were times when Israel failed to accurately portray God and God would have to clean their mirror. Usually this meant discipline from God by allowing other nations to attack the people of God. When the nation repented and turned back to God, God would intervene and save his people.

Almost without exception this salvation was supernatural in nature. Joshua and company march around Jericho and the walls fall down. Gideon and 320 men route tens of thousands of Midianite soldiers. Jehoshaphat, at God’s command, put the choir in the front of the army and their enemies were destroyed. David a teenage shepherd goes up against a giant and God give victory.

Each time Israel is spared it is by divine intervention. God was saying “People are watching and I can’t let you get away with disobedience. My reputation is at stake. It isn’t about you, it’s about me!” The nation would eventually repent and God would rescue them and get the glory.

Individual believers are now called to represent God as his light to a dark world.

14 "You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.
15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.
16 In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.
Matthew 5:14-67 (NIV)

During war time those fighting and those in midst of the conflict are often endure ordered blackouts. No light is supposed to escape into the night giving the enemy a target to attack or launch bombs at. Even vehicles’ lights were reduced sometimes by blackout stripes allowing on the smallest amount of light to illuminate the road ahead. God does not battle this way. With our God, light is used to overcome the evil!

19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.
20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.
21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God."
John 3:19-21 (NIV)

As his representatives how are we doing reflecting his light and his glory? Light can be best seen when there is something to contrast it to, such as darkness. Often dark days have to come so that God’s glory can be seen in miraculous ways.

6 For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.
2 Corinthians 4:6 (NIV)

8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light
Ephesians 5:8 (NIV)

I’m reminded of the new LED lights. While individually they don’t appear to give off a lit of light, a single diode can be seen for almost a mile once it is lit up. Gather a group of these LEDs provide more light then any incandescent lamp around and with a fraction of the cost.

Just like an LED light we have been told will virtually never burn out, so God’s light will never burn out. In him there is no shadow of turning.

17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
James 1:17 (NIV)

We need to clean up our reflectors. Let our light shine before men so that they may see our good works and glorify our Father. And finally make sure we don’t obscure God’s light in this world by putting a bucket over the light.

Pass the bucket please

Pastor Val

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