SER # 7Xa
FIRST UMC – NEBRASKA CITY
SUNDAY FEBRUARY 14TH, 2021
TEXTS: 2 CORINTHIANS 4: 1 – 6
THEME: LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE
The writer of book Matthew put it this way when it comes to us being the light of the world. “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on the stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your father in heaven” (Matthew 5: 14 -16).
Jesus himself used statement that illustrated who he was and the mission he had to fulfil. In the book of Gospel of John, we read what is known as the “I AM Sayings” that informed the work of Jesus. We must remind ourselves that the I AM word originates from the Old Testament as the name of God. It was God who used this word when he wanted to answer the question of Moses about his name. Moses wanted to be sure when he went to Egypt, he was able to tell the people the name of the God that had sent him. “Then Moses said to God, ‘if I come to the people of Israel and say to them, the God of your fathers has sent me to you; and they ask me, what is his name? what shall say to them? God said to Moses, I AM WHO IAM. And he said, Say, this to the people of Israel; I AM has sent you” (Exodus 3: 13 – 14). We must remember that the Israelites had been used to the Egyptian religions where every god had a name. He is what Jesus said to the disciples about himself:
- I am the Bread of Life: John 6: 35, 41, 48, 51 Jesus uses this statement in the backdrop of feeding the 5,000 people. He reminds people that the bread he offers has life unlike the Manna that was offered in the wilderness. He is the bread and those who accept this bread even when they died they will live forever.
- I am the Light of the World: John 8: 12; 9: 5 Jesus reminds his disciples that he was the light after healing of the blind man Jesus heal the blind Bartimaeus as he enters Jericho (Mark 10: 46 -52) Jesus brings light to the blind man who could only see darkness.
- I am the Door: John 10: 7, 9 In telling the disciples that he was the door he was reminding them of the sheep fold. The sheep needed to enter through the door. We must remember that.
- I am the Good Shepherd: John 10:11, 14 As the shepherd Jesus was reminding that he was caring. Jesus was connecting with the Old Testament passage in the book of Psalm 23:1 where God is the shepherd.
- I am the Resurrection and the Life: John 11:25 Jesus was reminding his disciples that he was the source of life. This statement is against the background of Jesus raising Lazarus from death. Jesus hold the key of death and hades “When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: Do not be afraid. I am the first and the last. I am the living one; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades” (Revelation 1:17 -18).
- I am the Way the Truth and the Life: John 14:6 Jesus was reminding his disciple that those wishing to go to the Father they must go through him. Jesus is the only truth that we look for regarding our faith walk. Jesus is the sustainer on this journey of faith.
- I am the true vine: John 15: 1, 5 The only way a branch can stay alive is by being connected to the vine. This vine is Jesus him self
The call that Jesus is calling us to today in this dark world is to let our light shine. How do we then let our light shine?
- By Placing the Light on the Open: We are invited to an open display of our faith in a way that it illuminates around us. Jesus even underlines what it means to posses this light of God. Jesus say we will be like a city build on a hill and nothing can hide it. When we turn our life to Jesus we are elevated or lifted and the people around us will see and notice. For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing” (2 Corinthians 2:15).
- Keeping it Shinning all the Time: We can be tempted to turn off the light of Jesus in us for many reasons. One, afraid to be noticed: this happened when we keep our faith as a secrete and not ready to let people know. Jesus explains this as the one who lights the lamp and put it under the bowl and still expect the people around not to experience darkness. Two, not sure: Some of us are at a place where they are not sure about this light. What happens if people question do I have any answers why I believe in this light of Jesus. Jesus knew about this when he reminded people not to worry what they will say because God will give them. Sometimes not talking is good enough and living it out in your everyday events of your life. When you have this light it guides your step. Three, afraid to offend: we live in a culture that the last thing we like to do is to offend someone, more so by seeming to impose our faith (Light) to their life. We don’t want the light of Jesus to shine of them else they blame us for all what happens to them. But Jesus gives power and authority as you embrace his light in your life. Remember it is not your light but the light of Jesus passing through you. You are the medium through which the world can experience the light of Jesus. Four, not sure what people will think. I want you to know that people will think whatever they want. In life we have seen people who have chosen not to see the truth even when all the evidence is provided. Your work or mine is not to worry what people think and just bear the light of Jesus in your life. Your act of kindness and mercy will speak for themselves.
- Even little Light makes a Difference: Maybe the one thing that people forget is the impact that a little light can have on any amount of darkness. Because we believe our little light means nothing, so we hide it. I am reminded of the story of the boy who had a snack and was willing to share and what happened. It is in the story of feeding of the five thousand men without counting the children and women. Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter brother, spoke up, here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many” (John 6:8 -9). Andre is very descriptive here for he does not want Jesus to misunderstand what they had in hand: Five small barley loves (these were the poorest quality of bread that people would eat) and two small fish. Andrew was making it clear that would mean nothing to the multitude of people that were gathered. But we know that little in Jesus hand is much to the world. It was one little stone that put Goliath down by David. Then he took his staff in his hand and chose five smooth stones from the brook and put them in his shepherd’s pouch. His sling was in his hand, and he approached the Philistine” (1 Samuel 17:40). Then David said these words as he approached Goliath, “You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of host, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defiled.” (1 Samuel 17:45). Because David came and faced Goliath in Jesus name. Different people have given the five stones spiritual names. I Like the following: Stone of Faith, Stone of Courage, Stone of Trust, Stone of Praise, stone of Obedience. You little light means a lot. By being nice to someone who is not nice is a little light that will have a big effect on someone. Greeting the cashier on the grocery checkout can be a little light with a lot of effect.