Light of the world

©2020 mark montgomery |

Light of the world...

john 1:4-5

In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

We’ve often heard the phrasing “Seeing the light in someone’s eyes.” Or seeing someone as being “Full of life.” We note this as an indication of one being alive, excited or tenacious. When we see someone who is slightly mischievous we say “ They have a “twinkle” in their eye. The life/light that Jesus was speaking of was so different, so much more than this. After all eternal life does not begin only after a believer dies, but rather when one come to a saving knowledge of Jesus.

The light of Christ on earth is seen in the life of the believer. We’ll unpack this a little as we continue.

john 1:9

The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.

This was a time when John was preparing the way for the Lord he was teaching, seeking to see hearts engaged and made for the “True Light”.

john 12:46

I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness.

Everyone/Whoever! As Christians today it is not our role to pick and choose, but to be faithful in sharing the good news of the Gospel.

my notes:

john 12:35-36

So Jesus said to them, “The light is among you for a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you. The one who walks in the darkness does not know where he is going. 36 While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.”

Have you ever had the experience of being in a cave? A place so dark that you literally could not see your hand in front of your face? Imagine someone walking in with a flashlight and offering to you.

Would you take it?

Why would you take it?

Why might you refuse it?

Who is Jesus? He is the Light and a contrast to the darkness of the world

isaiah 9:2

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone.

The light of Christ wages war against the darkness residing in the hearts of man.

matthew 4:16-17

The people dwelling in darkness have seen a great light, and for those dwelling in the region and shadow of death, on them a light has dawned.” 17 From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

The words of the prophet Isaiah are echoed after the arrest of John the Baptist and usher in the beginning of Jesus ‘ ministry and from that time on He began to preach with an earnestness.

Life and death... more like death and eternity. Hearts, souls hang in the balance.

We joke that we are assured to two things today -death and taxes. Yet Scripture points to a more important and exacting duo: death and judgment.

hebrews 9:27

And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment,

john 3:19-21

And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. 20 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. 21 But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”

1 peter 2:21

For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps.

We have an “example” to follow!

my notes:

john 5:22-23

For the Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, 23 that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him.

Who better to judge than the one Who paid the price for us?

nahum 1:7

The LORD is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; he knows those who take refuge in him.

The Lord is good - not safe, but good. He loves you! He knows you!

my notes:

carrollton - tell me

Feel like I’m a nobody, Wonder if I’ll ever amount to much

Seems like no matter what I do, It’s never gonna be enough

Should I just give up?, Lord, I need to hear You speak

Tell me I am loved, Tell me I am known

That You died for me, I am not alone

Tell me I’m Your child, The one Your heart beats for

I can find my strength, Knowing I am Yours

You’ve always known what my heart needs, And You tell me

You wrote Your name upon my heart

You knew me before my life began

You still have a plan, And when I’m starting to forget

Jesus, You tell me who I am, Who I am

You tell me I am loved, Tell me I am known

And that You died for me, I am not alone

You tell me I’m Your child, The one Your heart beats for

I will find my strength, Knowing I am Yours

You’ve always known what my heart needs

And You tell me, oh

Your voice has the power to heal the hurt inside

Your voice speaks the truth, brings my heart back to life

I am loved, Oh, I am known

You tell me I am loved, Tell me I am known

That You died for me, I am not alone

You tell me I’m Your child, The one Your heart beats for

I will find my strength, Knowing I am Yours

You’ve always known what my heart needs

And You tell me

Lord, You tell me, Oh, You tell me, You tell me, oh

who is Jesus? He is divine

john 8:53-59

Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? And the prophets died! Who do you make yourself out to be?” 54 Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’ 55 But you have not known him. I know him. If I were to say that I do not know him, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and I keep his word. 56 Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad.” 57 So the Jews said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?” 58 Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” 59 So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple.

exodus 3:14

God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’”

“I AM” - we’re not!

my notes:

john 10:27-30

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.”

matthew 26:63-66

But Jesus remained silent. And the high priest said to him, “I adjure you by the living God, tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.” 64 Jesus said to him, “You have said so. But I tell you, from now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.” 65 Then the high priest tore his robes and said, “He has uttered blasphemy. What further witnesses do we need? You have now heard his blasphemy. 66 What is your judgment?” They answered, “He deserves death.” 67 Then they spit in his face and struck him. And some slapped him, 68 saying, “Prophesy to us, you Christ! Who is it that struck you?”

daniel 7:13

“I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him.

my notes:

who is Jesus? He is the atonement for sin

matthew 16:21

From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.

matthew 20:28

even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

john 11:25-26

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

The most important question! Let’s take a moment to examine this.

my notes:

other characteristics of Jesus

john 4:25-26

The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things.” 26 Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am he.”

Jesus is the “Anointed One”.

john 10:24-26

So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” 25 Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name bear witness about me, 26 but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep.

matthew 5:38-39

“You have heard that it was said, An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.

“But I say to you...” with these words Jesus elevated Himself above the Scriptures in the eyes of those to whom He was speaking. No teacher would have dared to do this. Yet, our King spoken with authority!

matthew 8:28-29

And when he came to the other side, to the country of the Gadarenes, two demon-possessed men met him, coming out of the tombs, so fierce that no one could pass that way. 29 And behold, they cried out, “What have you to do with us, O Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the time?”

Jesus is the “only begotten Son of God”.

matthew 9:2-7

And behold, some people brought to him a paralytic, lying on a bed. And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven.” 3 And behold, some of the scribes said to themselves, “This man is blaspheming.” 4 But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts? 5 For which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’? 6 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he then said to the paralytic—“Rise, pick up your bed and go home.” 7 And he rose and went home. 8 When the crowds saw it, they were afraid, and they glorified God, who had given such authority to men.

Jesus had the authority to forgive sin on earth.

matthew 16:14-17

And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.

my notes:

“WHOEVER” - a familiar heart & choice

john 3:16-18

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.

It is truly a familiar truth for those sitting here today, but what about “them”?

quotable quote

“Of course he’s not safe... but he’s good.”

–Mr. Tumnus, The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe

romans 8:1

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.

my notes:

isaiah 1:18-20

“Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool. 19 If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land; 20 but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be eaten by the sword; for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”

What a joy? We are truly free! The burdens and weight of what we done are no longer ours to bear. They have been paid for in full and you and I are eternally free if we know Him.

john 12:46

I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness.

We know Him to be the One Who is not willing that any should perish (2 Peter 3:9)

my notes:

how do we follow?

matthew 16:24-26

Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. 26 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?

This gift that we’ve been given, the price fulfilled that we could not pay, does cost us. However, the cost is experience of true freedom. While fear would restrain us God calls us on to trust Him. Our response to this call dictates the future before us.

mark 10:17-22

And as he was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 18 And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. 19 You know the commandments: Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’” 20 And he said to him, “Teacher, all these I have kept from my youth.” 21 And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” 22 Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.

matthew 6:21

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Let’s take time today to consider our priorities. Would we be brave enough to commit them to the Lord?

We cannot serve two masters (matthew 6:24)

my notes:

If we struggle with the fear of what it may mean or cost us or if we should question if we’re ready remember Paul wasn’t perfect. Peter had a big mouth, a lack of patience and denied the Lord three times. David was an adulterer and a murderer. Noah got drunk. Thomas doubted. Jonah though he knew better than God and complained when God brought about the single greatest revival in response to the shortest sermon in history. Sarah laughed at God’s plan. The list goes on and on...

1 corinthians 1:27-31

But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, 29 so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. 30 And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, 31 so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”

Simply put... God delights to use screw-ups!

my notes:

luke 10:25-28

And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?” 27 And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” 28 And he said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.”

“...Do this, and you will live.”

Knowing the truth is only half the battle

A body in motion tends to stay in motion

1 corinthians 2:2

And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. 2 For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.

quotable quote

Evangelism is just one beggar trying to show another beggar where to find bread - D.T. Niles

my notes:

confidence in Him alone

matthew 5:13-16

“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. 14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

Pastor Dan preached a message a while back and encouraged us to take courage and stand, with confidence, on the Word of God - to proclaim it boldly.

ephesians 6:12-13

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.

matthew 28:19-20

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

quotable quote

“If sinners be damned, at least let them leap to Hell over our dead bodies. And if they perish, let them perish with our arms wrapped about their knees, imploring them to stay. If Hell must be filled, let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go unwarned and unprayed for.”

–Charles Spurgeon

As we talked about John being a forerunner for the Lord, let us consider that we sit and stand here today in a similar position. What a privilege - to be one preparing the way for the Lord!

a promise from God - will not walk in darkness

numbers 23:19

God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?

There is no fickleness or shadow of changing in Him

ephesians 5:13-14

But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, 14 for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, “Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”

psalm 119:105

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

psalm 119:11

I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.

my notes:

we might say...

Does it always come back to this?

Can it be that simple?

But I’ve heard this all my life.

I’m just trying to find the best way.

These questions and statements may seem to be genuine and on the level but when examined objectively can reveal a surprising lack of faith and a Jonah-esque pride that will altogether hinder one’s view of what God is doing. We must be careful to know the Word and practice it - it is that simple.

romans 16:17-20

I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. 18 For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive. 19 For your obedience is known to all, so that I rejoice over you, but I want you to be wise as to what is good and innocent as to what is evil. 20 The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

psalm 119:93

I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have given me life.

Precepts/laws = life

Law abiding citizens do not have to be afraid of the law, but criminals do.

my notes:

romans 13:3-4

For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, 4 for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer.

psalm 23

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. 3 He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

my notes:

psalm 119:44-56

I will keep your law continually, forever and ever, 45 and I shall walk in a wide place, for I have sought your precepts. 46 I will also speak of your testimonies before kings and shall not be put to shame, 47 for I find my delight in your commandments, which I love. 48 I will lift up my hands toward your commandments, which I love, and I will meditate on your statutes. 49 Remember your word to your servant, in which you have made me hope. 50 This is my comfort in my affliction, that your promise gives me life. 51 The insolent utterly deride me, but I do not turn away from your law. 52 When I think of your rules from of old, I take comfort, O LORD. 53 Hot indignation seizes me because of the wicked, who forsake your law. 54 Your statutes have been my songs in the house of my sojourning. 55 I remember your name in the night, O LORD, and keep your law. 56 This blessing has fallen to me, that I have kept your precepts.

psalm 18:19

He brought me out into a broad place; he rescued me, because he delighted in me.

Obeying does not come easy to us. We are rebellious by nature, yet the Lord contends with us. What grace and mercy?!?

my notes:

ezekiel 36:26

And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.

We have seen, heard and been testimonies of what God can do in the life of a sinner. Now is where the adventure really begins. Being “Saved for a purpose” is something we are comfortable with in church. Oh, but now we must take it outside.

luke 8:16

“No one after lighting a lamp covers it with a jar or puts it under a bed, but puts it on a stand, so that those who enter may see the light.

We must not be ashamed of the Light

matthew 5:15

Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house.

Gives light to all...

my notes:

acts 1:8

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

1 thessalonians 5:24

He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.

It is His strength alone in which we can stand. All we can possibly bring to the table is a willing heart. May we be unashamed, joyful and completely dependent on the One for Him nothing is impossible.

ephesians 3:20-21

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

May we today be those that stand strong, firm and steadfast in the knowledge that we have not even come close to the limits of God’s strength. Dare we dream to that end? Dare we not?

my notes: