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Date: 5 December, 2019
Text: Ephesians 5:11-21
Title: Light Up Your Life
We are looking forward to having many of our church ladies and neighbour ladies over to our home this week for our annual Ladies' Christmas Tea. Katie works hard to make it a special night.
We always enjoy decorating and getting ready for those special ministry opportunities. This year, we added some illumination outside of our home. Parker and Nelso went with me shopping and we bought two strands of icycle lights that are blue and white led bulbs. (700 bulbs) We bought a strand of 240 blue led's and another of around 120 white leds.
All told, we have around 1100 led bulbs outside.
My wife and Kay Lee were away when we put them up and they got back after dark when they were on. Kay Lee said, "You can see them from the main road."
exp. Light is an amazing gift from God.
1) It can not hide in darkness.
ill. led lights for dog collars. No matter how quiet the dog is or how far accross the field he goes, that light is easily seen in the darkness.
2.) It drives darkness away.
ill. My boys have recently enjoyed playing accross the road in the dark. But the reason they have enjoyed it so much is because they have bought powerful torches. The torch dispels the darkness and allows them to play their games.
GOD'S WORD SPEAKS MUCH ABOUT SPIRITUAL LIGHT.
Joh 9:5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.
Mat 5:14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
1.) The light of Jesus CAN'T HIDE IN DARKNESS.
2.) IT DISPELLS DARKNESS.
Our text this morning, Ephesians 5:11-21, is about SPIRITUAL light.
LIGHT UP YOUR SPIRITUAL LIFE.
ill. You can't miss the Christmas lights flashing at my house. The only way they would not be seen is if they are not turned on. Is the SPIRITUAL light on in your life?
The Spiritual Light ought to shine from our lives.
I. Live in the Light.
ill. Our family was priviliged to stay with some friends of ours near Orlando Florida on our last furlough. They asked us if we had thought about going to Disney World. I said, "Well, I did until I looked at the price." They kindly paid for us to be able to go.
- We happened to be at the Magic Kingdom Park at Christmas time and normal ticket holders had to exit the park before the Christmas lights were turned on.
- We didn't have that extra Christmas light ticket and should have exited, but our stroller was stolen and we ended up being there to enjoy the spectacular lighting.
exp. I'm glad we weren't outside the park before the lighting ceremony or we wouldn't have gotten to see the glory of the lights.
app. Sadly there are a lot of people in our communities who are LIVING OUTSIDE THE GLORY OF THE LIGHT OF JESUS CHRIST.
A. Outside of Jesus there is no Light.
11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.
12 For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.
exp. Light - is truth and purity. It dispells darkness which is wickedness and shame.
note: Paul has already described it.
3 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;
4 Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.
5 For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.
7 Be not ye therefore partakers with them.
8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:
9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)
10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.
exp. Our world promotes fornication, uncleanness, covetousness. They promote filthy, foolish speech. They are whoremongers and unlean, covetous, idolaters. THEY ARE THE CHILDREN OF DISOBEDIENCE. And so were we - until we came to the light.
note: Outside of Jesus there is no light.
ill. John 11:9 Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world.
10 But if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there is no light in him.
question: Why don't they have the light?
1.) They chose darkness.
Joh 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
2.) The are deceived.
2Co 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
app. Darkness doesn't satisfy - v.11"unfruitful works of darkness" - Light satisfies - v.9 "goodness, righteousness, truth." Don't be satisfied to live outside of Jesus - there is only darkness there.
B. Inside of Jesus there is no darkness.
13 But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.
ill. Your house can look pretty clean until you turn the lights on. Spiritual light exposes everything that is wrong in man's life. JESUS IS LIGHT.
exp. Preaching ought to make us uncomfortable at times. Why? Because our human heart doesn't like to find out that it is wrong.
Joh 7:7 The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil.
exp. If a church doesn't offend the world, it doesn't have any light to give the world. Light exposes darkness and the errors of a sinful human heart.
question: When is the last time you got excited about being wrong?
ill. Have you ever been nervous about getting back an exam? In my day, the teacher used a red pen. It is a bit nerve racking to find out that you are wrong.
exp. God has given men life to wake them up to the error of their darkness!
14 Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.
app. If you are living in darkness away from Jesus, you don't have to remain there. Jesus died on the cross for your sin and rose again. He is LIGHT and He is LIFE. If you'll come to Him, He will give you both.
Joh 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
transition: The spiritual light isn't going to shine from your life until you accept Jesus as your Saviour. "live in the light"
II. Live with Light around you.
15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,
def. circumspectly - carefully, to look around, being prudent, cautious
exp. Don't live as if you don't have the light. Be wise and let the light go all around you into every corner of your life.
ill. I'm not very brave about walking in the dark. Growing up hunting I would often walk into the woods in the dark. Because I was hunting I shielded my light and kept it towards my feet - I chose to be scared rather than scare away all the game. BUT - I know HOW I would have used that light if there was any danger around - that light would have shined everywhere.
question: Why when we have the Light don't we want to shine it into every corner of our lives? There is danger in any spiritual darkness. There must be things which we don't want the LIGHT to scare away?
ill. David wanted God's light to penetrate the deep recesses of his life exposing all dangers.
Psalms 139:23 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:
24 And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
exp. We do well to remember this morning, that our life can only be hidden from the light for so long. A day is coming when all will be revealed.
Luke 12:1 In the mean time, when there were gathered together an innumerable multitude of people, insomuch that they trode one upon another, he began to say unto his disciples first of all, Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.
2 For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known.
3 Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops.
exp. Men may think that they have succeeded in hiding things from the light. But, a day is coming when the Light will not be able to be shut out and it will reveal all.
app. As believers, we ought to be ready for that day by letting that Light shine all around us now. "see then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,...."
transition - Live in the Light, Live with the light around you,
III. Live where Light is needed.
16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
exp. These are dark days (evil days) we need to make each moment count by LIVING WHERE THE LIGHT IS NEEDED.
Mat 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
ill. I enjoy our Christmas Carol Sing. I grew up going to a carol sing every Christmas Eve at my grnadparents church Emmanuel Baptist in Des Moines, IA. Their service is a candle light service. It's amazing how much light comes from a candle in a dark room.
ill. The darker the room the brighter the light. You can drive in the daytime with your car high beams on and not know it. You could take a small Led light on a dark night and it will cast shadows far away from you as that little light penetrates the darkness.
question: Since our world is so dark, and the need for light is so great, shouldn't we make our lives as BRIGHT AS POSSIBLE?
Ill. Reading about the Disruption. These men gave witness to the Light of God's Word by leaving the Church of Scotland, losing thereby their right to their salary, the manse, the kirk. They were BURNING AND SHINING LIGHTS. Their sacrifice for LIGHT was spoken of around the world.
ill. On a personal level, they studied their lives in light of God's Word (Thomas Chalmers) to make sure that they were the LIGHT and giving the right spiritual LIGHT to their families.
app. We amuse ourselves with worldly television and absent minded wasted thoughts. At best idle and wasted time that could have value for eternity and at worst indulging in wasteful wickedness. OUR WORLD NEEDS LIGHT, God help us not to give them DARKNESS. Live where the Light is needed.
transition - Live in the Light, Live with the light around you, Live where the light is needed,
IV. Live where the Light leads you.
17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.
exp. We have already considered that we need to live with the light around us (circumspectly.) However, we also need to live with the light guiding us.
Psa 119:105 NUN. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet (circumspectly), and a light unto my path. (It is a guiding light.)
ill. As human beings we often let lights guide us.
Traffic lights - "Green means go, red means stop and yellow means step on it."
Airport lights - "Huge light and goes around like a spotlight - runway lights - man with torches who guides the plane.
Roundabout lights - Sheriff Hall Roundabout - lights in the pavement that light up and show us the way.
question: Do you believe that God has a specific will for your life? I do. I had a teacher that believed in a general will of God. (If there are 3 godly girls, anyone of them will do.) I didn't believe that.
1. God had Eve for Adam.
2. He had Rebekah for Isaac.
3. He had Mary for Joseph.
ill. I'm kind of simple - I just believed that that God who made me has a specific purpose for my life.
Jer 1:5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations. (John the Baptist - the same.)
app. Are you chosing your own way or are you letting God's light lead you?
1.) Know what God's Word says about it. (above Psalm 119:105)
2.) Ask for God's mind about it.
1Co 2:16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.
3.) Children get your parent's mind on it.
Eph 6:1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.
exp. Disobeying a God given authority (who is Godly or otherwise) ought to be a warning to anybody that may be stepping out of the will of God.
4.) Ask a spiritual authority or Godly older person what they think about it.
Pro 12:15 The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.
5.) Be willing to let God say no or yes.
Joh 4:34 Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.
ill. Jesus on His way to the cross - "If it be possible, let this cup pass from me. Nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt."
app. God has given us the LIGHT. We need to follow the light.
transition - Live in the Light, Live with the light around you, Live where the light is needed, live where the light leads you.
V. Live with the Light controlling you.
exp. Humanly, we control the light - we switch it on. But, with Spiritual Light, the light controls us.
18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;
exp. Alcohol is called a "controlling substance." People will say something like, "He didn't know what he was doing. He was drunk. The liquor was controlling him."
note: There are two drinks called wine in the Bible. One is grape juice and one is fermented grape juice.
Link in my notes - for those who would like to read more - (https://www.bibleinfo.com/en/questions/what-are-historical-and-scriptural-facts-about-fermented-drinks-bible)
exp. A simple way for you know whether the Bible is speaking about alcohol or non alcoholic - is to assume that when the Bible speaks negatively of wine it is clearly speaking of intoxicating beverages. And that when the Bible speaks about wine positively "take a little wine for thy stomach sake and thine often infirmities" it is speaking about non alcoholic wine.
question: Do you think verse 18 is teaching that it is ok to be a little bit drunk? ie. to say it positively "Be drunk with wine, just not in excess." No, I would suggest it means this - "BE NOT DRUNK WITH WINE! THAT EXCESS OUGHT NOT TO BE IN YOUR LIFE!"
Pro 20:1 Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.
Pro 23: 29 Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes?
30 They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine.
31 Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright. (If you aren't to look at alcoholic drinks, I suggest you not put them to your lips.)
32 At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder.
33 Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things.
34 Yea, thou shalt be as he that lieth down in the midst of the sea, or as he that lieth upon the top of a mast.
35 They have stricken me, shalt thou say, and I was not sick; they have beaten me, and I felt it not: when shall I awake? I will seek it yet again.
ill. Two of the first mentions of wine in the Bible are Noah getting drunk.
Gen 9:21 And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent.
Gen 9:24 And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him.
exp. Noah was a righteous man but he wasn't righteous enough to keep from failing with alcohol.
The second is Lot getting drunk and the incest committed by his two daughters.
Gen 19:32 Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father.
Gen 19:33 And they made their father drink wine that night: and the firstborn went in, and lay with her father; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose.
Gen 19:34 And it came to pass on the morrow, that the firstborn said unto the younger, Behold, I lay yesternight with my father: let us make him drink wine this night also; and go thou in, and lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father.
Gen 19:35 And they made their father drink wine that night also: and the younger arose, and lay with him; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose.
exp. These shameful passages in Genesis of the failings of God's people have to do with alcohol and drunkeness. "If thy hand offend thee, cut it off!"
ill. A recent council meeting - speaking about yet another licenced premise in Loanhead extending it's hours - I was told, "Their are churches that have licenses." I said, "That is a shame!" If you read the history of Loanhead in the 1800's the churches led in the temperance movement.
NOTE: But, Paul's point is not to speak about wine - he is speaking about BEING FILLED WITH GOD'S SPIRIT which means being SO FULL OF GOD THAT HE CONTROLS YOUR SPEECH, YOUR ACTIONS, YOUR THOUGHTS - so that people would look at you and say that isn't them that is GOD IN THEM.
ill. Paul's preaching wasn't authoritative because of His clever eloquence.
1Co 2:4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:
ill. Pentecost - Act 2:4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
app. God is LIGHT AND IN HIM IS NO DARKNESS AT ALL. Does the LIGHT OF GOD (Himself) control you? Are you a person who is filled with God's Spirit?
transition - Live in the Light, Live with the light around you, Live where the light is needed, live where the light leads you. Live with the Light controlling you.
VI. Live with the joy the Light gives you.
ill. Light is comforting. Some of you used a night light when you were a kid. Some of you still use a night light. There is something very comforting about a physical light.
note: There is something much more comforting to those who live in the Light of God's presence.
A. The Light puts a song in your heart.
19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;
ill. I remember commercials for clap on lights. "Clap on (clap) Clap off (clap)" Now days we say something to our smart phone when we are in another country and we can change the lights in our house in Scotland. But, back then - clap on - clap off - was revolutionary.
exp. If you want to turn on the presences of God in your life, Paul reminds us - sing a Psalm, hymn or spiritual song in your heart to the Lord. (It is good for you to find yourself singing a hymn.)
ill. I like singspirations that we often do on Sunday nights. We ought to let that GOOD MUSIC sink down deep into our soul where we can grab ahold of it and turn on the Light of God's presence.
ill. David did - Psa 42:8 Yet the LORD will command his lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life.
app. Do you know the joy of God's presence through the spiritual song in your heart?
B. The Light puts praise in your mouth.
20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;
exp. When you are walking in the Light, you can thank for for EVERYTHING in your life.
ill. Corrie Ten Boom, The Hiding Place - She and her sister Betsie were put in Ravensbrook Concentration Camp - There were fleas in their barracks and Betsie said to Corrie - "Let us thank God for the fleas." Later they realized that the guards didn't disturb them as much because they didn't want to come into contact with the fleas.
exp. We may never know why God allows something, but Betsie and Corrie model well what God expects us to do with EVERY THING in our lives. We are to thank Him. Is that logical?
Rom 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
exp. notice it doesn't say, "We feel" or "We like" but WE KNOW that all things work together for good"
app. If you are living in the Light, you can stop and thank God for all things. Are you living in the joy of the light? Thanking God, Singing Hymns about God?
transition - Live in the Light, Live with the light around you, Live where the light is needed, live where the light leads you. Live with the Light controlling you, Live in the joy of the Light.
VII. Live in awe of the Light.
21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.
exp. Paul is going to go on to speak about proper relationships within the home, because this family has the LIGHT OF GOD in the home. Specifically, they are living in AWE OF THE LIGHT. "the fear of God."
ill. Thurday night - we studied Psalm 34 and how the Fear of God - prolongs our life. If you fear God.
1.) You don't let ungodly words get in your mouth.
2.) You don't do wickedly.
3.) You do good.
note: What I thought about as I reflected on our study - God isn't being mean and saying YOU HAVE TO DO THIS TO PLEASE ME - It is rather that IF YOU DON'T DO THIS GOD CAN NOT AND WILL NOT BE WITH YOU.
DARKNESS MUST MEAN YOU ARE SEPARATED FROM THE LIGHT.
app. But, when you fear God and don't want to offend the Light, it will wonderfully impact your home as you LIVE IN AWE OF THE LIGHT.
transition - Live in the Light, Live with the light around you, Live where the light is needed, live where the light leads you. Live with the Light controlling you, Live in the joy of the Light, Live in awe of the Light.
Men you will have to drive by our house and see our Christmas lights. Ladies, I hope you will get to see them tomorrow night. YOU CAN'T MISS THEM AT NIGHT BECAUE THEY ARE ON AND CHASING EACH OTHER TO REALLY GET PEOPLE'S ATTENTION.
IS YOUR SPIRITUAL LIGHT REALLY ON AND GETTING PEOPLE'S ATTENTION?
1) Are you living in the light? If you are not saved, you are in darkness.
2) Are you living with the light around you? Searching out every recess of your life?
3.) Are you living where the light is needed? Our world is dark - they need the light!
4.) Are you living where the light leads you? Are you walking down the path of God's chosing?
5.) Are you living with the Light controlling you? Are you filled with God's Spirit?
6.) Are you living in the joy of the Light? Singing in your heart, Thanksgiving?
7.) Are you living in awe of the Light? It will impact your home and your marriage.
Ephesians 5:8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: