Mike Gerhardt, Community, last week flashes and flickers, this week Fluorescence, Ephesians 5:8-14. Paul exhorts the Ephesians to live as children of light in practical ways that would expose the darkness. Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light on my path. Do you know a great name for a car: Pathfinder, a Christian car name.
DL Moody: We are told to let our light shine, and if it does, we won't need to tell anybody it does. Lighthouses don't fire cannons to call attention to their shining, they just shine.
Dust in the sun. Spotlights on stage, no wonder they use excessive makeup! On HDTV's you see every wrinkle. I love it when they call an audience member up on stage and the poor person doesn't have that cover of makeup. The bright light shows every blemish. Fireworks against a moonless black sky can be a brilliant display of light but put those same fireworks on during the day and what fireworks?
Cameras, candles, colored lights. Light comes to us in different shape, sizes, and ways: the flash of a camera to the flicker of a candle to the light of a fluorescent light bulb. The tube has a phosphor coating inside to absorb the UV and glow to 100 lumens per watt several times that of an incandescent bulb if anyone still has that kind of a bulb.
Don’t be in the dark. Don't get involved with the darkness verses 5-8. Discern whether they are friends or foes, light or darkness. Discriminate between those who love the lord and those who are faking it. Test for genuineness.
2 Corinthians 6:14-16: Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and
Bel-ee-al? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God.
I want to go back to verse 6: Let no one deceive you with empty words. Deceive is to mislead, to be entrapped. Empty words can be rendered words without content or hollow reasoning. Some may tell you that Christians standards are too demanding. That God is a killjoy. That God should allow us to live the way we want. Others may say knowing the way to God is more important than living a holy life, this was the Gnostic philosophy. That God is redeeming your mind and doesn't care about your body. Others may argue that it's not what you believe but how sincere you are that really matters to God. This is antinomianism. Some say that you can do whatever you want if it doesn't hurt anyone. Permissiveness is a blatant lie of Satan. God's wrath is serious business. If you buy into these things, you could become an object of God's wrath. If you partner with people who deny the Lord, you can be sucked into the darkness.
Live as children of light. Brilliant, beaming, glowing, gleaming, luminous, radiant, resplendent, we are to shine like neon. Shine before others, remind yourself of Matthew 5:14-16. I remember the WWII searchlights (like the Batman signal light) around the Atlantic City NJ convention center, which dotted the sky during the Miss America Pageant or the Ice Capades show. You stand in front of them and you’re blinded by the light.
As children of light, you are objects of God's grace. verse 9 the fruit you yield is to be goodness (benevolence) not malice; righteousness (fairness) not injustice; truth (integrity) not falsehood. Paul adds find out (examine) what pleases God the Father. Here a question I sometimes ask a person struggling with sin. Are you finding out what pleases God or what pleases you? Are you even thinking about how to please God with your life? If that is the last thing on your mind, then you may not be a Christian. If you are wondering why God is not blessing you, it may be that you are not interested in blessing God. Find out what pleases God and do those things to bless His holy name.
Expose the deeds of the darkness. Turn your light on with discretion. Shine with charity. 2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. Watch what you say and how you say it to be heard by the people you love, be patient and careful.
Show the true character of darkness. Romans 13:11-12 And do this, understanding the present time: the hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So, let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.
1 Thessalonians 5:6-8 So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet.
Alcohol can kill relationships whether a friend, boss, child or spouse. Awake and sober. Sound sleep is usually the sleep you're experiencing when it's time to wake up. Many churches serve coffee after the message. This is to get the people thoroughly awake before they start to drive home.
Lengthy exposure to the darkness allows our eyes to get used to the dark, like when coming out of a movie theatre into the bright sun, and it can cause some discomfort.
Likewise, shining our light of the Gospel message may cause someone discomfort, which could be good if it leads them to examine their lives and trust Jesus as Savior. Believers are to walk in the light not just stand around. Take the truth into the darkness. We are to light up the room for Jesus sake. Time to wake up and lead people into the light.
John 3:19-21 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 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.
Three things to take away: First, make sure you are thankful for what God has done in saving you from yourself and saving you unto Himself. Be thankful this week for being saved. Second, make sure you are partners with people who love Jesus as much as you do. Be discerning. Third, find out what pleases God and live there in those moments. Be His light to the darkness. This is what living in community is all about.