The Lord's Day Morning
February 28, 2010
1 John 1:5-7
“God is Light — Walk in the Light”
The Reverend Mr. David Robertson
O come, let us worship and bow down. Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker, for He is our God and we are the people of His pasture, the flock under His care. Let us worship Him.
It is our missions conference and we're delighted to have with us David Robertson who is the pastor of the Saint Peter's Free Church of Scotland congregation in Dundee, Scotland. Now Saint Peter's is the congregation that was pastored by the famous Robert Murray McCheyne in the nineteenth century and David has actually written a biography of Robert Murray McChenye called, Awakening, which has recently been reprinted by Christian Focus Publication. And in the new edition, I might add, at the end there are pictures of the newly renovated sanctuary of Saint Peter's Dundee where so many of the activities for the Center for Public Christianity, which you’ll hear more about from David tonight, are held. But we're delighted to have David with us.
David went to Saint Peter's in 1992 when the congregation had seven members. He was sent by the denomination to do a redevelopment charge. We’d call it church revitalization, but very frankly there were people in the Free Church that thought David was going to go there and bury that congregation, that they were going to close the doors. But God in His mercy has built up that congregation and I don't know how many you have worshipping with you now, but it's a sizable congregation, especially for Britain. There’re not many mega-churches in Britain and Saint Peter's Dundee is a vibrant congregation. And the other thing that's so striking about Saint Peter's Dundee is it's a young congregation and it's multi-national. I don't know how many languages are spoken in your congregation. I know a few years ago you said nine, ten, languages you could hear on a Sunday morning in the congregation and that is always an energizing setting to be in where you see university students, young people from all over the world, gathered, united around one thing and one thing only — the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. And so it's a delight to have David Robertson here speaking to us about the Gospel, about the Great Commission, because we would aspire to see the same kind of Gospel influence in our own community, in our own state and nation, and around the world that God in His mercy has given to this young congregation. It's a congregation that's very old in terms of the history of that church but it's actually a very young congregation. We’re delighted to have David here today bringing the Word of God.
And thanks to the choir. You guys are great. Your old friend John Wagner sends you greetings to you from bonnie Scotland. It's good to be here and share with you. I'm going to read from the first letter of John on page one thousand twenty one. We’ll read the whole of chapter one.
1 John chapter 1:
“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life — the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us — that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.
This is the message we have heard from Him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with Him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His Word is not in us.”
Lord, this is Your Word and we thank You that it is without fault and without error. We thank You that it speaks to us of You, that is communicates all that You want us to know, so we pray that You would open our minds and our hearts and our wills that we may think and understand, that we may love and that we may obey, for we ask it in Your name. Amen.
I hope this evening to say a little bit more about the work in Dundee and I have a DVD and a couple of brochures and what we're trying to do. Dr. Duncan mentioned the Center for Public Christianity and we’ll tell you about that some. It's good to be able to share. Gary Johnson from Sweden — Sweden is always quoted to me by American liberals as an example of a basically a perfect state. Now I think Sweden is great but I was debating an American liberal about a week ago, Michael Shermer of the American Skeptics Association, and he was citing Sweden, but I looked him up and Mr. Shermer is also an atheist so I suggested to him that Sweden was perfect because it was socialist and would he accept that and he was rather embarrassed by basically his lack of knowledge really of what is going on in Sweden. It's a beautiful country but there is a spiritual darkness and that's why the work that Gary is doing is so important.
I don't know about Amarillo. I'm sorry I just know of, “Is There a Way to Amarillo?” — that's about it. I have no idea why you would want a way to Amarillo, but I'm sure it's a lovely place and I'm sure it needs its work there as well. But that's what we're going to look at, how the light coming into the world — whether it's Amarillo or Sweden or Scotland or Jackson, Mississippi.
Can I just say something to the children who are here? It's really good that you are able to be here. Can I tell you just a little bit about my own church because it's a building somewhat smaller than this but it's an old, old building. And about two years ago if you had come into it it was very dark. We had light, we had pew, and we had lights. The windows were screened off and we had lights that were orange and it made me look an alien. Basically I don't have much hair on my head and they just made the light bounce off my head and apparently I looked like death warmed up so it was — I preached a serious sermon and people were terrified. It's strange. What we've done is we've completely redone it. You can see on our website what we've done, but the most important thing we said to the architects was, “Give us some light,” so boy did they give us light. They opened up all our windows so the natural sunlight shines in, they put lights in the ceiling that are everywhere, and it's now so bright that we never use all the lights. But it is incredible and it means among other things that the children used to scrawl on the pews and write on the pews — we can see what you’re doing now so they can't do that.
But I was saying to the boys and girls earlier in the morning that light's a bit like how we look at God. C. S. Lewis said, “We believe in God like we believe in the sun, not because we see the sun, but because by the sun we see everything else.” If you were in my church right now you would, the light would be pouring in the window, I would say, “Do you believe in the sun?” They would say, “Yes.” Why? You can't see it from our window. The sun does shine in Scotland occasionally. But they would say, “Yes, but we can see the effects of the sun.” And that's exactly the same that we're looking at in terms of how God's light shines upon us. So let's look at this passage, verses particularly the phrase “God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.”
I can also say that Dr. Duncan said there were seven people when we went to Saint Peter's. That's true, but with what D. James Kennedy used to call a Scotch revival, four of them left, so we now do get about a hundred and fifty. It is a younger congregation. Our seniors group we call the “49 Plus” so if you’re forty-nine years or older you could belong to our seniors group. That's a lot of you here! Most churches have a youth group where people go and do their own thing and it's a bit rebellious and they have alternative worship. We have a senior's group where they go and do their own thing and they’re a bit rebellious and have a bit more traditional things as a show of things. But that's the way that things are with us and we're very, very encouraged by what God has been doing.
This passage tells us that God is light. The message we've heard from Him, it's a message we've heard from God — it's not a message we get ourselves or make up ourselves. It's a message that the Lord gives us through His Word. We've always got God speaking to us. Jesus says, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will not walk in darkness but will have the light of light.” John's gospel in John 1 says this — “The light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.” Psalm 27 verse 1 — “The Lord is my light and my salvation — whom shall I fear?” 1 Timothy 6:16 — “Who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light whom no one has seen or can see.”
It's funny how your architecture does actually say quite a lot and how we do things. I went to the main orthodox cathedral in Sophia and it's a beautiful, beautiful building, but when you get inside you see so little of it because everything is dark, even the icons which are really, really beautiful, they’re dark. And that seems to be the message. And I'm thinking, no, no. The light has come. The light has come.
I think as we consider this and look at this I also want us to think about what does that actually mean? Theology, people do like to divide Christians into types of personality. You know, there's “Mr. Reformed” who's kind of into theology and then there's you know “Mr. Evangelist” who's kind of into evangelism and he's always going around. You know you’re almost reluctant to invite him into your home in case he gives in EE tract to you cat. You know anyone he's just going for. And then there's kind of “Mr. Pastoral” or “Mrs. Pastoral” who's full of heart and emotion and just loves people. So you've got someone who says they love the Word and someone who says they love people and caring for the Lord's people, and other people they love evangelism and telling the Gospel — they love to tell the story. I just don't buy into any of that because my argument would be that theology, that's the study of God, that's at the center of all that we do. The trouble is, of course, that theology is a kind of academic discipline which doesn't really get to them. Now I think we need theology, we need to know more about God, and that affects us in every way. This evening we're going to see how that affects us in our evangelism. This morning I hope you’ll see how that affects us in terms of our pastoral care and where we're at.
But here we have this phrase, “God is light.” Now it then goes onto say, “In Him there is no darkness at all.” There's an attractive righteousness. God is all light. There is no darkness. It's pure and unadulterated and uncorrupted.
Now, why does he say the negative here? Why doesn't he just say, “God is light”? I would read this and I would think, “God is light. In Him there is no darkness at all.” It's just another way of saying that same thing. And then a few weeks ago when I was looking at this I grasped something that you may think is very, very obvious, but I grasped something that was very helpful to me personally and it's tied in with this whole idea of good and of evil. What are good and evil? How do we know what good and evil is? If there's a good God, how can there be evil? If He created things, did He create evil?
And there are all kinds of ideas. I'm Scottish and we have a Scottish temperament. Some people blame Calvinism for it. I blame the weather. But we have this kind of idea that, supposing I went home just now and discovered that it was a beautiful day of sunshine, that fifty thousand dollars had just been deposited into my bank account, and my church congregation had doubled, I would sit there and say, “Okay, something bad is really going to happen now.” That's just a mentality and a temperament that a lot of us have because we think, “Okay, there's something bad coming around the corner. There's a dark side.”
Now let's just do a little bit of philosophy and please forgive me for this, but there are basically two views. In any culture in the world there are two views. One of these views is dominant. There's first of all monism. That is the idea that the ultimate reality is unity. Now just bear with me a minute. It's saying everything is one. Everything is singular. You get that in Marxist materialism for example. You get it in Buddhist spirituality. You get it in the Hindu, Brahma — they call the oneness Brahma. The physicist might call it energy. In Star Wars you would call it the “force” — “May the force be with you.” Now the whole thing about Star Wars of course that George Lucas was trying to do was teach this Buddhist form of spirituality about oneness and it's interesting how people picked up on it. If you don't know Star Wars you haven't a clue what I'm talking about. Just switch off for ten seconds, but the rest of you — you know Darth Vader. I mean it turns out there's a good side and a bad side and that whole idea is to teach monism — we're all one.
Now there's a problem with that of course. We had two young boys in Britain recently who tortured another child almost to death. The problem with this view is that if you believe that then, you’re saying that what those two boys did was part of the one as much as the people who are going to help the people in Haiti are part of the one. You’re saying that the concentration camps in Auschwitz and Belsen are as much part of the one as the love you show to your family. And that's a horrendous thing.
I did a debate at MillsapsCollege here last year which I thoroughly enjoyed. I actually loved it. Loved Millsaps. Great opportunity to share the Gospel with people. There was one lady there who was a lecturer and she came up afterwards and she was really, really angry with me. I don't know why. Sometimes I have that effect on people. I'm really a warm, cuddly teddy bear. She said, “I'd love to stay and ask questions, but you shouldn't have said that.” I said, “Said what.” And she said, “What you said about Buddhism.” And what I'd said was that Buddhists believe that if you’re handicapped in this life it's because of something you did in the previous life. It's your karma and so on. And I said, “Why shouldn't I have said it? It's true.” “That's not the point,” she said, “You shouldn't have said it. You’re just trying to influence these kids.” I said in my Homer Simpson moment, “Duh, yeah, of course. Of course I'm trying to influence them. So are you. We are trying to influence. We are trying to communicate and discuss.”
But if you have that monist view of the world where good is evil and evil is good, I don't mean this in bad language, but what a hellish world to live in that would be.
So the other view is what's called dualism - binary, two-fold, good versus evil. The ancient Persians believed that both good and evil were spiritual. In Greek philosophy the Gnostics taught that the good was spiritual and the evil was material so they believed it didn't matter if you committed sexual adultery because that was just material, that was evil, it didn't matter, but spiritual was really important. They were confused but they ultimately believed in a force that had a dark side.
Now what you've got here from this fisherman John is a statement that's neither monist nor dualist. It's very unusual. It's saying there is one God. There's not an alternative God. There's not God — a good God and a bad God. And it's saying that there is one God who has no dark side. “In Him there is no darkness at all.” The Lord our God is one. The Lord is one God. Darkness does not come from God. This light is pure and unadulterated. Why? Why is this important? Because we tend to create God in our own image.
Our very small children were one morning at the front and I heard them talking amongst each other saying, “Why don't we go upstairs?” because have a balcony and the kids are not allowed up in the balcony because they could easily tip over and fall. And I heard another one say, “No, we can't go upstairs.” “Why not?” “Because that's where God lives.” Now from a child's point of view, you know God was up in the balcony looking down on them, but adults do that too. We project our image onto God. Someone has said that “If God made man in His own image then man has returned the compliment.” We tend to fear that God is like us, that God has a dark side. We buy into a dualistic view of God — the God of the Old Testament versus the Jesus of the New. We listen to the devil when he comes and he tempts us and he says, “Did God really say…?” and if God were God or if I were God, then I wouldn't behave like this.
When you think about it, and this is huge, just think about what you’re doing when you say, “I don't believe in a God who would…..…” Or, “I don't…….” When you sit in judgment upon God do you know what you’re doing? You’re basically saying, “I am of sufficient intelligence, capacity, and morality to be able to judge who God is.” And what we're doing is we're getting it completely wrong. We’re setting ourselves up as God. And there's a fear that we could have — maybe there is a God.
Douglas Coupland, the Canadian author writes some brilliant books. Douglas Coupland once said in an interview that, “My fear is not that there is no God, but that if there is a God He doesn't really like us.” And that's a lot of people's fears — “What have I done? Why has God allowed this to happen?” Here John comes and he tells us, “In God there is no darkness at all.” Where does the darkness come from? Augustine argues the darkness is negative. It doesn't need to be created. It's a negation of all the positive qualities of God. You can work through all that stuff. You want to go and read, The City of God, by Augustine fine, it's a great book. Take your time, read it, and then we’ll discuss the whole possibilities of where evil and darkness comes from.
But I'm wanting to focus on this — that “in God there is no darkness at all.”
One of my friends who's an eye surgeon, we discussed this one evening and he wrote me the next day and he said, “David, I realize how much of my troubles” — this man's a Christian — “failure to trust, venture all and love Him back, stem from failure to grasp this glorious truth. I can't get past it. Everything seems impacted by it. It's the most glorious and practical doctrine because it leads to worship, love, and peace.” God's light shines. God's light illumines. God's light gives us knowledge about God. This is not Gnosticism, dark and secret mysteries — “Come to Catechism class and you’ll really find the secret” — No. “Go to RTS and you’ll really find the secret” — No. “Take this course and you’ll really find the secret” — No. God's light shines and you’ll find who God is, who you are, and everything else. Psalm 90 verse 8 — “You have set our iniquities before You, our secret sins in the light of Your presence.” That's why we walk in the light.
I have an iPhone in my pocket here. I've already switched it off. And it's right now, if I looked at it here the screen, would appear gray; I take it out into the sunshine, you’ll see the scratches. You’ll see the marks. When we sing “Shine, Jesus Shine!” there are people who think, “Wouldn't it be wonderful if Jesus shined!” and they think of it like spiritual sunbathing. They lie back and they go, “Oh God, come in.” And it's just wonderful and they’re basking and so forth.
When God's light shines upon us, it is so awesome. We would be burned up. We couldn't cope with that intensity of light. It's pure and absolute and holy. “Your eyes are too pure to look on evil.” — Habakkuk 1:13 - “You cannot tolerate wrong.” In God there is no darkness so there's no point in hiding anything and if any of you here wants to try to hide any of your sin please don't be so stupid. You can't. It's impossible. God sees and knows absolutely everything.
And therefore John goes on to talk about a couple of things that I just really want to mention. First of all, in verse 6 he talks about Christians who lie — “If we claim to have fellowship with Him yet walk in the darkness we lie and do not live by the truth.” There are plenty of people who claim intimacy with God who are lying. They say, “If God is light a little bit of darkness won't bother Him.” Why is my fellowship with God so bad at times? Why is your fellowship with God so bad? Because if we don't walk in the light we are pseudos, is the language, we are fakes; we are hypocrites. We refuse to accept the light that God has given in the revelation of the Scriptures. We prefer the darkness of our own way. There's a heart of darkness within us. We lie about our relationship with God and we do not do the truth.
Truth is not just telling; it is doing. There are people who speak a lot about God's grace but don't live it — the man who comes to church and he's sitting there with his perfect family and then he goes home and he abuses his wife. Or the man or the man or woman who comes to church and hears God's Word and has all the pious talk and goes to the Bible study and can say all the right words about Jesus and grace and truth and yet in their hearts they’re consumed by bitterness or hatred of their neighbor or family member or whoever. There is no point in trying to pretend with God. We all pretend with one another. We all, to some degree, fool one another. You can't fool God. There's no point in lying.
Verse 7 says Christians can walk in the light — “If we walk in the light as He is in the light we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus His Son purifies us from all sin.” Walking is kind of a metaphor for the whole of life. It's a practical way of living. It's walking step by step. It's just walking in the light of God. “Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God.” And look at what the results of this are. It's quite surprising because he doesn't say “if you walk in the light you will see God.” He says “if you walk in the light you will have fellowship with one another.” What most disrupts our fellowship is our own sin. I kind of hate it when someone comes to our church and they say, “David that was fantastic and you’re brilliant” and so on. And apart from admiring their good taste, I realize that this is not good because six months down the road they’re going to be saying, “You’re the anti-Christ.” They’re just so — you know they don't see.
We have a motto for our church, almost like a mission statement. Maybe you wouldn't want to adopt this. We haven't put it officially on our notice boards, but our motto is kind of like this: “We are messed up people living in a messed up world serving a Savior who sorts out messes.” Gary was actually right when he said I go around and create a mess everywhere. Actually I don't think I do, I just go around and tell people they’re in a mess and they don't want to hear that. But we are. We’re in a mess. And when we walk in the light of God it just brings us enormous encouragement and fellowship with one another because it's removing the biggest obstacle we have to real fellowship — our sin.
He says there, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins.” The blood of Jesus His Son purifies us from all sin. Now this evening I'm going to look at that in a lot more detail but that's a wonderful thing. I listened to U2, their latest album, and they have a song on there called “White As Snow” and the refrain is — “What can make my heart as white as snow?” And there's nothing except in the words of the old gospel song, “Nothing but the blood of Jesus.” Nothing can forgive, nothing can cleanse, but the blood of Jesus. It purifies us. It's continuous. It keeps on cleansing us as we walk in the light. Not that it's sinless perfection, but we keep coming back to Jesus and He keeps cleansing us. It's like one of these washing powders that you put in your washing machine and it keeps cleansing and it keeps on cleansing. I just love that idea that you’re almost going back to Jesus and saying, “Jesus, it's me again and I've done it wrong again and I've screwed up again” and all this kind of stuff. Because of what Christ has done we are forgiven.
The word that's used for cleansing here is the word cathartic, or where we get the term cathartic. And I love the dictionary definition — providing psychological relief through the expression of strong but previously expressed emotions. When you experience the forgiveness and cleansing of Jesus Christ, that's why I'm saying theology can't be dry because it unblocks so many things. I have seen people cry over the movement of a communion table. I don't mean by that it was cultish like stuff and they were really freaked out. I mean people were saying, “It should be here and it should be there and it should be over there” and they were getting really upset about stuff in the church. I think, “When did I last weep about my sins? When did I last weep for joy because I'd been forgiven?”
You know, what's that kind of ecstasy that — I understand that there was some kind of game here that has to do with a bowl and soup and something and some people called “Who Dat?” or whatever — they won — I have no idea what this means. This is not my language, right? But I understand in New Orleans people go around honking horns and hugging strangers and going “Yay, yay, yay, brilliant!” When was the last time you — I mean actually I love “Who Dat?” because I think you could use that as a real evangelistic slogan. You know, “Who's the Man?” “He's the Man!” But when was the last time that you just came out of church, and you’re a good Presbyterian so you can't do this in church, but you came out of church and you wanted to go “Yay! Bonus!” An old preacher, at least he was in the nineteenth century, he's not still alive, but Rabbi Duncan. And it said that he danced on the Brig 0' Dee (bridge) in Aberdeen for delight. Just to know that God forgives it's just such a cathartic experience.
We stand before God as if we have never sinned at all. I mean when people come up to me and say, “David I don't like the church” or “I don't like you” and they tell me, I say, “So? So? What are you trying to tell me?” We know that. We know that's the case. It's not about me, it's about what Jesus has done, and isn't that fantastic?
The word that's used for darkness here is the word scotia, remarkably like Scotland. Let me finish by saying this. By the way, when a Presbyterian minister, a Scottish Presbyterian minister anyway, uses the word “finish” it's completely post-modern and meaningless, so don't get your hopes up. But let me at least attempt to finish by saying this. I am occasionally asked, “Why don't you come to Mississippi?” and I was thinking that today while I was experiencing the delights of your whole cuisine while having grits, cheese grits. Grits to me is the anti-matter of food because it makes even tasty food taste tasteless. No matter what you put on them, you put as much honey and sugar as you want on it and it's still, it just negates everything. Now I said that this morning and people were coming out and commenting on the sermon saying, “You ain't tasted good grits!” Well, that's an oxymoron. And they were naming me shops and telling me things to have with it. Actually if you wanted to comment on that what you really need to say as a comeback is, “From a man that comes from the land of porridge, black pudding, and haggis, you don't need to talk about food!” (laughter)
But I love Mississippi. I say to people my two favorite places in the United States are Mississippi and New York and people burst out laughing as if they were completely different. But I won't come here. Why? Because God has a put a burden for my own people, a real burden for Scotland, because the light really did shine on Scotland before, but now it is a really dark place in so many ways.
Stewart McAllister of RaviZacharias Ministries came to us a few weeks ago and he left in absolute tears. He was crying because of what he saw. It's a burden that I face. I just see so much darkness. I’ll give you an example. Please excuse me for just taking a little bit of time to do this.
We have a Christianity Explorer course on Tuesday night. I’ll get back on Tuesday morning. I’ll be going to that at night. In our building which is being redone it's fantastic that we can do this. The last time I was at it, two weeks ago, there was a lady who says, “I can't believe in God because both my husbands died, my one year old child died in my arms, my brother died when he was speaking to me on the phone, I've got MS and I've just been told I've got lymph cancer. How can I believe in God?” She's in great darkness.
There's a seventeen year old girl who's a junkie who's attempted to take her life several times who's just out of jail and probably just gone back to jail who in my view will do extremely well if she lives until she's eighteen. She's in great darkness.
There was an Indian gentleman who was furious that we, furious that we said you can't put Jesus up on the mantle piece with all the other gods. How could we be so arrogant?
There was a Chinese lady who said, “David, I have no questions. I've never been to church in my life until the past two weeks and now I believe absolutely in Jesus.” She's been converted. It's just incredible.
There was an elderly lady who knocked on our door at the church office and said, “You do Bible studies here?” She's a church leader in her church and hasn't a clue about the Gospel and she's coming along to our Bible studies.
There's a doctor. He's a Roman Catholic man brought up in a nominally Catholic background, doesn't know the Gospel. And so it goes on. There's just great opportunities.
See, the thing about the darkness is this — if you’re the light, that's where you shine. That's where you really shine. So whether it's Sweden, or whether it's Amarillo in Texas, it's just a great opportunity. You can see the darkness. It does depress me a little bit. I don't understand you all. Please excuse me. I'm just making this comment. You’re like Americans - you can do, you can do everything. You can run the world. You can do whatever you want. You can invent spray cheese. You can just do it. But when I come here I hear so much negative stuff. You know, I listen to talk radio and if you’re a Christian don't listen to talk radio. It will really depress you. Stop it. If you really want to grow in grace I just hear people, “The end of the world is nigh! Doom! Gloom! Everything is bad! Everything is awful!” And you just think, “No, no. It's actually a great opportunity.”
Thomas Chalmers tells the story, there was a man called Guthrie who was just starting out in the ministry, he's standing on the bridges in Edinburgh overlooking the Grass Market which is now a real trendy place but was then a slum. And he's thinking, “How can I go into this smelly, dirty place where half the people die before they’re five years old?” And Thomas Chalmers came up to Guthrie, put his arm around him and gestured with his hand and he just smiled and said, “A fine field, young man, a fine field.” And it changed Guthrie's whole perception because he was going to be light in the darkness.
Is it Springsteen or Bono? I think Bono quotes Springsteen. He says, “I'm going to kick the darkness, yell at the darkness, until it screams daylight.” Well as a Christian, I'm going to go live in the darkness and be the light. It's a fantastic opportunity that we have and it's true here in Jackson as well. You just have so much opportunity to be light in a dark world. Faber says this, “My God, how wonderful Thou art, Thy majesty how bright. How beautiful Thy mercy seat in depths of burning light. How wonderful, how beautiful the sight of Thee must be, Thine endless wisdom, boundless power, and awful purity.”
God is light. In Him there is no darkness at all. If you’re here this morning and your heart is filled with fear about what God might do, and maybe God is not light and maybe God is…
No. You forget all of that and you say, “He is light. He is pure. He is holy. He is good.” And He has called us to be light and He sheds His light abroad in our hearts. And you go through the Bible and take out all the times light is mentioned and how it works and it's just such a relief to have such a pure and holy and gracious and good God. And His light is so pure it burns away your darkness. The fog that is in your mind, the fog that is on your heart, the light of God, the light of Jesus shines and it rips it apart. May God grant that all of us will be able to walk in the light.
Lord we confess that we are so arrogant and so self-centered and so judgmental that we think even that we can judge You, create You in our image. Lord we bless You that You are not like us, that we have hearts of darkness, that we have dark sides, that we don't have pure motives, but You do. You are all pure. You are all good. There is no wickedness, there is no evil, there is no cruelty, there is no capriciousness in You at all. And so we come to You as ones who have hearts of darkness and we ask for forgiveness and we thank You that as Your light shines upon us, as Jesus cleanses us by what he has done on the cross through His atoning sacrifice, we thank You that we can walk in the light, we can bathe in the sunshine of Your light and Your love. Lord grant that we would have fellowship with one another and fellowship with You. We pray for anyone here who doesn't know You that they would see Your light. And for those of us who do, Lord forgive us when we live in the shadows and enable us to step out and walk in the light. And may it be in Amarillo, and in Tranas and in Stockholm and in Dundee and Jackson and wherever You call us to, we would be the people of light. The people walking in great darkness have seen a great light. For we ask it in Your name. Amen.
Let's finish by singing in hymn number 587 — “Who Is On the Lord's Side?”
And now may the true light who gives light to every man, who came into the world, grant His light to us and may He enable us to share that light for Him wherever He calls us. Amen
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