Date: 19 December, 2017
Text: Matthew 4:12-25
Title: Walk in His Light
Winter passtime of going out shining deer - using a torch that plugged into the car which would light up a field (deer have eyes that reflect the light.)
Deputation - 4 million candlewatt torch - light up a field. Lights give a sense of power to the one who is shining them.
Lights are beautiful - have you enjoyed looking out in the darkness and seeing the city lights upon a hill. Tucson AZ - trainers quarters - citting on adobe fence and looking at a city in need of a Saviour and thinking about all the people who were in that city.
Christmas season is a wonderful time to enjoy Christmas lights. Our tree has 600 lights on it and we enjoy seeing it.
We take light for granted. Our generation is surrounded by light. Thomas Edison's generation did not have the abundance of cheap light which we enjoy.
Similarly - our generation has an abundance of Gospel light which is cheap and they take it for granted.
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.
Joh 9:5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.
Joh 12:46 I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.
ill. People so craved the Bible in communist countries that they would risk imprisonment to have just a part of the Bible. They were starving for the LIGHT OF LIFE AND WE HAVE BIBLES IN CHARITY SHOPS and a generation that is content to walk in darkness.
John 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.
exp. Sad to live in a generation that could WALK IN THE LIGHT but THEY CHOOSE TO WALK IN DARKNESS.
note: Today is Christmas eve and tonight I will preach a message which focuses on the birth of Jesus. Rather than focus on his birth this morning - I want to focus on THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD which he is for all who will believe. (Have you noticed that the Bible doesn't spend much time on the development of Jesus - but 2 Gospels even skip his birth and jump right into His life and ministry - WHY? BECAUSE HE DIDN'T COME TO BE BORN - HE CAME TO BE THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD.
WE NEED TO FOLLOW THE LIGHT OF JESUS. Are you a follower of the light?
I. You must look to the light.
12 Now when Jesus had heard that John was cast into prison, he departed into Galilee;
13 And leaving Nazareth, he came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon the sea coast, in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim:
14 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying,
15 The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles;
16 The people which sat in darkness saw great light;
ill. Chilean Mining Accident - 2300 feet under ground - 69 days -
Day 17 drill came back with note taped to it. "We are well in the chelter, the 33 of us." Can you imagine what it was like for those men to see the light of day after 69 days under ground.
exp. I imagine there are people who feel the same way - trapped in the darkness. Hopeless - in need of rescue.
note: The miner's heard the drills coming and prepared notes to send back up IN RESPONSE TO THOSE WHO WERE SEEKING TO REACH THEM.
question: Have you done anything to prepare to receive God's light?
ill. Remember the wise men - Matthew 2.
1 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,
2 Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.
8 And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also.
9 When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.
10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.
11 And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.
exp. They persued the LIGHT OF LIFE and when they found HIM they were already prepared for worship.
ill. If you walked the same beach as me near the Broughty Ferry near where the RNLI rescue boat launch is located. I would come back to the car with agates and you wouldn't UNLESS YOU WERE LOOKING FOR THEM.
app. We're all walking in the same place this morning but some will see the light and others will not. Did you come this morning looking for light? (Praise God there are times where His light is so bright ALL WHO ARE NEARBY SEE IT.) "Those which sat in darkness saw great light?"
transition: You must look to the light....
II. You must be warned by the light.
and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.
exp. There are not only in darkness - but they are in danger. They live in the region and shadow of death.
ill. There have been some tragic accidents this holiday season. 2 people died at a hotel fire in Lock Lammond. An Amtrac Train fell onto a roadway as it derailed in Washington State killing 6 people. A young married man who traveled with evangelist Aaron Coffee forgot something at church and ran home quickly - killed in a car accident.
exp. Men tend to feel very secure about life - but they are living under the shadow of death.
ill. Witnessing - never knew what to say to someone who says, "I don't think about it. I don't care. I'm not concerned." I ask them now, "How do you get rid of your sin?" They may think that the question is not important - but it is.
ill. Taking a holiday on our last outing with our Caravan - Going to Bass Island State Park in Lake Erie. Read about it - wonderful - "Turn right take Ferry."
exp. If you had said, "Are you going to take the ferry." I'd have said, "No, I'm going to take the bridge." You may have said, "There is no bridge - but if I was obstinate - I would say - yes there is and I'm going to take it. I COULD NOT GO TO BASS ISLAND WITHOUT GETTING THE FERRY.
Exp. Friend, I'm not here to warn you about physical death. (The shadow of death becomes physical death for all of us.) I'm here to warn you about eternal death - WHICH COMES AS SOON AS YOU DIE PHYSICALLY.
App. Jesus wants to walk with you through the shadow of death. Psa 23:4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. BUT IF YOU GO THROUGH IT ALONE IT IS TO PERISH IN THE FIRES OF HELL.
transition: You must be warned by the light, look to the light....
III. You must turn to the light.
17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
exp. The light is warning those who are walking towards eternal death TO TURN TO THE KING OF THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN.
ill. When a tsunami occurs the waters of the sea go out. Curiousity seekers walk to their deaths when they follow it out to the sea. Those who know would yell to them to flee because the sea is going to return in a rage - they have to turn to be saved! (Repent)
exp. Human nature tends to believe that others deserve judgment from God but that we ourselves do not.
ill. Often when witnessing - people would agree that bad people deserve judgment - but that they are fine - because they are good. Luke 2 - Jesus had self righteous people like that speaking to Him.
1 There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.
2 And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things?
3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
4 Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem?
5 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
app. The simple truth today - is that if you do not HEED THE WARNING OF THE GOSPEL LIGHT AND TURN AWAY FROM YOUR SIN TO THE SAVIOUR - You will likewise perish (eternally.) John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
IV. You must follow the light.
18 And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.
19 And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.
20 And they straightway left their nets, and followed him.
21 And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them.
22 And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him.
exp. They left family and what was familiar to walk after Jesus in faith. The Light of life - Jesus - had given them a great opportunity to participate in shining the light.
ill. Hudson Taylor - "Go for me to China." Worked very hard to prepare mentally and spiritually - Laughed at.... left someone he loved behind.... arrived during a war...." All to carry the LIGHT OF THE GOSPEL to a people who needed it.
ill. Lighthouse keeper - US Department of Labor
"Lighthouses loom large in the imagination of anyone who has ever visited a coast, or even just read about one in a book. The Lighthouse Keeper knows the secret heart of the night and spends hours awake when the rest of the world is asleep, all to keep ships (and now planes too) safe. If you love the idea of shouldering the solitary responsibility of keeping these noble structures up and running, and safeguarding the lives of Sailors and Pilots, then a job as a Lighthouse Keeper could be for you.
You should have a knack for maps and directions. Incoming ships will contact you by radio for directions into the harbor and advice about conditions. Despite the long hours of solitude, you’ll need the ability to keep a lot of different elements straight in your head all at once: weather, water conditions, as well as incoming and outgoing ships. It can be a big job for one person, to stand tall like a lighthouse, a beacon for others."
app. Are you ready to follow the Lord and learn from Him how to be a beacon for others? You may have to forsake family and what is familiar and be prepared to walk by faith.
V. You must be helped by the Light.
exp. The people saw a great light - they were amazed by the power of God in Jesus.
Mat 9:8 But when the multitudes saw it, they marvelled, and glorified God, which had given such power unto men.
In our text....
23 And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.
24 And his fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought unto him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatick, and those that had the palsy; and he healed them.
exp. Some had illness or were in bondage to Satan. Jesus healed them and set them free. He taught them the Gospel of the Kingdom.
ill. Pastor David O'Gormans photo of one of the men in the New Hope Residential Centre in Ireland. Before and After....
app. I've recently seen the eyes of those who are addicts and thought - I wonder what they would look like after Jesus set them free. Jesus can set you free. Jesus can meet your needs. COME TO THE LIGHT - HE WILL HELP YOU.
VI. You must take the Light to the world.
25 And there followed him great multitudes of people from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Jerusalem, and from Judaea, and from beyond Jordan.
exp. These people were attracted to the Light from all areas. The Gospel is for the World.
ill. Kay Lee's sadness about leaving everything as we went to Scotland. "When we go to Scotland we won't have .... our house, our things... Benson - oh no honey, Benson will go with us. BENSON, BENSON, YOU GET TO GO TOO!
note: Aren't you thankful that the Gospel is for the world?
Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Mar 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
ill. Joshua Project website -
So how many of the approximately 16,600 ethnic people groups are considered unreached i.e. less than 2% Christ-follower and less than 5% Professing Christian? The latest estimates suggest that approximately 6,700 people groups are considered unreached. That means over 40% of the world’s people groups have no indigenous community of believing Christians able to evangelize the rest of their people group. Over 42% of the world’s population live in these over 6,700 people groups.
Here are some sobering facts about just the 50 largest unreached people groups:
All 50 of these people groups have less than 2% Christ-followers
Individuals in these groups may have very limited, if any, access to the Gospel.
These 50 unreached people groups are comprised of 1.48 billion souls.
One in five people on earth live in these 50 unreached peoples.
Every group is larger than 10,000,000 in population.
None have an indigenous church capable of taking the Gospel to the entire group.
Primary religion: 23 are Muslim, 18 Hindu, 6 Buddhist, 2 Ethnic Religions, 1 non-Religious.
44 of these 50 unreached people groups are in the 10/40 Window, 47 are in sensitive countries.
app. If you don't take the light to the world, who will. WE REJOICE TODAY THAT JESUS IS THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD. But what is the point of possessing the light if it is not shared with those who need it?
conclusion: I'm glad that I live in the age of physical light. I'm more thankful that I live in the age of GREAT SPIRITUAL LIGHT. That light is JESUS!
We need to FOLLOW THE LIGHT of Jesus! Are you a follower of the Light?
Do you look to the Light? (Those which sat in darkness saw a great light.)
exp. I often picture unbelievers with their eyes closed saying, "I can't see anything."
2) Are you heeding the warning of the Light? Don't crash on the rocks and perish!
3) Will you turn to the Light?
4) Are you a follower of the Light? Forsaking to follow and learning to walk by faith.
5) The LIGHT will help you - if you let Him.
6) The World needs the Light - will you take the Liht to the World?