Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Splinters, Support Beams, & Swine – Part 2 of 2

Matthew 7:1-6  Judge not, that ye be not judged.  (2)  For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.  (3)  And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?  (4)  Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?  (5)  Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.  (6)  Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.

Today, we will take a look at the last two lessons the Lord teaches us in these verses


This part of the verse makes it very clear that we ARE to judge others and help them to remove sin from their life. Many often forget these words from Jesus in John 7:24, “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment,” and in Matthew 7:16, “Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?”

In order to help others, you need to have a Level Head – You must be able to see clearly. Sin clouds your vision – but once you remove the beam, then you can see clearly to help out someone else remove the mote. It is amazing what a difference it makes when you can see clearly. I am thinking about the drive to and from the hospital at the birth of our youngest daughter Willow. She was born the night of what was to supposed to be the biggest snow storm of the winter season (actually, the day we went home was worse, but that is another story all together). As we were one of the few cars on the highway with snow falling at a quick and thick pace, you could not see any road lines. You had to guess where you lane was, which was a lot of fun!
The fact of the matter is, once we see something more clearly, we are better equipped to help them. We see the entire situation for what it is – not assuming anything – and can better understand their heart and desire, not just their actions.

Another characteristic you need to help others is a Loving Heart in order to actually cast the mote out. This is tough work that can be somewhat painful. Tough love is telling your family member, friend, etc., that sin is sin and it needs to be removed. Sometimes, surgery is a necessary evil. We must be willing to not only lovingly and firmly cast out a mote from someone’s eye – we must be willing to let others do the same to us when sin is called to our attention. Sometimes you need help – find those with a clear vision.


Now Jesus brings this lesson full circle and warns against the other extreme - careless appraisal of others. Christians are warned against putting sacred and holy things before those who would receive them only to defile them, like scavenger dogs would defile something very precious or like repulsive swine would defile costly pearls. Some Christians will take 7:1 so far out of context that they will not judge anyone or anything and will not practice Biblical separation.

This is why I believe Jesus follows up the first illustration with this one. The key to life is balance – there is balance in living a biblical, God honoring life. There are certain people that we know that we need to separate from:
  1. Dogs – They are the viscous people that represent the snarling and scoffing people who are always critical of God and His Word. The dogs are always on the attack to try to disprove that which is true.
  2. Swine – They are the unclean people who are literally wallowing in their sin and filth. You can’t jump into the middle of a pig pen and clean it up – the longer you stay in, the dirtier you get!
We need to hold on to that which is holy by separating ourselves from the dogs and swine of this world.


It is wrong to condemn a person – we don’t have that authority. But we are to righteously judge others around us. Before we can do that, we must make sure that we can see clearly. Is there some sin, some beam that is in your eye, which is preventing you from seeing clearly? Is that beam preventing you from separating yourself from the dogs and swine of this world? Cast out the sin in your life so that you may help someone else out to do the same.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Splinters, Support Beams, & Swine - Part 1 of 2

Mat 7:1-6  Judge not, that ye be not judged.  (2)  For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.  (3)  And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?  (4)  Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?  (5)  Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.  (6)  Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.

There is much confusion about what is meant by the statement that is begun in 7:1. Anytime anyone tries to point out a sin in some Christian’s life, they usually will quote 7:1. Coincidentally, that is usually the only Bible verse they know, too! The word/phrase hear speaks of “condemnation.” We are not to be the ones to condemn anyone – God is the only holy one who has that ability and authority. But we are to judge righteously, as we will see from a further study today. There are three truths that the Lord is teaching us about our daily walk with Him from this Scripture that we will take a look at the first one in this post.


When Jesus says, “beam,” it is what we think of - a large support beam. A mote is what we consider a splinter, twig, or piece of straw.

The Lord also uses the word, “Considerest.” In doing so, He is essentially telling them that they are spending too much time thinking about everyone else’s issues and not their own problems. Dr. H. Leo Eddleman once said, “Most men are sin-blind when it comes to themselves or their loved ones.” (“Teachings of Jesus in Matthew 5-7,” pg. 126) It was Roland Q Leavell who made the following statement:
When Jesus taught that men should not judge others with critical harshness, he did not forbid having an honest opinion about the character and conduct of another. He was condemning unkind criticism and constant faultfinding. Such an attitude will be repaid measure for measure. It is the law of the harvest; sow criticism and reap criticism (“Studies in Matthew” pg 48)
The picture that Jesus paints here reveals that when we are critical about issues that we ourselves have problems with, others can see the hypocrisy of our “advice.” There are three ways that hypocrisy hurts.

First, you Reap What You Sow7:1-2. The Bible tells us in Matthew 6:26, “Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?” There is an old saying that rings true -  Sow in the wind, reap the whirlwind. This timeless truth has its roots in the Word of God - Hosea 8:7, “For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind: it hath no stalk: the bud shall yield no meal: if so be it yield, the strangers shall swallow it up.”

This same thought is seen throughout the Proverbs - Proverbs 1:27, 10:25, 11:29, 16:2. The Lord will weigh it out when you sow in the wind. Why is it everyone around you seems angry…mean spirited…unhelpful…unfriendly…unforgiving…etc.? Because you reap what you sow. The Law of Sowing and Reaping is that you always reap more than you sow. So when you are always hurting others with your hypocrisy, don’t be shocked when you reap a bunch of it yourself.

Secondly, Reflect on What You See7:3-4. Jesus is the master teacher and preacher and uses an unusual word picture to get His point across. In using these two contrasting pieces of wood, he is showing how hypocritical it is for a person with major issues in their life to try to help someone else out in their lesser problems.

I believe the application can be made here that we should not go to people for advice for something that they themselves have a problem with. Notice that both pieces in the eye were wood, so I believe that Jesus is showing that they both had the same problem, but one was greater than the other. Reminds me of something I read recently.
Donna Simpson (born 1967) is an Old Bridge, New Jersey woman who has expressed a desire to become one of the world's heaviest women. Specifically, she wishes to attain a target weight of 1,000 pounds (450 kg). As of June 2010, Simpson weighs 602 pounds *( )
I’M NOT GOING TO HER FOR WEIGHT LOSS ADVICE! But yet, that is what many do today. They are having financial problems, so they get advice from someone who can’t balance a check book. They are having marriage problems, so they get advice from someone who has been divorced and they think that is always the best solution. They are having work problems, so they get advice from someone who can’t keep a job to save their life. And worst yet, we often try to advise people in areas we have no idea about. It would be like someone asking me how to overhaul a car engine. Both sides are in the wrong and neither come out to a good conclusion.

Thirdly, you always will Regret What You Say7:5a. A lot of Christians would do a lot better in life if they did not go around and try to tell everyone else how great of a Christian they are. Our actions often go contrary to what we say – and we end up regretting it in the end. Let’s not hurt others with our hypocrisy.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Guilty-The Fallacy Of Your Good Works Outweighing Your Bad Deeds

Scales of Justice
Lev 6:1-5  And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,  (2)  If a soul sin, and commit a trespass against the LORD, and lie unto his neighbour in that which was delivered him to keep, or in fellowship, or in a thing taken away by violence, or hath deceived his neighbour;  (3)  Or have found that which was lost, and lieth concerning it, and sweareth falsely; in any of all these that a man doeth, sinning therein:  (4)  Then it shall be, because he hath sinned, and is guilty, that he shall restore that which he took violently away, or the thing which he hath deceitfully gotten, or that which was delivered him to keep, or the lost thing which he found,  (5)  Or all that about which he hath sworn falsely; he shall even restore it in the principal, and shall add the fifth part more thereto, and give it unto him to whom it appertaineth, in the day of his trespass offering.

Throughout the ages, man has been at odds with what God told Moses in these few verses listed above. When considering life after death, there is a great number of the population that have this idea that, “My good will hopefully outweigh my bad and God will let me into heaven." Those who put their faith in trust in that belief have a tough time with God’s assessment in verse 4, “Then it shall be, because he hath sinned, AND is guilty, he shall… {emphasis mine}”  Notice all that the sinner is to do in restoration to the one he sinned against in vs. 5, “…he shall even restore it in the principal, and shall ADD the fifth part more thereto…{emphasis mine} So, in an effort of restoration, the sinner is required to go above and beyond in which he deceitfully took or lied about. Yet, he is still guilty before God!

No matter how many good deeds you may do, the scales of eternal justice will never balance out in your favor. The Bible tells us in James 2:10, “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” Those who hope to stand before God in eternity future and plead their good works have already been told of the outcome in Revelation 20:12-15, “And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.  (13)  And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.  (14)  And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.  (15)  And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.{emphasis mine}

The only hope of all mankind is to turn to Jesus Christ in faith and repentance, calling upon Him to save your soul. The Bible proclaims in Romans 10:8-13, “But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;  (9)  That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.  (10)  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.  (11)  For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.  (12)  For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.  (13)  For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Do not put your faith and trust in your good works outweighing your bad deeds. Believe in the One who can save your soul – Jesus Christ. If you are reading this and not sure about your salvation, please email me at and I will be more than happy to speak to you about it and answer any more questions you might have using the Word of God. If you are saved, would you think about passing this post along to those who are lost so that they might here the truth?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Showing Off & Losing Out–Part 3 of 3

MATTHEW 6:1-18
Today, we will look at the last of three areas that we do not want to be a hypocrite in and show off if we do not want to lose our heavenly reward.


Mat 6:16-18  Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.  (17)  But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face;  (18)  That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.

Here, Jesus is saying when you fast, don’t do it for a show and a pat on the back. If you do, that will be your reward,  and what a waste it would be.

During Jesus’ day when the scribes and Pharisees fasted, they would:
  • Disfigure their faces and put on a sad countenance.
  • They would mark their faces with superficial coloring to look like they had been fasting for a long time and lost weight.
The right kind of fasting is needed today, just as much as prayer is: Mat 17:14-21  And when they were come to the multitude, there came to him a certain man, kneeling down to him, and saying,  (15)  Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatick, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water.  (16)  And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him.  (17)  Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me.  (18)  And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour.  (19)  Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out?  (20)  And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.  (21) Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.

How much have we missed out because we are not willing to sacrifice and fast? This is something I myself need work in. When is the last time you were so desirous to see a prayer answered that you fasted? When was the last time you wanted to grow closer to the Lord and were willing to sacrifice to do so?

Two things to remember about fasting First, have a specific reason to fast. Don’t get so busy that you skip breakfast and at lunch decide – “Well, I might as well fast.” Some of us might do well to do a fast for physical reasons, but if it is to be a spiritual fast you need to have a spiritual purpose.

Secondly, do nothing externally to draw attention to your fasting. While there are some Bible examples of public fast proclaimed, you would do better to not even tell anyone if it is for personal spiritual gain. What a shame to spend time fasting, just to lose the reward because you want others know about your sacrifice. People may find out you are doing a fast, but don’t let them finding out about it to be your motive.

When it comes to Alms – Asking – Abstaining –are you doing them, and how are your motives?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Showing Off & Losing Out–Part 2 of 3

MATTHEW 6:1-18
Today, we will look at the second of three areas that we do not want to be a hypocrite in and show off if we do not want to lose our heavenly reward.


Mat 6:5-15  And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.  (6)  But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.  (7)  But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.  (8)  Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.  (9)  After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.  (10)  Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.  (11)  Give us this day our daily bread.  (12)  And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.  (13)  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.  (14)  For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:  (15)  But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

In this section, Jesus is telling us not to try to impress people by the content of our prayers. But, we are to go into our prayer closet in secret. Does this mean you have to literally get into your hallway or bedroom closet to pray? No. It means to find a quiet place alone with no distractions so you can be completely focused.

One of the things we notice is that God not only hears our prayers, but He judges the motives of our heart. How does God view your prayer motives? Reminds me of the Laodicean church from Revelation. They were neither hot nor cold, but lukewarm. It disgusted God so much that He wanted to spew them out of His mouth. The Laodiceans believed that if they kept repeating the same words in prayer, and kept repeating certain phrases, their words would reach Heaven and impress God.

The Jews of Jesus’ day were known for their repetitious prayers. They prayed 3 times a day – at 9 o’clock, 12 o’clock, and at 3 o’clock. Each time they recited 18 different prayers. A devout Jew prays much more than that – they pray when they drink water, when they eat, when they walk through a door, etc. Spending lots of time in prayer is a good thing as long as it does not become repetitious.

To many of the Jews of Jesus’ day, they spent so much time in meaningless, ritualistic prayer that it meant very little to them. It became a public spectacle as they stood on the street corners to be seen by everyone, and offered long, flowery prayers in the synagogue that were long on words and short on heart.

God is not interested in the length of your prayers, or how many syllables it contains – He wants to know that your heart is in it. And that is often the most difficult part of prayer.

In this post I am just covering certain things that we can do that would cause us to lose our heavenly reward – and praying for false motives is one of those. This is not necessarily a “How to pray” message, though we see an example, or model for prayer, here in 6:9-13 -- 
  • Who – Our Father
    • Heavenly Father
    • Hallowed Father – holy
    • Heaven’s Formula –Praying God’s will be done.
  • What – Our Needs
    • Provisions – our daily bread
    • Pardon – forgiveness
      • Our Wrongs
      • Those who wrong us
    • Protection
      • Temptation
      • Turmoil
  • When – For Ever
Ultimately, remember that you are praying to God, and not to man. When you try to impress man with your prayers, God is not impressed and your reward is lost.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Showing Off & Losing Out–Part 1 of 3


Matthew 6:1-18

No one likes a showboat. Before the millionaires began fighting with the billionaires about money, the NFL had been for many years cracking down on celebrations. They league office determined that more of their fan base was tired of the egotistical showboating.

As Spring is just around the corner here in MI (yes, I know it has officially turned Spring this past Sunday, but here in MI we call this time of year “Sprinter,” a mix between winter and spring) baseball season is just around the corner. What happened to a ballplayer who takes a little too much time around the bases after hitting a homerun? He is liable to get plunked the next time he comes to bat.

One of the reasons why so many are turned off by religion and church today is that there is too much showboating amongst Christians. American Christianity has become too much about me, and not enough about Him. It was Dr. Raymond Barber who once said, “Many Christians have a full display table but empty shelves.”

Jesus surmises it in one word: hypocrisy.

Matthew 7:5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.

Luke 13:15 The Lord then answered him, and said, Thou hypocrite, doth not each one of you on the sabbath loose his ox or his ass from the stall, and lead him away to watering?

Matthew 15:7 Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying,

Matthew 22:18 But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites?

And this is just a small sampling size. Jesus had no use for hypocrites. Most Christians have no problem pointing out most hypocrites except for one – themselves!

In the next few post, we will be studying 3 forms of hypocrisy that can be practiced within the church. In the full text listed above, we know these are warnings to believers and not the lost because of the phrase Jesus uses – your Father which is in heaven (6:1).

Some people give only to demonstrate their own generosity and not help others. Some pray as if their prayers were addressed to people. Some fast, not to humble themselves before God, but to show how self-disciplined they are.

Now, Jesus makes it clear that there are rewards to be earned. Salvation is not a reward; it is a gift of grace and mercy. Rewards can be described as dues paid for work. There are rewards to be earned for heaven. “To be seen of men…glory of men…” - The hypocrite who does the right thing for the wrong motive is rewarded. The hypocrite misses on a lasting, eternal, heavenly reward for cheap, temporal, earthly recognition. Many Christians should take time to enjoy all the “pats on the back” they get, because that is the only reward they will ever get.

We need to ask ourselves the question, are we all show and no go; are we SHOWING OFF AND LOSING OUT? Jesus shows us in our text three areas that we do not want to be a hypocrite in and show off if we do not want to lose our heavenly reward. We will look at the first one today:


Mat 6:1-4  Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.  (2)  Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.  (3)  But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth:  (4)  That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.

What Jesus is basically saying here is, “Hey, don’t show off your generous giving.” Thayer’s give a good definition of the word “Alms”

  • mercy, pity, especially as exhibited in giving alms, charity;
  • the benefaction itself, a donation to the poor, alms

These are the folks who like for you to know exactly how much they give. They are the ones who hold up the offering plate so everyone can see them give. When the only time we give is when we are “touched” by a special need – then you have your reward. Our motive should be to give faithfully and cheerfully.

The word “alms” is a shortened form of the word “almsgiving.” The word is sometimes used interchangeably with the word “righteousness.” So, it can be said that almsgiving is the rendering of ANY Christian service or righteous deed.

In essence, Jesus said don’t show off when you give, when you do something good to help someone out, or any kind deed you do. Don’t develop an “I” problem: look what I did, look what I done, etc.. When our gift or our service is motivated by anything but a desire to please God and to help others, two things are true:

  • Nullifies the worth of the gift
  • Reveals your true nature as someone who is conceited

Let’s not show off in our almsgiving so we do not lose our heavenly reward.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Someone Turn On The Light–Part 3

lighbult people circle
Mat 5:14-16  Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.  (15)  Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.  (16)  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. 

Today, we will look at the final reason to “turn our light on.”


Every born-again believer should remember that it is the Christian’s Duty to Glorify God in their Faith. If your faith is not worth living, is it worth having? To most Christians, faith is nothing more than a “Get out of jail free” card that has little or no value to them until they die.

But this is not Bible faith. Works may not save us, but they should follow us soon after our conversion. The Bible tells us in James 2:18-20, “Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. (19) Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. (20) But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?”

People cannot see your heart, but they can see your works. We should be willing to step out by faith and do something so impossible that only God could accomplish and that only God could get the glory from it when others witness it.

Secondly, every born-again believer should remember that it is the Christian’s Duty to Glorify God in their Finances. Our bank balance shines a light into our heart for others to see. Jesus taught us in Luke 12:34, “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
Treasure, whether gold, silver, etc., shines and glistens. Our light will reflect our treasure – whether it is the things of the world or the things of God.So many people sacrifice for the temporal (vacations, clothes, cars, etc) but not the eternal things of God (church, missionaries, church planting, etc.)

Finally, all born-again believers should remember that It is the Christian’s Duty to Glorify God in their Fruit. The Bible tells us in Proverbs 11:30, “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.”

Maybe no one listens to your help/advice because they don’t see anyone around you (fruit) that have been helped? If we shine our light consistently, there will be those that we find that are tired of the darkness and will respond to the light of the Gospel. Maybe some Christians have never seen a soul saved in their life is because they are not shining their light – they have put it under a bushel.

Jesus is the light of the world, and we are to be the light of the world. He is the son, we are the moon. Are you reflecting the light of God’s grace and mercy, or has sin put your light under a bushel? Are you living your life as a city set on a hill that is pointing people to Jesus Christ?

Someone turn on the light.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Someone Turn On The Light–Part 2

light out of church

Mat 5:14-16  Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.  (15)  Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.  (16)  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

If you missed the first installment, click here for part one. Now, lets look at the second reason why we should “turn on the light.”


The call of darkness is so great, the first place we need to shine is in the Sanctuary. People who come into our churches need to see light. They are looking for answers, and our churches, which are, “the pillar and ground of truth,” should have those answers. As a pastor and teacher, it is my responsibility to teach and preach the truth of God’s Word and shine the light that they need.

But, the responsibility does not stop there. It is everyone’s job to shine your light inside the church so that others may see God in you. No one wants to enter a cold, dark church. They came from that, they want to see and experience something different. Often times, the problem is not that Christians don’t want new people to come and join their church. They are just too afraid to step out of their shell and get to know people. It should be all of our goals to be  friendly,outgoing, and compassionate to visitors in our churches. GET OVER YOUR FEAR & GET INVOLVED IN PEOPLE’S LIVES!

Another great way you shine your light in the sanctuary is by using your talents for the Lord in the Lord’s work.Whether it is singing in the Choir, working with babies and children, greeting people and helping them find their place,etc., there is something all of us can do in order to shine our light in the sanctuary. One place people ought to see our good works and glorify God is in the sanctuary.

Another place we need to shine our light is in the Streets. Someone once said, “The darker the night, the brighter the light shines.” This world is a very dark place. I remember as a kid going to Carlsbad Caverns with my family. I don’t remember much, but I do remember  the tour guide turning off walkway lights as we got near the bottom of the tour. It was so dark, not only could you not see anything, but you could literally feel the chill of the darkness.

A little light makes a big difference in the dark. Gracie, my 5 year old, cannot go to sleep at night without some sort of little light. There are flashlights and toy lamps all around her room. Whichever light she chooses (or, which ever one has enough battery juice to work!), makes a big difference to her. Her little light penetrates the darkness around her to give her safety and comfort.

We shine our light in this dark world by witnessing and soul winning. There are a lot of different methods and means by which to do this – the key is just to do it! Many Christians do what they can to speak to people they have never met to tell them about the Lord. But don’t go so far out of your way to talk to those you have never met that you forget to witness to those God brings into your life/path.

If you have ever spent any time trying to tell people about Jesus Christ, especially in a strong Catholic area like Metro Detroit, you might ask yourself the question, “Why is it that so many are opposed to hearing the Gospel today?”

We must remember that when you are used to the dark, your eyes hurt to just a small amount of light. How shocking is it to your eyes every night when you turn on the bathroom light after they have adapted to the pitch black of darkness? There is no difference, spiritually speaking, when we shine the light of the Gospel in dark places.Just keep shining the light of the gospel, and there will be those who respond. We have a responsibility to be a lighthouse of God’s grace and mercy to those who travel our way and warn them of the danger to come.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Someone Turn On The Light–Part 1

lightbulb world
Matthew 5:14-16  Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.  (15)  Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.  (16)  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
One of my favorite things to see when we went to Greenfield Village ( was the Thomas Edison section with the light bulb – I believe it is the longest lasting light bulb.

The modern world is an electrified world. The light bulb, in particular, profoundly changed human existence by illuminating the night and making it hospitable to a wide range of human activity. The electric light, one of the everyday conveniences that most affects our lives, was invented in 1879 by Thomas Alva Edison. He was neither the first nor the only person trying to invent an incandescent light bulb. 

Light has one main purpose: to shine! When Jesus said that man does not light a candle and put it under a bushel, he was referring to their boat-like lamp that had a wick floating in the oil. Once they lit it, they did not let the wick go out because they did not have matches to relight it. So, when they left home, they covered it with a bushel, which is an earthen vessel shaped like a basket. For safety’s sake this was put over the light to keep it burning, allowing enough air to circulate under it until they returned home. (Dr. Raymond Barber, Don’t Look Now, Your Religion Is Showing, pg. 16)

A person would not light a candle then immediately cover it. They would light it on a lamp stand in order to give off as much light as possible. Just like a light that is lit and on a candle stand, or a lighted city set on a high hill for all travelers to see, we are to be that kind of light.

Light does not call attention to itself. It shines the light on others around it. When you enter a dark room and flip on the switch, the light shines on everything in the room, not just the light fixture itself. Lights don’t call attention to themselves; they just shine. You and I should not call attention to ourselves, but just shine (Dr. Barber, pg. 18)

There is no horn that sounds from the light bulb when you turn it on…if you light bulb is making noise when it turns on, it is a sign that something is wrong!

In the next three posts, we will be looking at reasons why we should “turn on the light.”
First of all, we are Commanded by the Son to let our light shine. By the way - Jesus said it, and that should settle it!

This was one of the greatest compliments Jesus could give His disciples. Why? Well, Jesus said in John 9:5, “As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” So, by Jesus telling them they were the light of the world, He was intending them to be a lot like Him.

Now, some would see this as a contradiction. If Jesus is the light of the world, than how can we be the light, as well? Think about how the sun and the moon work together – the sun is light of day and the moon light of the night that reflects the light from the sun. It is in this same way that Jesus commands us to be the light of the world. We are to be a reflection of the light of Jesus.

His command was not for us to shine, but for our light to shine. The focus is not on us or about us, but to be a reflection of the light of Jesus Christ.

Also, we are Commanded by the Scriptures to let our light shine.

The Bible tells us in Proverbs 13:9, “The light of the righteous rejoiceth: but the lamp of the wicked shall be put out.” A great commentator of old, Albert Barnes, has this to say on the subject - Note also the distinction between the “light” and the “lamp.” The righteous ones have the true light in them. That which belongs to the wicked is only derived and temporary, and even that shall be extinguished before long.

There is a difference between a light and a lamp. Both illuminate, but only one will last. A lamp can be put out, but a true light source will always shine.

This reminds me of Proverbs 24:20, “For there shall be no reward to the evil man; the candle of the wicked shall be put out.”

A person can have a light, but it can be a false light. True light shines from within, and is an Eternal Light because it is a reflection of the Eternal Son.