And welcome to the West Side Church's special podcast.Speaker 1:
Good evening everyone and our bibles. We're gonna be in Ephesians five for our study tonight and I invite you to open your Bibles to Ephesians chapter five. We're gonna be there in just a moment and continuing our time in the word of God and considering this great theme, everyone who is here, thank you so much for coming. Some of you have come a long way. You've traveled across the metroplex on the Friday night and we're glad that you're here and so thankful for the evening of worship that we've shared in together to the shepherds here. Thank you so much for allowing me to play a part in this youth weekend. It's a blessing to be with this church, 29 years of youth lectures and some of you have been to every single one and it says a lot about this church and the legacy that you have left for many, many, many souls for many years. And so thank you so much for providing a great avenue in this weekend for us to be in the word together. 14 years ago in New , new Albany, Indiana, I was in the preaching internship with dad and one of the common practices was he would bring me into the empty auditorium and he would have me sit on one of the pews and then he would get up behind the podium and says, I just wanna show you what this looks like. And he did it again tonight. That's uh , that's what preaching looks like, <laugh> , that's how it's supposed to be. That's powerful. And really many ways the the weight of of what we just heard needs to to sit. I we're , we're gonna preach. There's more I've been asked to say, but praise God for his grace for his love. Brothers like Jimmy who can make it home. That's a wonderful thing to remember. Thank you Dad. Is it possible to be like Jesus? I think we can say with confidence, yes. Paul says, be imitators of me as I am of Christ. Yes, yes, it is possible to be like Jesus. Yes, that is the aim of this weekend, but that is the aim of every disciple's life is to be more and more like the son of God. In his show, Alfred Hitchcock presents the show would begin the same way where the outline of himself was sketched on the screen and then his shadow stepped into the outline almost showing a complete and perfect match. And that's what we're doing is that God has given to us through his word. This is who I am and this is who I am through my son. And when we come to the word of God and we look at Jesus through our life, we see what matches and sometimes we see what doesn't match. We see what in our hearts, in our lives and our attitudes, the things that we need to shave away or the mold and to change. So that day by day we're just trying to fit more and more into that perfect mold more and more into the image of Jesus. Or maybe as Paul would say in Ephesians five, we were just there in Ephesians five in verse one. Therefore be imitators of God as beloved children. There's some things that just come natural, natural from children to parents that children who love their parents, some of it's just biological. There are things my wife, my family, my siblings have said, you do that a lot like dad, you know , dad does his thing with his lips and he'll clap his hands and he'll say, you do that sometimes and I'll go, I do not do that. Sometimes it happens all the time. <laugh> , sometimes it happens from a grandparent to a grandchild. Don't you see the joy on that? I don't know who squealing louder. I love that picture. Be imitators of God as beloved children hear language. I want you to be more like me and the way you think and the way you speak and the way you live. I want you to look like me in Ephesians five, right in the heart of it. And verse eight, we get a glimpse of specific instruction of God's character, of what it is that he wants us to imitate. Since you are formally darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light. One specific characteristic of God is what Paul focuses on in the heart of Ephesians five. And that's what we're going to focus on tonight about being a light just like Jesus. Just a couple minutes to explore and dig into what this means. What is God calling us to and what's that gonna look like in our lives? We know that God is light verse John one and verse five, this is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you that God is light and in him is no darkness at all. God is light. He is the source of light, the creator of light. When you see God, you see light. Keep your marker in Ephesians chapter five and go with me to the gospel of John chapter one. One of the things that John points to describing Jesus throughout the gospel is that Jesus is light. John chapter one, just trace it with me a couple chapters. John chapter one, beginning in verse six says, there came a man sent from God whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify about the light so that all might believe through him . He was not the light, but he came to testify about the light. There was the true light which coming into the world enlightens every man hear language that came one to point us to the light, the one light, the true light. And when he came into the world, he enlightens spread his truth and his character to every man. Go to John chapter eight. In John chapter eight, we find Jesus claiming the identity of light. John chapter eight and verse 12 it says, then Jesus again spoke to them saying, I am the light of the world. He who follows me will not walk, walk in the darkness but will have the light of life. I am the light of the world. Go a few chapters later to John chapter 12, John chapter 12. Jesus says that those who follow him as the light will become light. John chapter 12 and verse 36, John 12 and verse 36, he says, while you have the light, believe in the light so that you may become sons of light. You see it, I am the light and if you believe in me and follow me, you will be just like me. In fact, look at verse 46 of this context. I have come as light into the world so that everyone who believes in me will not remain in darkness, which is saying, well, I am light and if you believe in me and you follow me, you too will become and walk in the light. So just for a moment, let's start right here. We have it on our note cards. If God is light and described as light and Jesus says he is the light, what is it about light that describes or defines who our God is who Jesus is? What are the attributes of light that he is pointing to in himself? We might say to begin, especially if you think in the very end you think how revelation ends, how in the very end when you see the presence of God's people and God's home, there's not a need for a light, a sign , a lamp because God is that for his people I will be their light and they will reign forever and ever. Well , what is light then? Well, we might say that light is bright and inviting. It captures our attention. It draws us in. There used to be when you went to a store, the blue light special when you saw that light and it was to gather your attention. Look here, see here , light directs our attention in our gaze and it it's inviting, it draws us in. Light is warm and comforting. We think about the chilling coolness that comes with darkness like caves. But you think of the sun and it radiates warmth. You just fuel the warmth. And yes, it is hot in Texas. Actually it's really cool today, almost the end of our coat , it was 95 degrees, got a little cold coming in. It's it's warm and it's comforting. You think of the fear of being somewhere you don't know and it's in the dark, but you see the streetlight, you see the lamp and it brings a sense of comfort or peace at least in seeing, being able to navigate where it is I am and where it is that I am going. Because light is revealing. If you've ever , I know you've been there before. Maybe you wake up in the middle of the night and you see something and you are convinced an arm robber is in your house and you are ready for every jujitsu move on the map. But you flip on the lights and it's just a coat wreck. It is revealing, it brings truth or clarity or knowledge. It helps us to see things from a true perspective. And we might quite say it honestly as John did about God, that light is really the opposite of darkness. If you've ever looked straight into the light, like as some of you will do tonight as you're driving home, especially if you're on the George Bush for some reason, if you're on the major highways, they think that brights are acceptable in the mirror to where you're in Dallas. If you've looked in the bright light, you don't see darkness. Light and darkness are complete opposites. It's true in their , in their , in their elements of what they are. But think about how the Bible uses light and darkness symbolically and why they're different. That in the Bible light represents life and darkness is death or light represents that which is good and wholesome and pure. And darkness represents evil or wickedness. That light , as we've already seen, is a clear indication of God and his holiness, his glory and darkness is where God is. Not all that is not. We might think of Psalm 30 , uh, 23 in verse four, the deep dark valley of the shadow of death and the fear that exists, the trepidation about such a place. But then maybe you think about Malachi four and the promise of Jesus described as the rising of the sun, a sunrise excitement and anticipation. Do you see Jesus on the screen bright and inviting, drawing people to him the warmth, compassion that he had even for those who were in sin and the comfort he brought to those who were heavy and their life's burdens and how revealing he was of who God is and truth is and he is and what life is about and how he was the complete opposite of darkness. There was no darkness in him. Do you remember the phrase we sing in some of our songs? Lied of the world, you stepped down into darkness. Open my eyes, let me see. So here's our question. This is Jesus and this is God. And Paul says in Ephesians five, walk as children of light. What does that mean ? What ? What would that look like in our lives? We're going back to Ephesians five. Let's just kind of catch a greater context and see if we can get some clarity here. Ephesians five, beginning of verse seven. He says, do not be partakers with them. For you were formally darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light for the fruit of light, consistent all goodness and righteousness and truth. Trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret. But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light. For everything that's become light is uh , visible, is light. For this reason, it says awake, sleeper and arise from the dead and Christ will shine on you. Verse nine is an excellent summary. What does it mean? What's it look like to be a light? Verse nine gives us that the fruit, the evidence of life or of light in one's life is this one. He says, goodness, the fruit of light is goodness. Good words, good deeds, good actions that flow from a good heart. One author defined goodness as love and action and we think, think about Peter's summary of Jesus who came doing good, when about doing good healing. All who were oppressed by the devil for God was with him. Or maybe your mind's already there. You're thinking about what Jesus said in the mountain message about light and goodness when he said, let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see do you see it your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. He says , I want you to go about and I want you to do good, good things, good word , good deeds. And it's not about you. You're not getting on Facebook saying, whew , I just served and I just mowed the widow at our church's house, hashtag tired and blessed. Really good. It's not about me <laugh> , It's not about this church, but it is about the glory of God, the reason we serve and we do what is good. Goodness is love in action. Did you catch Dad said in Ephesians chapter five and verse two, that we are to imitate God as beloved children and specifically he says, and walk in love just as Christ also loved you and gave himself up for us. He starts with love and love. In verse two, in Ephesians five propels everything else that Paul is going to say within this chapter, including being a light, the foundation of being a light is love. John talks about this in one John two beginning verse nine. The one who says he's in the light and yet hates his brother, is in the darkness. Until now, the one who loves his brother abides in the light and there is no cause for stumbling in him. But the one who hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness and does not know where he is going because the darkness has blinded his eyes. You see the connection. If I love God and I love my brethren, I am walking in the light. What's an evidence? Uh uh, the evidence of God's light in me, the way I treat those around me. So let's just think, How do I treat those around me in my life? How do I treat those who are different than me? Strange for me. How do I treat my brethren? How do I treat those who are kind of opposed to me, my enemies? How do I handle conflicts with those who are in my life? How do I treat those who are new to this area? Those who are a little different? When I moved here, I thought all of you all were strange. We moved here from Tennessee and when we came into Dallas we were pulling our cars. I was in my car and , and my wife and our son was in the other car. And the first thing I noticed hitting Texarkana was, you know they like their stars here in Texas 'cause it's on everything, every highway. Hey , they like stars. Well , I got into Dallas and I saw this hideous orange sign everywhere I bought this Whataburger, I don't even know what this is. You all like burgers. Well, the first Sunday, my first Sunday at Dallas, I've never seen it before. Not like them. There was all these boots everywhere. It wasn't just boots, it was the boot suit combination where the men would wear cowboy boots and three piece suits as if that works, as if in some sense that's a a , an acceptable way of of dressingSpeaker 3:
<laugh> .Speaker 1:
And I love you all as God loves you . That's I think, how do I treat those who are different from me? Different tastes, different styles, different personalities come from different places. Maybe the way that they interact and think kids a little annoying and rubs me wrong. How ? How do I treat others? Remember what Jesus said in John 13 verse 35, by this all will know that you are my disciple. If you have love for one another or maybe deeper than his brethren, how about the way we even speak to each other? Because Paul would say in Philippians soon verse 14, do all things without grumbling or disputing that you may be blameless and innocent children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation among whom you shine as lights in the world. Do you see it? Even the way you speak is an evidence of the way you see others and treat others and thus belong to King Jesus. Lemme come over here for a minute. I'm speaking to all of our young people. The way we speak to one another. The way we speak about one another will make all the difference. If someone has any interest in Jesus and his people and his church or not. One of the quickest ways to make sure someone wants no part of God and his people is to sling mud at one another and to do so publicly. There are some who are older than us who are sending a bad example from us on social media and it happens a lot. But bad examples are not a justification for bad behavior. We watch the things we speak, we're careful about the things we say. We will not in any situation and any conflict bring any shame on God or on his people. This doesn't mean that we sweep sin under the rug. There's conflict between me and someone else. It doesn't mean I just avoid it, but Jesus did say that if my brother sins against me, notice what it does not say. If your brother sins against you, go and tell your mother. Go and tell your friends. Go and share it with all your 400 TikTok followers. Now , it doesn't say that, but does say , if your brother sins against you, go to your brother in private. Notice a specific language in the e s v , go and tell him his fault between you and him alone, which means what? That private issues are not to be made public productions. And that happens all the time when we take our issues and our grievances with one another and we air it out, brethren, people are listening to us. The world is listening to us. If you want people to see the light of the gospel, let's let them see it in the way that we are good to one another. And that means love and action even in the way we speak or text or type or post. It starts here. He also says the fruit of light is righteousness. Righteousness. Verse nine, righteousness is defined by an author as the rightness of character before God and the rightness of action before men. It's a clear distinguishing difference between walking in the light and walking in darkness. Light and darkness are not the same and the way they behave is not the same. And we don't have to wonder what that looks like. 'cause right here in Ephesians five, we get it clear. Go back to Ephesians five. He shows us what it means to walk in the darkness. And verse three, we see darkness in inside the heart, the darkness in the heart. He says , but immorality and impurity or grie must not even be named among you as is not proper among saints. I'm not gonna want what you want to the point. I even don't want you to have it. I'm not gonna be lustful and envious and materialistic. Focus on this world and nothing on God. And verse four, it's darkness in our lips. He says, there must be no filthiness or silly talk or Coe jesting, which are not fitting, but rather the giving of thanks I I was just joking, just teasing. I'm just kidding around the people of God. Those who walk in the light. Don't j , don't joke about the things Jesus came to die for. And verse 15 is darkness in one's habits. Therefore, be careful how you walk, not as unwise men, but as wise making the most of your time because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. Do not get drunk with wine for that's dissipation, but be filled with the spirit. Do you see everything that I do and the places that I go and the people that I associate with and the things I do with and put on and put in the body, all of that is directed by light. I'm doing and pursuing what is right, rightness of character before God and rightness of action before men. In fact, keep your markary Ephesians five and go back to one John chapter one because in one John chapter one, that's exactly what he says here about the path and the decisions and the progress of one who's walking in the light. One John one beginning in verse five, here's what John says. He says, this is a message we have heard from him and announced to you that God is light and in him there is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and we do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus, his son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we're deceiving ourselves. And the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar . And this word is not in us. Do you see it here? Do you see the point? If we're going to walk as children of light, there are some things we simply cannot, will not do and be in the light. Some friendships and associations I will not have walking in the light, some choices that I cannot make, some substances I'm not putting in the body, on the body doing with the body. Immoral actions on dates, things I'm watching on the screen, entertainment I'm choosing. There's a path that I cannot pursue if I'm going to walk on the light. Does this mean I'm perfect? Well, no. 'cause he says if we say we have no sin, we lie. But there's a big difference between someone who is walking in darkness and every choice and every decision is consistent in darkness versus the one who's trying to pursue God with their heart and stumbles along the way. What's it mean to be in the light? It's a people who are pursuing what's right, what's right, the right thing to do in every circumstance, the right attitude, the right words, the right friendships, the right behavior. It is what Paul said in Ephesians five and verse 10. And this is a great verse to commit to memory for God's people, not just young people, although it will age you the rest of your life. 'cause that's what this is, is a life goal. In Ephesians chapter five, as he says in verse 10, what's it mean to be a person who is doing what is right? We are always, always, always, always trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. That's what it is . I just wanna please king Jesus. I just wanna please my creator. And if I'm doing something today and I realize it's not, then I'm stopping. I will not let a drink. I will not let a , a smoke a vape. I will not let a friend, I will not let a video. I will not let a habit keep me from life in heaven with God. I'm always learning what it is that is pleasing to the Lord and that's hard. But the predator , our lips ought to be, Lord, help me to choose the more difficult right and the easier wrong. The fruit of light are those who do what's right. Righteousness. The fruit of righteousness or light is is also truth. It's truth. Jesus said in John chapter three, that darkness despises to light hides from light, lest their deeds be exposed by the light. In fact, twice here in verse 11 and verse 13 of of Ephesians five, Paul talks about revealing, exposing the deeds of darkness by light. It's true. Majority of crimes happen not in the middle of the day, but in the guise of nighttime. One of my best friend's mother used to always say, ain't nothing good happened after 10 o'clock at night because evil deeds hide under the guise and consume of darkness. We live in the world that doesn't like the truth. It's a lot like what Paul said in Romans chapter one in verse uh 18 when he says, in the world of those, the unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth, struggling with the truth, unwilling to admit the truth, the truth that a man is a man and a woman is a woman. The truth about how God defines life beginning a conception in the womb, the truth of what constitutes and define marriage by God's values. One man, one woman for life. And we might sit here tonight and say, that's right. That's right. The world around us doesn't like truth. Do you know what Paul wrote to the young man? Timothy, this is really important for us. And he says, I want you to preach and I want you to preach and I want you to preach and I want you to preach the truth. I want you to reprove and rebuke and exhort with great patience and instruction because the time's gonna come and they will not endure sound doctrine, but wanting to have their ears tickled. They will accumulate for themselves, teachers in accordance to the own desires and they will turn away their ears from the truth. And he's talking about brethren, There are many, there are many today, and this is not new. It existed in Timothy's time. It exists in our time that see the word of God sort of life , the golden corral. And there's some things I really like. So it's getting on the plate. I like grace, I like mercy, I like love. I like me some Psalms and I like me some of the gospels, but that stuff about authority, whew , don't even mention that word pattern. The work of the church, how a church is organized , what we're supposed to do, holy and righteous living. Don't mention drinking or language or purity. I'm gonna take the things that I like and I'm gonna leave aside the rest. And so we're not gonna preach on authority, we're not gonna teach on holy living, we're not gonna talk about the church and the purpose of the church. I want some of the truth. It's on all of it. The fruit of light Is goodness and righteousness and truth. But brethren, truth is not defined by what I feel it to be or what you believe it to be. Truth is what God says it is, is what declares it to be. Sanctify them. And truth, your word is truth. And if there is a picture, a motif of the word of God, an illustration to show us what the word is like throughout scripture, the clearest, most commonly used is light, light. Psalm one 19 and 1 0 5, your word is a lamp into my feet and a light into my path. Or Psalm one 19 and 1 1 30 , the unfolding of your words gives light and imparts understanding to the simple is light. And so as people who are bearing fruit of truth and light, it means that we are as zacharia Aidan verse 19 says, gonna be a people who love the truth. We love the truth. Even the truth that's hard. Even the truth that's difficult. Even the truth that may make me uncomfortable and cause me to change my life, I love truth because it's free from lies and deception and will always lead me on the path. That's right. And it's not just that we love the truth, we are a people then who speak the truth. We speak the truth. We don't spread gossips, we don't spread false rumors. We don't talk about people behind their back and we declare this truth no matter what consequences it brings. We speak the truth in love, in love, but we speak truth and ultimately before a person ever hears truth out of our lips, we are people who show truth because we obey truth. We live it. We live that truth. There's something really important about all this, about what this means for us tonight for you and me Back in Ephesians chapter five, he defines in verse six, those who are opposed to God, the opposite of the sons of light as sons of disobedience, and he describes them down in verse nine. He says, the fruit of light in all is consistent, all goodness, righteousness and truth. It's those who are trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. But look at verse 11, don't participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness. There are some today and their life is unfruitful. It is devoid of anything that is good or wholesome or meaningful and true. But he says that you are children of light and you're bearing this fruit, this good fruit, fruit that's meaningful fruit that's loving and blesses those who are around them. Fruit. That is true and it's free from any deception. Here's the main point. Stay with me. We're gonna conclude right here. You've been on a train you didn't know and a train of thought, but just right here. Every single person that comes into this world was made in the image of God. Every single one they had , if you will, the thumbprint of God's powerful plan in existence on them. But Paul said, every one of us that has chosen our own way has fallen short of that. Fallen short of God's plan. God's glory, God's purpose. God's purpose for us was that we would be just like him in this world. God's plan was that we would imitate him in his existence, but we left that behind. But those of us who have heard the gospel and responded to the gospel, Peter says, have been called out of darkness into his marvelous light. Now look at the phrase just above that or call that of darkness into its marvelous light. Look why that you may proclaim the excellencies of him. Of who? Of King Jesus right here, Ephesians five and verse 14, 13. All things become visible when they are exposed by the light. For everything that becomes visible is light. For this reason, it says awake, sleeper and arise from the dead and Christ will shine on you. That's it right there. Children of light is not just our identity, it is our purpose and our mission that all around us in this world are people who are asleep, they're walking through life asleep, they're blinded by the darkness, and Jesus says, I've called you out, you've heard the gospel and I want you to live in such a way and speak in such a way that they see this. To be a light is to be an influence, to live in such a way that is seen to speak in such a way that is heard and what they see and what they hear is the true light. Can you see it all around us? Are people who are asleep and they don't know that we're racing towards eternity, but we've been called out of that darkness and so he's saying, I want you to live. I want you in every way that you live and speak and act to wake up this world. I want you to show them me that they may be called out of darkness into his light, which means to be a light. It's effective where it's dark to be an effective light, right? For light to be effective. It shines where it's dark and you've been there before. I've seen this before. I've not said anything right , but you've been in a dark place like this and you see someone who turns on their light and you're thinking, what are they thinking? It's supposed to be darkened here. There's rules against that. Light is effective where it's dark. One of the most common complaints about Jesus is the fact that he's spent time with those who seem to be in a really dark place. People who seem to have no grasp of truth or morality in them, but he said those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick, I came not to call the righteous but sinners. What's the point? Those who need the light need it desperately and we're going to see that in their life. It is a people who are broken, people who have baggage, people who have questions and people who have doubts, people who have addictions, people who are strange people who are mean, people who are death on their t-shirts and pocket things on their knees. People who are far from God need God the most, But here's the thing in our context of Matthew five, nor do people lie to lamp and put it under a basket but on a stand and it gives light to all who are in the house. You don't put a basket over the light and we do so we do. God has given us the mission and the calling to be just like him, to imitate him, to follow him and the way that we live and act and speak, but when we as God's people dress like the world, when we as God's people speak and use words and language, maybe not cursing, but even just vile , much lingering kinda words, when we mention nothing about God in a vocabulary, when we are rude and cold and standoffish, we are hiding that light under the basket, under the lamp. Shine your light because the world needs to see people who give grace and mercy, even to enemies who treat us with coldness and harshness. The world needs to see people who love their neighbors, not just so that they can get something in return. The world needs to see relationships and pure relationships in high school that you can date and date with a purpose but date without breaking God's laws and falling deep into immorality. They need to see that. They need to see people who can be kind on their words and serious about the truth. They need to see marriages that thrive and don't end and rush from divorce to divorce to divorce. They need to see young people who respect those who are in authority. They need to see the light in us, and so where light is effective is in darkness and so shine. Don't hide who you are under the lifestyle of the world. Light is also effective when it shines together. Matthew five 16 describes us as individuals. Each and every one . Let each and every one of you shine your light in such a way and every single one of us on our own and our own lives can make a tremendous difference. But Paul uses the language of lights collective of the power that exists as God's people together shining our lights and the immense difference that takes place when every single one of us do our part. I was reading not long ago about a ship in the Indian Ocean and this tanker was going along and in the midst of the night, a cloudy night, so no moon was present, the ocean began to glow after some deep investigation. What was discovered was some bioluminescent bacteria that existed underneath the Indian Ocean . Each one on its own is invisible to the human eye, but when they gather collectively, when they do their feeding, it can be seen 10 miles into orbit. What's the point? Do you realize how many cities, how many churches, how many families, how many schools, how many pockets and circles of collective people are represented among us tonight that every single one of us have people in our lives who don't know Jesus but gathered here tonight or a collective of hundreds of people to spend their Friday evening to worship him. There's power in that. As I know what the Hebrew writer said about stirring up one another to love and good deeds And not just here gathered in Irving on a Friday night. One of the good things about social media is I get to meet some amazing people like Tia Kamba , my friend named Taz is what he tells me to call him . Tia lives in Zimbabwe. He's 31 years old preaching the gospel. In May 25 souls were baptized at one time. Is that the TA's glory? Nope . That's to the glory of God what to do. It really inspires me because there is someone across the world who is preaching king Jesus and doing his work in a hard place. Light is effective when it's spread and gathered collectively. That's what we're doing. It's really encouraging to see that from here. We're gonna go to a lot of different places, work and school and homes and neighborhoods, and there's gonna be a lot of people in this world who are going to see Jesus and the way that we live. That's what this is all about, but we need to make something really clear. For light to be effective, we must have the light in us. The point of this weekend is not this, just do good deeds. Just be better. Just speak nice. That's an application, But that's not the point. The point of being a light is just go do good things that people see you. The point is this, be like Jesus in Psalm 36 and verse nine. It says, for with you is a fountain of life and your light, do we see light? The point of this weakness is this, whether it is that I am in my own life, in every behavior or in my influence or in my relationship with truth or in serving or in relationships with others, it's not do good things. It's do what Jesus would do. Think as Jesus would think, behave as Jesus would behave. I want you to imitate him perfectly and in so doing you're going to be a light because this weekend's gonna look a lot like this. We have the word of God open and we are taking in Jesus this is who he is. I'm seeing his heart and his mind and his character and his will and every bit of it is being impressed upon my life so that when we leave from here, it doesn't just stay in the book or in the pew, but people see him in me. They don't just see good deeds. They see Jesus influenced good deeds in me. Jesus influenced truth speaking through me. Jesus directed and driven kindness and compassion lived out through me. A lot of leadership gurus have this picture in their office of the turtle on the fence post to remind them, no one gets to where you are on your own and that's sure how it is with life . Stories like Jimmy are really are really unique of someone who just comes to the Lord on their own because the reality is for the majority of us, someone, someone started that journey, someone sow de seed , someone said an example. It was someone's kindness, someone's concern. Someone's really powerful example, someone speaking the truth helped me, started me, encouraged me on a lifelong journey with Jesus, and it's not about you and it's not about me, but have we thought that perhaps God could use someone like you and like me to start the journey for someone else simply to the way we live and we speak what person This next year, high school or college, maybe just through my example, I could be the one that helps them start their journey with the Lord. That first sermon was properly given because there's a lot of intimidation about this, about being like Jesus, about being a light like Jesus. It's intimidating. There's a lot of responsibility to be like Jesus, But brother D said it so well because I am. I can therefore I must. You are the light of the world,Speaker 3:
If we are light's brethren, it means it can be done and if it can be done, if in every situation we can shine our light, we can show through our actions and our behavior and our words, Jesus, then we must, we must do so. We must be so mindful of the influence we are leaving in this world on those around us, two people passed from this life within less than 24 hours. Our brother Jimmy passed away at 1:00 AM this morning and last night our brother Sean Cavender passed away in a fatal car accident. Sean is my age, 36 years old. He was a friend. He and I have gathered at different preaching gatherings and so we knew one another. Both of us have adopted children, so we have a camaraderie in that one of his sons and our daughter had the same surgery, and so we bonded over that. There's a lot of bonding between what took place in Sean and me. Two brothers in less than 12 hours went on to meet the Lord. Two weeks ago, Sean preaches in , in Kansas. This is what Sean preached. We don't know when we will die. That is why we must always, always, always be watching And waiting and be preparedSpeaker 3:
If ,Speaker 1:
If I'm wondering when the right time is for me to get my life right with Christ, now is that time. That time is today right now. If I'm waiting for the right time to start taking all this seriously and walking with Jesus, now is that time. Now is the time I've been sitting on the fence about giving my life to Jesus, turning from sin, being baptized, walking with him now. Now is that time. If I've been sitting on something, a sin in my life and I've been wondering, I , I know I need some help and I really need to get some help, I just, I don't know how to begin or where to start. Now is that time because all we have is right now. All we have is this moment, and so we invite you tonight, this one precious moment while we know we have it. If you are not right with the Lord tonight right here, let's make that right. If you've not started your journey, confess Jesus as Lord. Turn from your sin. Put him on in baptism and leave here confident that you like our brothers, and whatever will happen is heaven bound Struggling sin in our life, and I need help. I'm falling deep. I'm deep in a pit right here, right now tonight. Let us help you now.Speaker 2:
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