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Illuminate me

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Text: Luke 8:16-21

I.                  light gives us capability of sight

A.    a concern for those in darkness

- God desires that we should see

                        *  A poor little boy once heard his Sunday School teacher say

Jesus was the light of the world.  He took her remark quite

literally. After class, the boy said to his teacher, "If Jesus

really is the light of the world, I wish He'd come hang out in

my alley.  It's awful dark where I live."

*   Robert Lewis Stevenson, best known for his adventure story Treasure Island, was in poor health during much of his childhood and youth.  One night his nurse found him with his nose pressed against the frosty pane of his bedroom window.  "Child, come away from there.  You'll catch you death of cold," she fussed.

   But young Robert wouldn't budge.  He sat, mesmerized, as he watched an old lamplighter slowly working his way through the black night, lighting each street lamp along his route.  Pointing, Robert exclaimed, "See; look there; there's a man poking holes in the darkness."

  - Peter James Flemming, Preaching, November, December, 1994 p. 53

B.     a concern for revelation

- God desires that he be seen

*   It is said that Ole Bull and John Erricson met for the first time in the city of New York, and the great musician said to his new found friend, "Come around and hear me play tonight." The invitation was not accepted. It was given the second time and again was not accepted. The third time Ole Bull said if you do not come and hear me play I will come and play for you, and John Erricson said, "Do not bring your violin into my shop for I do not care for music." But the next day Ole Bull was there and he said, "There is something the matter with my violin," and they talked about tones and semi-tones and fibres of wood, and then he said, I will show how it is." He strung up the instrument, drew the bow across the strings and began to play. In a little while the building was filled with waves of harmony. The men left their work and gathered about the great musician. John Erricson rose from his desk, stood for a moment in the outer circle, then came close to Ole Bull and listened to every note that came from the violin. At last the player drew his bow across the strings for the last time and stopped, the men turned back again to their work; not so John Erricson. With tears streaming down his cheeks he said, "Play on, play on, I never knew what was lacking in my life before." Thus it is with many a man who thought he knew the needs of his soul, and sought to be satisfied with honor, and wealth, and power, but only Christ can

satisfy, and until we learn this and claim him, we shall be devoid of peace. -- J. W. C.

By J. Wilbur Chapan, "Present Day Parables."

II.               light gives us consciosness of  reality

A.    reality will not hide from us

- an ability to see the world as it realy is

* A WAYFARING MAN, traveling in the desert, met a woman standing alone and terribly dejected.  He inquired of her, "Who art thou?" "My name is Truth," she replied.  "And for what cause," he asked, "have you left the city to dwell alone here in the wilderness?" She made answer, "Because in former times, falsehood was with few, but is now with all men."

It is indeed sad that in this generation many follow Falsehood instead of the Truth.

B.     we will not be able to hide from reality

- an ability to see ourselves as we really are

                        *   Secret sins, laid upon an enlightened, active conscience,

unforgiven, are a source of great pain and suffering. David said, "Mysin is ever before me." An incident occurred in one of our meetings, that strikingly illustrates this truth.

   A gentleman in high standing in the community where he lived,

belonging in a family in high social position, not a blot on his

reputation, strictly honest before men as far as was known, yet one

thing greatly troubled him. He asked the privilege of seeing me alone.

When alone, he said:

   "I desire to become a Christian, but I have a thousand dollars that

don't belong to me, which I took from a man two years ago. I cannot keep it. I will come out with a public confession, or anything else you advise me to do."

   I asked him if any one charged him with it or mistrusted him. He

replied:

   "No, sir, I don't suppose any one has the least idea that I am mean enough to do such a thing. But I did it, and can't live so. The man who lost it is a personal friend of mine. None but God and myself know anything about it."

   I asked him if he was able to return it to the man.

   "I am," he said, "but I have had it two years, and that is worth

eight per cent.

    "Well, that would be eleven hundred and sixty dollars. Can you pay that amount?"

   "I can," he said.

   That day the man who had lost the money received eleven hundred and sixty dollars ... This man who had taken the money, then gave himself to Christ, and the last I knew of him he was an active Christian.

   Memory is just as active now as before, but the sting is gone, so

that it is no longer a guilty memory. Christ's blood put out the fire

in his bosom, and he has peace. There must be an application of the justifying righteousness of Christ to the soul, or his sin, in all its guilt, weighing him down, would be "ever before him." -- A. B.

Earle, From: "Incidents Used ... In His Meetings," published in 1888

III.           light gives  us concern for its  assessment

A.    a careful consideration

- not to be taken lightly

* "WHY SHOULD there always be this fear and slaughter between us?" said the Wolves to the Sheep.  "Those evil-disposed Dogs have much to answer for.  They always bark whenever we approach you and attack us before we have done any harm.  If you would only dismiss them from your heels, there might soon be treaties of peace and reconciliation between us."  The Sheep, poor silly creatures, were easily beguiled and dismissed the Dogs, whereupon the Wolves destroyed the unguarded flock at their own pleasure.

`Yes, Satan call tell Christians, "Ah, don't obey the Commandments.  Go ahead and sleep in on Sunday mornings.  O, come on, this little "sin" won't hurt anyone, etc."  However, Satan's sole purpose is not to help us, but to destroy us!

B.     a consequential consideration

- our measure of true light will be weighed back upon us.

                        - Both a positive and a negative consequence

IV.           light gives us connection through our submission.

A.    a family connection

- a true family, where the children resemble their father.

*   Johnny was having a wonderful time with crayons and a sheet of paper when his mother came in and asked what he was drawing. He answered: "I'm making a picture of God." Surprised but interested, the fond parent queried: "How can you do that? No one in the world knows what God looks like." "Well," replied Johnny with assurance, "they will when I get through!"

   (Each Christian is to reflect the likeness of Christ, so that the world can, in a sense, thereby see a picture of God--D.V.M.)

B.     a close connection

- communion

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