May 03, 2020 | Lee Becknell

Do You Have the Light of Life?

    ILL.- It was at the end of the school year, and a kindergarten teacher was receiving gifts from her pupils. The florist’s son handed her a gift. She shook it, held it overhead, and said, "I bet I know what it is. Some flowers." "That’s right!" the boy said, "but how did you know?" "Oh, just a wild guess," she said. The next pupil was the candy shop owner’s daughter. The teacher held her gift overhead, shook it, and said, "I bet I can guess what it is. A box of sweets." "That’s right, but how did you know?" asked the girl. "Oh, just a wild guess," said the teacher. The next gift was from the son of the liquor store owner. The teacher held the package overhead, but it was leaking. She touched a drop of the leakage with her finger and touched it to her tongue. "Is it wine?" she asked. "No," the boy replied, with some excitement. The teacher repeated the process, taking a larger drop of the leakage to her tongue. "Is it champagne?" she asked. "No," the boy replied, with more excitement. The teacher took one more taste before declaring, "I give up, what is it?" With great glee, the boy replied, "It’s a puppy!"
    * Beloved, can you picture this little boy’s eyes shining, his beaming face, him lighting up the world. He is so proud to give his teacher his present.
    Title: “Do you have the light of life?”
    Objective: Jesus brings us out of the darkness.
    Theme: “Jesus’ claim to be the Light of the world is a claim to be God. Physical light is one of the most complicated things in this world but at the same time one of the most taken for granted. Each day the Sun comes up. Every time we turn on the light switch the light comes on. In some ways it acts like waves, and in some ways it acts like particles of matter. The startling thing is that men, acting on both of these principles, have been able to make remarkable inventions and discoveries. Whatever light is God made light as one of His first creations and Jesus says we need this light to follow Him.”
    * The Feast of Tabernacles is an eight-day festival that begins at sundown on the first day of the feast. Jesus uses two traditional symbols from the Feast of Tabernacles celebration, water and light, to help the people understand who He is and what He offers.
    * Today, I would like to share with you the following lessons.
    1. ‘Jesus light’ helps us follow Him.
    John 8:12, “Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
    * Let us notice, for one thing, in these verses, what the Lord Jesus says of Himself. He proclaims, "I am the light of the world."
    * During the Feast of the Tabernacles was the "Illumination of the Temple." In the Temple Court of the Women, the priests set up four enormous stands. Each of those stands held four golden bowls for oil. These 16 golden bowls were reached by ladders and filled with oil. They used the old clothes of the priests for wicks. When those huge lamps were lit at night, the light shined all over Jerusalem. The great blaze lit up every courtyard in the city, and it burned all night long.
    *But the next morning, when that man-made fire began to flicker and die, Jesus cried out, "I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.''
    * These words imply that the world needs light, and is naturally in a dark condition. The vast majority of men neither see nor understand the value of their souls, the true nature of God, nor the reality of a world to come!
    * The Lord Jesus Christ declares Himself to be the only remedy. He invites all who want spiritual help and guidance to turn to Him, and take Him for their leader
    * To follow Christ is only another word for "believing."
    Exodus 13:21-22, “And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead them along the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night. 22 The pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night did not depart from before the people.”
    * As Israel followed the pillar of cloud and fire in all their journeying’s moving whenever it moved, stopping whenever it tarried, asking no questions, marching on in faith so must we deal with Christ. We must "follow the Lamb wherever He goes."
    Revelation 14:1, 4, “Then I looked, and behold, on Mount Zion stood the Lamb, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father's name written on their foreheads. 4 It is these who have not defiled themselves with women, for they are virgins. It is these who follow the Lamb wherever he goes. These have been redeemed from mankind as firstfruits for God and the Lamb, 5 and in their mouth no lie was found, for they are blameless.”
    Revelation 7:3, “3 saying, do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees, until we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.” 4 And I heard the number of the sealed, 144,000, sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel:
    * Beloved, these are Jews protected and selected by our Lord for His service.
    * If we follow Christ we shall not "walk in darkness." We will not be left in ignorance, like the many around us today. If we follow Christ all doubt and uncertainty will pass away like mist in the wind.
    * Just as Jesus called His disciples one by one so He is calling people today one by on ‘come and follow me.’
    2. ‘Jesus light’ helps us find the truth.
    John 8:13-20, “So the Pharisees said to him, “You are bearing witness about yourself; your testimony is not true.” 14 Jesus answered, “Even if I do bear witness about myself, my testimony is true, for I know where I came from and where I am going, but you do not know where I come from or where I am going. 15 You judge according to the flesh; I judge no one. 16 Yet even if I do judge, my judgment is true, for it is not I alone who judge, but I and the Father who sent me. 17 In your Law it is written that the testimony of two people is true. 18 I am the one who bears witness about myself, and the Father who sent me bears witness about me.” 19 They said to him therefore, “Where is your Father?” Jesus answered, “You know neither me nor my Father. If you knew me, you would know my Father also.” 20 These words he spoke in the treasury, as he taught in the temple; but no one arrested him, because his hour had not yet come.
    * The Pharisees insisted that someone else be brought to testify concerning the validity of his claims.
    * Listen to Jesus’ response. Verse 14: “Jesus answered, ‘Even if I do bear witness about myself, my testimony is true, for I know where I came from and where I am going, but you do not know where I come from or where I am going.’”
    * His point is a good one. It is wrong to assume that a witness is saying something untrue simply because he stands alone. In some cases, only one witness exists!
    * Before this argument Jesus said in John chapter 5, that there were four witnesses about Him.
    John 5:31-39, “If I alone bear witness about myself, my testimony is not true. 32 There is another who bears witness about me, and I know that the testimony that he bears about me is true. 33 You sent to John, and he has borne witness to the truth. 34 Not that the testimony that I receive is from man, but I say these things so that you may be saved. 35 He was a burning and shining lamp, and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light. 36 But the testimony that I have is greater than that of John. For the works that the Father has given me to accomplish, the very works that I am doing, bear witness about me that the Father has sent me. 37 And the Father who sent me has himself borne witness about me. His voice you have never heard, his form you have never seen, 38 and you do not have his word abiding in you, for you do not believe the one whom he has sent. 39 You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me,
    * Beloved, look at what Jesus is saying; 1. John bore witness. 2. The miracles of Jesus bore witness. 3. The father bore witness. 4. The Scriptures bore witness.
    John 8:31-32, “31 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
    3. ‘Jesus light’ keeps us from dying in our sins.
    John 8:21-25, “So he said to them again, “I am going away, and you will seek me, and you will die in your sin. Where I am going, you cannot come.” 22 So the Jews said, “Will he kill himself, since he says, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come’?” 23 He said to them, “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. 24 I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins.” 25 So they said to him, “Who are you?” Jesus said to them, “Just what I have been telling you from the beginning.
    * Now compare this verse: John 7:37-38, “On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’”
    * The Feast of Tabernacles began with the water-drawing ceremony. Upon the blasting of the shofar, the group moved towards the altar of sacrifice located in the Court of the Priests which surrounded the Temple. Either earlier or during the same time the water-drawing rite was taking place, other priests decorated the altar with willows. The priest with the golden flask filled with water ascended the altar and poured the libation on the morning burnt offering. Read Leviticus 23:33-44 and Numbers 29 this week during your devotions.
    * The water for the celebration would come from the pool of Siloam and it commemorated the refreshing steam of life giving water in Exodus 17.
    Exodus 17:6, “Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock at Horeb, and you shall strike the rock, and water shall come out of it, and the people will drink.” And Moses did so, in the sight of the elders of Israel.
    Revelation 21:6, 23-24, “6 And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. 23-24, “And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. 24 By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it, 25 and its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there.”

    In the nineteenth century, lighthouses on the U.S. coasts were tended by lighthouse keepers and their families. If a man who tended the light took ill or became disabled, often the work was then picked up by his wife or children. This was the case of Hosea Lewis. In 1853, Lewis became the keeper of the light on Lime Rock Island in Rhode Island. Just four years later he suffered a stroke and his teenage daughter Ida assumed responsibility for the light. Each day included cleaning the reflectors, trimming the wick, and filling the oil reservoir at sunset and midnight, along with providing for her father’s care. Because of the long and demanding tasks, Ida was unable to continue her schooling, but daily delivered her siblings to class, whatever the weather, by rowing the 500 yards to the mainland. In the mid-1800s, it was unusual to see a woman maneuvering a boat, but Ida became well-known for her ability to handle the heavy boat. The teenager gained a measure of fame at age sixteen when she rescued four young men after their boat capsized. She rowed to their aid, hearing their screams as they clung to their overturned craft. On March 29, 1869, Ida saved two drowning servicemen from nearby Fort Adams. Public knowledge of Ida’s courage spread as far as Washington, inspiring President Ulysses S. Grant to visit Ida at Newport later that year. Ida rescued two more soldiers in early February of 1881. The two soldiers were crossing from Newport to Lime Rock Island on foot when the ice gave way. Ida, the lighthouse keeper, came running with a rope, ignoring peril to herself from the weakened ice, pulling the soldiers to safety. For such an act of bravery and sacrifice, Ida was awarded the U.S. Lifesaving Service’s highest medal. All told, Ida Lewis personally rescued some 25 people in fifty-plus years as keeper of the light. Her last reported rescue came at age 63 when she saved a friend who had fallen into the water on her way to visit Ida on the island. Asked where she found strength and courage for such a feat, Ida answered: “I don’t know, I ain’t particularly strong. The Lord Almighty gives it to me when I need it, that’s all.”
    Ida Lewis was a faithful steward. She was literally ‘lighting the way’ for those who needed it, not only through that lighthouse but through her years of service.
    * Will you be a faithful keeper of the light of Jesus Christ?

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