9-21-14 Fellowship of Light

?Walking in the Light- with Each Other? 1 John 1:5-7?? 9/21/14

For video of this service, click here: https://vimeo.com/106775238

Have you ever seen a picture of the earth at night and compared it to other planets at night? Earth lights up. It is a sign of life- from the moment we began to control fire. Have you ever flown from the ocean onto land at night? The ocean is dark- nothing after nothing after nothing- maybe every now and then you see a tiny speck of a ship. But when you get to land- especially the United States- you see a ton of lights- and you want to say ?Yes! We made it- we are home- we are back to life again.? You can look down and see maybe a tiny light here that is a boat. But then when you get to the shore- there are all these lights together. ???? John is saying our fellowship is in the light. The Bible says, “In Him [God] is light and that light is the life of human beings.”? Light means life.? Our spiritual life is caught up in the light of God.? Light has always been a symbol of God. The first thing God created- according to the Bible was light. ?Let there be light- and there was light. 1 John 1:5 says, ?God is light. In Him there is no darkness at all.??? God is not gray. God is not half holy- like the pagans described their gods. I. THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE LIGHT- It is interesting that John describes the fellowship as a fellowship of light and contrasts that to a fellowship of darkness. Something like a gang or ISIS would be a fellowship of darkness. But a fellowship of light stands in contrast as a group pursuing hope, life, and truth. A. HOW IS GOD LIKE LIGHT- What light does for us. Security- best; Keeps us from running into things-driving car without headlights. The other day- was leaving Lowes- well lit parking lot. On my last car the lights came on automatically. I think I was back in that mode. When I got on the interstate- it was about 8:00 and getting dark- all these cars kept flashing their lights at me. I looked down and sure enough- no lights were on. Light helps us to see- but also helps us to be seen. God shows us the way- but He is the way- He sees us. We need to see Him the light of the world! B. HOW DO WE HAVE FELLOWSHIP WITH THIS LIGHT? ???? WALK IN IT- If we claim to have faith we must ?walk as Jesus walks.? Walk in his steps, on the path of life. Walk on the lit path. ?I was at a theme park in Orlando once and it was a dark and scary scene- meant to raise your hair (if you had any). But the path had these lights. And every now and then a voice would come on a speaker- deep and authoritative- ?Please keep your hands in and stay on the lit path.? That is good advice. There is a path of light that leads to the exit from the darkness. We need to aim for that path like an airplane aims for a lit up runway at night. ?? If we claim to have fellowship with this God of light- but walk in darkness we lie and do not live by the truth. Stay on the lit path- for that is the way out. II. GOD IS THE CENTER The center of the fellowship of light is the God of light. As the sun is center of our universe, so God is the center of our fellowship. He is our focus. He is our source for strength, for courage, for hope. If there is no center there for us, we would fall apart. If the sun suddenly vanished- instead of orbiting around a center each planet would continue to move but in a straight line flying off in its own direction. There would be nothing holding our solar system together.?? If the sun disappeared, the earth would grow dark on its dayside in about 8.5 minutes. The moon would disappear from view because it would not reflect the sun?s light. In about two weeks the temperature would be about 50 degrees above absolute zero and the atmosphere would collapse exposing us to 1harsh radiation. ???? If God is our center- our focus- it gives us direction, hope, strength, and protection. It gives us the opportunity to thrive and be all that we can be. If we think we are our own center then we may survive in this world, but we tend to be self-centered and to think I need to protect myself and live for myself for there is no one to hold us in the right direction. ???? If we walk in the light- as He is in the light- we have fellowship with one another. ???? God needs to be our focal point. It is a bit like a triangle. Think of a triangle- or perhaps think of a steeple. As the triangle moves from the bottom to the top- the sides get closer. Or another way to say it is that as we get closer to the point- closer to the top the different sides are more united. In the church- as we get closer to the One who unites us- we get closer to each other. As we get closer to the light- the center of our universe- the more we are united together.

III. WE ARE THE EDGES- The blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin when we walk in the path of light. We sin and are tempted to fall off- but if we get back on the path- there is forgiveness. The path is guaranteed. But staying on the path is not. We are on the edge- of staying on or falling off. ???? Years ago before they repaired it, my friends and I decided to go up to Pike?s Peak in Colorado. There was nothing there- no trees. No houses. Lots of cold. The road suddenly turned into gravel. We did not have an SUV we had a Ford sedan. There were huge gaps in the road, very few guardrails, and you got the impression that one foot the wrong way and the car would fall down a thousand foot cliff.?? Everyone in the car but the driver were crouching down, very nervous, and probably saying a silent prayer- I was. A) We are tempted to pull away from the center- away from the focus. The centrifugal force of a busy- spinning world tends to suck us away. You and I are called to be together- and not let the centrifugal forces of life suck us away from God and away from each other. Together we can do great things that we could not do alone. That includes building a Children?s Ministry Building where children are cared for physically, mentally- but also spiritually. We are on the edges. People outside do not see the center- but they see the light of God reflected in the way we live, and in the way we have fellowship with one another. If we walk on the path of light- we join others on that same path. The focus is not so much how we are walking the path or even exactly how we analyze the path- but that we are to believe in the path and stay on that lit path together. B) On the edges is where the light makes a difference. Let your light so shine. You are the light of the world, Jesus said. I love the words in Philippians (2:14,15) to avoid complaining and arguing- so that you can shine like stars in the universe. There may be darkness- it may seem more numerous in space-but the stars are truly more important. Our eyes, our hopes are drawn not to the gravity of darkness but to the hope of the stars shining in it. ???? Jesus said God is the light of the world, but He also said, ?You are the light of the world.? ???? There is a dark side or far side to the moon. It always remain away from the earth. It was first seen by human eyes in 1968. But when the Apollo spaceships went behind this dark side then communication would go out- and everyone was holding their breath until they got to the other side- especially if there was a problem like Apollo 13. There are people who go into a dark place. They are isolated from the fellowship of God and the fellowship of the church ? the fellowship of light. This often happens in college or the teen years- and we just pray they make it through. Some times we go to a dark place with a tragedy or we go through a period of deep doubt. We pray that they would leave the dark side- orbit around and come out the other side into the light. The light is always waiting. God is always waiting. The church is always waiting. ???? When you look at a picture of the earth, the light is a sign of life. But human light is a derivative light. We do not create light out of nothing- but use the elements God has given us in creation. Stay on the path of light. Let the world see you staying on the path together.

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