Tag Archives: John 14:15-17

Honor God From Your Heart

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Honor God From Your Heart

The church in Ephesus had left its first love. They had strayed away from the most important thing, to love the Lord God with all their heart, soul and mind. They had allowed other things to take God’s most important spot in their lives and in their church.

Revelation 2:4-5 NKJV
“Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place – unless you repent.”

There are many that do the same as the Galatians. They try to honor God with their lips while their hearts are far from Him. They like the celebration and all its trimming, but they don’t love God. Nor do they respect or reverence Him. For the majority of the people in this world God is no where to be found in their holiday celebrations. Man has taken holy days and perverted them to be what He wants them to be and not what God intended them to be.

Matthew 7:6 NKJV
“Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before the swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.”

We should not take what is precious and holy, and give it to the world. The world can not understand the things of God, therefore it (the world) will mold them (the things of God) and pervert them into what it wants, into its image.

John 14:15-17 NKJV
“If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever – the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you will know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.”

1 Corinthians 2:13-16 NKJV
“These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. For who has know the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.”

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The Sights And The Sounds Of The Season

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The Sights And The Sounds Of The Season

food for thought - Copy

 

This year let the sights and the sounds of the holiday season remind you of God’s great plan, love and provision for mankind. Gingerbread men, candy canes, bells, snowflakes and lights all can be used to point people to Jesus Christ and to show the great love that God has for man.

 

I. Jesus Spices Up My Life

 

The sacrifices in the Old Testament, when properly done, were a sweet aroma to God. Aaron and his sons needed to offer sacrifices for themselves and for the people.

 

Exodus 29:15-18 NKJV      

“You shall also take one ram, and Aaron and his sons shall put their hands on the head of the ram; and you shall kill the ram, and you shall take its blood and sprinkle it all around on the altar. Then you shall cut the ram in pieces, wash the entrails and its legs, and put them with its pieces and with its head. And you shall burn the whole ram on the altar. It is a burnt offering to the Lord; it is a sweet aroma, an offering made by fire to the Lord.”

 

Leviticus 1:9 NKJV    

 “…And the priest shall burn all on the altar as a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, a sweet aroma to the Lord.”

 

In the Bible when we read that something is a “stench” it means that God hates it or rejects it. When we read that something is a “sweet smell” it means that God is pleased or accepts it. No sacrifices (burnt offerings) were needed after the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross. Jesus left His place in heaven and came to this earth so that He could pay our penalty for our sin. Through Jesus’ sacrifice we a can be a sweet aroma (smell) to God. The “stench” of our sin is done away with when the blood of Jesus is applied to our life. Jesus truly “spices up our live” and makes us acceptable to God, our Father. He paid for our salvation (made us acceptable to God) with His own life and blood.

 

Isaiah 53:10 NKJV     

“Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him,

 

He has put Him to grief.

 

When You make His soul an offering for sin,

 

He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days,

 

And the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand.”

 

Sin stinks to God. When we have sin in our life we stink to God, and we are unacceptable. God hates sin. He does not hate the sinner, but He hates the sin! When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior we become a “sweet” smell to God. We are accept by God only through the blood of Jesus.

 

Ephesians 1:7 NKJV       

“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.”

 

If we have accepted salvation when God looks down upon us, he does not see the sin that we committed, all He sees is the blood of Jesus Christ.

 

Hebrews 10:19-22 NKJV  

    “Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, and having a High Priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.”

 

Jesus turns our stink into a sweet aroma that God accepts. Jesus spices up our life!

 

II. Jesus Is The Great Shepherd

 

A shepherd is someone who takes care of and protects. Jesus is truly our shepherd. He is our guide, He directs our path, and He protects us and cares for us.

 

Psalm 23 NKJV   

   “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

 

He makes me to lie down in green pastures;

 

He leads me beside the still waters.

 

He restores my soul;

 

He leads me in the paths of righteousness

 

For His name’s sake.

 

Yea, 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.

 

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;

 

You anoint my head with oil;

 

My cup runs over.

 

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me

 

All the days of my life;

 

And I will dwell in the house of the Lord

 

Forever.”

 

A shepherd protects his sheep even at his own expense. Jesus laid down His physical life so that we can have eternal life. A shepherd puts the best interest of the sheep above his own.

 

John 10:11-16 NKJV   

   “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them. The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep. I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father, and I lay down My life for the sheep. And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.”

 

1. When Jesus is my Shepherd I have no fear.

 

Sheep are normally very fearful animals and will not lie down to rest unless they feel secure.

 

Psalm 5:8 NKJV   

   “I will both lie down in peace, and sleep;

 

For You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.”

 

Fear is a feeling that danger or evil is near; being afraid; an uneasy feeling; anxious. With Jesus we are secure. We do not have to fear. He will watch over us and protect us- He will help us overcome our fears confusion.

 

Luke 12:7 NKJV

“But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.”

 

2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV    

 “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”

 

2. When Jesus is my Shepherd I have abundance.

 

The shepherd would lead the sheep to green pastures where there was abundance. Just as the shepherd provided for the needs of the sheep, Jesus provides everything we need. We will not be forsaken when Jesus is our shepherd.

 

Psalm 37:25 NKJV   

    “I have been young, and now am old;

 

Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken,

 

Nor his descendants begging bread.”

 

3. When Jesus is my Shepherd I have peace and calmness.

 

Sheep are afraid of streams that are flowing fast. The shepherd would find a slow moving stream (still waters) for the sheep so that they could drink without fear. God provides us with still waters also so that we will be soothed and calmed.

 

Isaiah 26:3 NKJV     

 “You will keep him in perfect peace,

 

Whose mind is stayed on You,

 

Because he trusts in You.”

 

2 Corinthians 13:11 NKJV      

    “Finally, brethren, farewell. Become complete. Be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.”

 

Peace is freedom from strife of any kind; condition of quiet, order, and security; quiet; calm; serenity; peace of mind.

 

John 16:33 NKJV         

“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace.

 

In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

 

When Jesus is our shepherd we can be confident and courageous at all times. With Him we can have peace of mind even in the midst of tribulations, trials and pressures. He overcame everything that came against Him and He will help us do the same.

 

4. When Jesus is my Shepherd my soul is restored.

 

Restore means bring back; establish again; bring back to a former condition or to a normal condition; give back; put back.

 

Job 33:26 NKJV       

   “He shall pray to God, and He will delight in him,

 

He shall see His face with joy,

 

For He restores to man His righteousness.”

 

God restores those who turn to Him. He refreshes those who love Him by speaking quietly to them. As Christian we know the quiet voice of God and His gentle touch.

 

John 10:3-5 NKJV     

  “To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.”

 

John 10:14 NKJV        

  “I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own.”

 

5. When Jesus is my Shepherd He leads me through the dark places.

 

Lead means show the way by going with or in front of; guide; guide or direct in action, policy, opinion; influence.

 

Isaiah 28:29 NKJV   

  “This also comes from the Lord of hosts,

 

Who is wonderful in counsel and excellent in guidance.”

 

Psalm 32:8 NKJV    

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye.”

 

The Lord will show us the way that we should go. He will go every step of the way with us.

 

6. When Jesus is my Shepherd He is always with me.

 

No matter where we go or what is happening, Jesus is with us. He rescues, protects and guides us along every path of our life. Jesus will never ever forsake you.

 

Hebrews 13:5 NKJV  

   “Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ ”

 

Deuteronomy 31:6-8 NKJV    

“ ‘Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.’

 

Then Moses called Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, ‘Be strong and of good courage, for you must go with this people to the land which the Lord has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you shall cause them to inherit it.

 

And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.’ ”

 

Like the Israelites, we too, sometimes need to be reminded that the Lord will not leave us or forsake us. The Lord promises us that He will remain with us, protect us, fight for us and bless us.

 

Matthew 28:20 NKJV   

“Teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

 

Jesus is truly the Immanuel (Emmanuel), “God with us.” He will show us the path that we should take.

 

Psalm 16:11 NKJV  

   “You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”

 

7. When Jesus is my Shepherd I can rejoice always.

 

Knowing that Jesus is by our side we can rejoice at all time, even in the presence of our enemies. Even in the midst of difficulties, in very situation, we are to rejoice.

 

Our rejoicing is not based on circumstances, but on our relationship with the Lord.

 

Philippians 4:4 NKJV   

  “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!”

 

We will always face trouble and difficult situations and circumstances as long as we are in this world. We should rejoice, knowing that the Lord is with us.

 

1 Thessalonians 5:16 NKJV   

  “Rejoice always”

 

8. When Jesus is my Shepherd I experience an abundant amount of mercy and goodness.

 

God showers us with His great love. He is kinder to us than justice requires. His kindness goes way beyond what can be claimed or expected. The Lord is kind, sympathetic and compassionate toward the hurting and the lost.

 

Matthew 9:36 NKJV   

  “ But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd.”

 

There is not one problem or sorrow that we go through that the Lord is not there with us. He feels everything that we do.

 

Psalm 145:8-9 NKJV   

  “The Lord is gracious and full of compassion,

 

Slow to anger and great in mercy.

 

The Lord is good to all,

 

And His tender mercies are over all His works.”

 

Just as He is compassionate, God has instructed us to rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn.

 

Romans 12:15 NKJV    

“Rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep.”

 

9. With Jesus as my shepherd I have the promise of eternal life.

 

Sin results in death (separation from the presence of God), but God offers the gift of eternal life through His Son, Jesus Christ.

 

Romans 6:23 NKJV  

   “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

 

Titus 1:2 NKJV  

   “In hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began”

 

God is faithful to His Word (His promises). What He has promised will be fulfilled, we can count on it.

 

1 John 2:25 NKJV  

    “And this is the promise that He has promised us – eternal life.”

 

III. Jesus Puts A Jingle In My Step

 

Ephesians 5:18-20 NKJV   

   “…but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always, for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ”

 

Before Jesus ascended to heaven (after His crucifixion and resurrection), He promised that He would send the Holy Spirit to help and comfort us.

 

John 14:15-17 NKJV  

   “If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever – the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you will know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.”

 

Acts 1:4-9 NKJV   

  “And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, ‘which,’ He said ‘you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.’ Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, ‘Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?’ And He said to them, ‘It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.’ Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight.”

 

God desire for us to worship Him in spirit and in truth. The only way to do that is to allow the Holy Spirit to worship God through us. When we are filled with the Spirit, He will help us in our worship to God. He will put a song on our lips and a melody in our heart.

 

Psalm 33:3 NKJV     

“Sing to Him a new song; Play skillfully with a shout of joy.”

 

Psalm 40:3 NKJV    

 “He has put a new song in my mouth –

 

Praise to our God;

 

Many will see it and fear,

 

And will trust in the Lord.”

 

Psalm 96:1-3 NKJV    

 “Oh, sing to the Lord a new song!

 

Sing to the Lord, all the earth.

 

Sing to the Lord, bless His name:

 

Proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day.

 

Declare His glory among the nations,

 

His wonders among all peoples.”

 

Psalm 144:9 NKJV   

    “I will sing a new song to You, O God;

 

On a harp of ten strings I will sing praises to You”

 

Psalm 149:1 NKJV “Praise the Lord!

 

Sing to the Lord a new song,

 

And His praise in the assembly of saints.”

 

The first thing that the people in the upper room did after receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit was to praise and worship God.

 

Acts 2:11 NKJV   

   “…we hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God.”

 

They did so in a language that they had never learned. They praised and worshiped God in spirit and in truth through the enabling of the Holy Spirit. They were able to worship God in spirit and in truth because Jesus had sent the Holy Spirit to them, just like He had promised.

 

There is power in praise and worship, and even more power in praise and worship led and enabled by the Holy Spirit.

 

Acts 16:25-26 NKJV    

 “But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were loosed.”

 

We should bless the Lord at all times. In order for us to do this we must have the Promise of the Father that Jesus said that He would sent to us. It is very hard to bless the Lord when things are bad or when everything seems to go wrong unless you have been filled with the Holy Spirit, the gift that Jesus said that He would send.

 

Psalm 34:1-3 NKJV    

 “I will bless the Lord at all times;

 

His praise shall continually be in my mouth.

 

My soul shall make its boast in the Lord;

 

The humble shall hear of it and be glad.

 

Oh, magnify the Lord with me,

 

And let us exalt His name together.”

 

 

 

IV. God Made You Unique

 

Each and every snow flake is different – each one unique. Also there are no two diamonds that are alike. Each one is cut differently. The same is true with us. You are one of a kind and special. God made you unique and He has a very special plan for your life.

 

Jeremiah 29:11 NKJV    

  “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

 

The plan that God has for you is not the same plan that He has for someone else. It is up to each one of us to walk the path that God has laid out before us. Not someone else’ path, but our path. God’s plan for us is filled with hope. God’s plan for you is a good plan, not an evil plan. Before you were even born, God knew you and had a plan for you. God never makes mistakes and there are no accidents with God.

 

Jeremiah 1:5 NKJV   

   “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you;

 

Before you were born I sanctified you;

 

I ordained you a prophet to the nations”

 

God has a call on each of our lives even before we are born, before our very conception. You were born where and when God desired (ordained). Each of us was born for such a time as this. All (every Christian) of us are to proclaim the message of Jesus Christ. God has set each one of us apart for His special purpose.

 

Psalm 37:23-24 NKJV  

    “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord,

 

And He delights in his way.

 

Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down;

 

For the Lord upholds him with His hand.”

 

The Lord has not left to chance anything about His unique body, the body of Christ. We (individually and as a body / church) have been chosen by God, the very creator of the entire universe, to serve Him as a royal priest.

 

1 Peter 2:9 NKJV    

 “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light”

 

May everything that we do and say point people to Jesus Christ. May we be God’s mouth proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ. Each one of us truly are unique and has a special gift to offer the body of Christ and each of us has a special work to do in advancing the kingdom of God.

 

Esther 4:14 NKJV   

   “…Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”

 

V. Jesus Lights Up My Life

 

John 3:6-13 NKJV   

   “There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came for a w9itness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believed in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”

 

Light is a brightness that enables us to see. Light brings understanding or shows the way.

 

Matthew 5:16 NKJV    

 “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”

 

Everything we do and say should point people to God. When people look at us they should not see us (fleshly man), they should see Jesus living in us. Just as salt in the natural realm will make a person thirsty, “salt” in the spiritual realm will make a person thirsty for the living water (the Word of God, Jesus Christ). There are people watching each and everyone of us. May what they see be the “salt” and the “light” that they need to created a hunger for God and the things of God. Jesus is the Light of the World and we are to be a reflection of Him. He preached several sermons in which He declared Himself to be the Light of the World.

 

John 12:35-36    

 “Then Jesus said to them, ‘A little while longer the light is with you. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you; he who walks in darkness does not know where he is going. While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.’ These things Jesus spoke, and departed, and was hidden from them.”

 

We should remember that we are the light of Jesus Christ, that we have no light outside of Jesus Christ, that the light within us is to be shared, that we should walk in the light each day, that we are to spread the light, and that the light brings New beginnings.

 

1. We Are The Light Of Jesus Christ

 

We are the temple of God. As the temple of God we are the light of Jesus Christ.

 

I Corinthians 3:16-17 NKJV   

   “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.”

 

God is interested in the temple (man) today. He has set the standards for His temple.

 

Matthew 15:16-20 NKJV    

   “So Jesus said, ‘Are you still without understanding?

 

Do you not yet understand that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and is eliminated?

 

But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man.

 

For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. These are the things which defile a man, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile a man.”

 

Man does what he thinks in his heart. Thoughts enter into our heart by what we allow to enter through our eyes and ears.

 

Psalm 119:11 NKJV   

   “Your word I have hidden in my heart,

 

That I might not sin against You”

 

Psalm 101:3 NKJV

“I will set nothing wicked before my eyes…”

 

During Jesus’ ministry the temple was the focal point. Jesus was very interested in the temple and what it reflected. He went in and cleansed the temple the first time at the beginning of His ministry. After Jesus turned the water into wine He went to the temple (the outer portion). His ministry as the Messiah began in the temple. He cleansed the outer portion of the temple.

 

John 2:13-16 NKJV   

   “Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. And He found in the temple those who sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers doing business. When He made a whip of cords, He drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen, and poured out the changers’ money and overturned the tables. And He said to those who sold doves, ‘Take these things away! Do not make My Father’s house a house of merchandise!’ ”

 

Jesus maintained the cleanliness of the temple. At the end of Jesus’ ministry He went back to the temple again to cleanse it again. At this time He did not use a whip, He used the Word.

 

Matthew 21:12-13 NKJV  

    “Then Jesus went into the temple of God and drove out all those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. And He said to them, ‘It is written, My house shall be called a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves.’ ”

 

God is a holy God. There is no evil or sin in Him. If we (man) desire to have fellowship with Him we also must be pure. God is interested in the temple (man) today and what we reflect. We must regularly cleanse our temple. Like Jesus, we must use the Word to cleanse our temple and to keep it holy.

 

Are you desperate for the light of Jesus to shine in you?

 

Is your temple reflecting the holiness of God?

 

In the beginning God said, “Let there be light.”

 

Genesis 1:1-4 NKJV    

 “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. Then God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness.”

 

The ultimate goal and purpose of creation is that the divine light (the Light of the World) shine throughout the world, transforming everything. God has always divided the “light” from the “dark”. Just as the natural light was separated from the dark, one day the “spiritual light” will be separated from the “spiritual dark.”

 

2. We Have No Light Outside Of Jesus Christ.

 

At creation God made two great lights, the sun and the moon.

 

Genesis 1:16-1     8 “Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also. God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth, and to rule over the day and over the darkness. And God saw that it was good.”

 

In the natural, the sun gives off light and the moon has no light except the reflected light of the sun. In the spiritual, the “sun” is Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and we are the reflected light of Jesus Christ. Jesus is the True Light and we are to be a reflection of Him.

 

3. The Light Within Us Is To Be Shared

 

When we share something we make a conscience decision to give part of what we have to another. We do not try to keep things (knowledge or possessions) to ourselves.

 

Matthew 5:14 NKJV   

   “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.”

 

Without light we have no way of seeing in the dark. Without the light of Jesus Christ the world has no way of “seeing” in this dark (sinful) world. We are to be the light of the world.

 

Colossians 1:12 NKJV    

 “…giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light.”

 

With every inheritance comes responsibilities. Christians have a responsibility to be a light everywhere they go and in everything they do.

 

Matthew 5:16    

  “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”

 

Luke 11:33      “No one, when he has lit a lamp, puts it in a secret place or under a basket, but on a lampstand, that those who come in may see the light.”

 

Philippians 2:14-15 NKJV   

   “Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.”

 

4. We Should Walk In The Light Each Day

 

Ephesians 5:8-14    

 “For you were once darkness, but now you are a light in the Lord. Walk as children of the light. (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth).

 

finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. Therefore He says: “Awake, you who sleep,

 

Arise from the dead,

 

And Christ will give you light.’ ”

 

The sun is the physical light of the world, but Jesus is the spiritual light of the world. As the Light of the World, Jesus exposes sin and sinful ways, actions and attitudes.

 

John 8:12 NKJV   

   “Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.’ ”

 

In the physical realm, when the light is bright we can see the path that we are on more clearly. It is the same in the spiritual realm – as we walk in the light of Jesus Christ we can see the path that we are on more clearly. Our fellowship with God depends on our walking in the light. In the light our sins are revealed, enabling us to see our sins and to bring them to Jesus to be washed away by His blood (salvation.)

 

I John 1:5 NKJV   

   “This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.”

 

5. We Are To Spread The Light

 

Day means light. Our task is to spread light, to illuminate the world with the light of God’s Word. As more light is produced the darkness and the night will disappear.

 

Philippians 2:14-15 NKJV    

 “Do all things without complaining and disputing,

 

that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation among whom you shine as lights in the world.”

 

Wherever we go the light of Christ should be shining from us, and spreading into the darkness around us. The light within us (the light of Christ) should penetrate the spiritual darkness around us. We do not have any light of our own. We are the reflective light of Jesus Christ. As we behold the glory of the Lord, we reflect it. We are the light of the world as long as we reflect Jesus Christ. We must make sure that nothing comes between us and the light of Jesus Christ.

 

Not only are we to share the light with a dark world, we are to spread the light to those in the house also.

 

Matthew 5:15 NKJV   

   “Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.”

 

Light indicates deliverance from darkness. Each Christian has been delivered from darkness. Each one has a testimony and they should be ready to give it. We should never hide what God has done for us. Other Christians are encouraged by our testimonies. The Bible tells us that we overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony. Just because a person is a Christian it does not mean that they will not struggle with things. What God has delivered you from can help someone else that is faced with the same thing. Your deliverance can be light to someone else.

 

6. The Light Brings New Beginnings

 

At the end of a long dark night, right before daybreak, we may be tempted to fall asleep. The Holy Spirit gives us strength to be awake and aware of the approaching daylight. God’s mercy is new every morning.

 

Matthew 25:1-13 NKJV   

   “Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Now five of them were wise, and five of them were foolish. Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight a dry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!’ Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise answered, saying, ‘No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’ And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut. Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’ But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.”

 

Jesus Is The Reason…Jesus Is The Reason For The Holy Days

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Isaiah 1:18-20  NKJV    

“ ‘Come now, and 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 be as wool. If you are willing and obedient,

You shall eat the good of the lands; But if you refuse and rebel,

You shall be devoured by the sword’; For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

           Reason together means “to come to a legal decision.” God is not a God of compromise, and we must align our opinion of sin up with His. We must come into agreement with God concerning the seriousness of our sins. God is a holy God and sin can not enter into His presence. Man is full of wickedness and far from innocence. Deceit fills our hearts (thinking, feelings and actions). Without God’s plan for salvation we would be hopelessly lost, and unable to enter into His’ presence. Through God’s plan our sins, which are as “scarlet” can be made as “white as snow”.

Jeremiah 17:9-10  NKJV   

“The heart is deceitful above all things,

And desperately wicked; Who can know it? I, the Lord, search the heart,

I test the mind,

Even to give every man according to his ways,

According to the fruit of his doings.”

         God is willing to forgive (pardon) man’s sins if they will repent and turn to Him. We can receive this forgiveness only through Jesus Christ. Jesus left His home in heaven and came to this world (born as a baby) for one reason and one reason only, to die. Jesus was willing to come and take our punishment for our sins. He took all our sins upon Him. He became our sacrifice for our sin.

Matthew 27:27-31  NKJV   

  “Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole garrison around Him. And they stripped Him and put a scarlet robe on Him. When they had twisted a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand. And they bowed the knee before Him and mocked Him, saying, ‘Hail, King of the Jews!’ Then they spat on Him, and took the reed and struck Him on the head. And when they had mocked Him, they took the robe off Him, put His own clothes on Him, and led Him away to be crucified.”

          Prior to going to the cross, the soldiers put a scarlet robe upon Jesus. On the cross Jesus put our scarlet sins upon Himself. Jesus, God the Son, never sinned, but He was willing to take our sins upon His own body so that we could be declared righteous in the eyes of God, the Father. So that we could be in “right standing” with God.

2 Corinthians 5:21  NKJV    

“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”

          Jesus is the reason that God had extended to us an offer of forgiveness. If we choose (are willing) to accept the offer (salvation through Jesus) that God has given us and obey, than we will be blessed.

Isaiah 1:19  NKJV 

   “If you are willing and obedient,

You shall eat the good of the lands”

          However, if we choose not (refuse) to accept the free gift of salvation and continue to rebel against God we will be punished.

Isaiah 1:20  NKJV    

“But if you refuse and rebel,

You shall be devoured by the sword’; For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” 

        Each and every person (man, woman, boy or girl) must realize that there are only two kinds of people, the saved and the lost. God does not see gender or color or age. When He looks at a person He either sees the ugliness (and stench) of sin or He see the blood of His Son, Jesus Christ. We will either be willing to accept the sacrifice that was made for us and be obedient to God, or we will refuse the sacrifice that was made for us and rebel against God.

Holidays in the Bible were holy days that were designed to point people to Jesus Christ and to show the great love that God has for man. Not for the sake of just having fun or for a religious exercise. Paul was made aware that the church in Galatia had perverted the gospel of salvation through grace. The church was quick to keep the letter of the law, but not the spirit of the law. They observed all the holy days (the holidays) religiously. They had drifted away from a relationship with God, and it had been replaced with religion (ceremonies performed out of duty or regulations). They tried to honored God with their lips and not their hearts. They had lost their “first love.”

Galatians 4:8-11  NKJV    

“But then, indeed, when you did not know God, you served those which by nature are not gods. But now after you have known God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage? You observe days and months and seasons and years. I am afraid for you, lest I have labored for you in vain.”

          The church in Ephesus had also left its first love. They had strayed away from the most important thing, to love the Lord God with all their heart, soul and mind. They had allowed other things to take God’s most important spot in their lives and in their church.

Revelation 2:4-5  NKJV    

“Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place – unless you repent.”

          There are many in the church and in the world that do the same as the Galatians. They try to honor God with their lips while their hearts are far from Him. They like the celebration and all its trimming, but they don’t love God. Nor do they respect or reverence Him.  For the majority of the people in this world God is no where to be found in their holiday celebrations. Man has taken holy days and perverted them to be what He wants them to be and not what God intended them to be.

Matthew 7:6  NKJV    

“Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before the swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.”

          We should not take what is precious and holy, and give it to the world. The world can not understand the things of God, therefore it (the world) will mold them (the things of God) and pervert them into what it wants, into its image.

John 14:15-17  NKJV    

“If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever – the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you will know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.”

1 Corinthians 2:13-16  NKJV  

   “These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches comparing spiritual  things with spiritual. But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. For who has know the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.”

          As the church celebrates this year, may she repent and return to the Lord, and truly make the days of celebrations “holy” days. May she boldly declare that Jesus is the reason behind the holidays (holy days). May she use these days to point the lost, the hurting and the dying to Jesus Christ. May the church use these days to draw closer than she has ever been to the Father and to experience His love for Her in an even grater measure.

As the church returns to her first love God will once again fill her with His wonderful light. Where the presence of the Lord seems to have departed, He will once again fill the place with His glory. The lampstand that was removed will be replaced. The Word that seemed to be silenced will boldly go forth in a powerful way. The mission of the church will go forth when we remember to keep first things first.

Matthew 22:37-38  NKJV    

“Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment.”