Out of the darkness
Synopsis of sermon 01/24/10
Delivered by Bishop Walker III
Matthew 5:14-16: 14Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. 15Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 16Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
The teachings of Jesus Christ are no clearer and precise than the sermon on the mount. The sermon on the mount was Jesus’ first teaching. Jesus gathered the multitude together and Jesus sat on the mountain Matthew 5:1 says 1And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him:, –
This scripture is saying Jesus sat down and called the multitudes together with him. The bible declares that that Jesus began to teach them the Beatitudes. The Beatitudes (Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven, Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted, Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth, and etc…) are simply 9 statements of supreme happiness. Jesus continues to speak these statements of supreme happiness into the lives of people, particularly the disciples who were there because he was preparing them for the ministry they were about undertake. Like this, there are many of you that know that God has great plans for your life and you know that there is a great assignment that you must fulfill, but in order for that assignment to come to fruition, it must be prefaced with preparation. God never gives us an assignment without preparing us for it. Any Call is a call to preparation. The disciples were about to embark upon an incredible moment of ministry into a dark world. In fact there lives would be paradoxically opposed to everything that Jesus would send them to, because he called them out of darkness, gave them light, and then sent them back into the darkness. This is what God does. He calls us out of something; he empowers us, and then sends us back to it in order for us to change it. The bible says men sat in darkness, but light was sprung up. Darkness represents a lack of revelation. There is so much darkness now. Kids are killing kids, there is healthcare crisis, there are wars, rumors of war, and the tragedies are happening, but know that God has an answer for our dark situations. God always has a word or revelation that merges out of darkness and brings people to a place of hope and promise. The good news is that there is a revelation. Those of us who are Christians have a responsibility to influence the world in which we live. Implicit in our relationship with God is the suggestion that we have what he has. We have the power to change the environments. If we say we are a Christian and that we are in relationship with Jesus Christ, then what is on Jesus should be on us. Wherever we are, we should be able to light it up. This means that we are able to bring illumination or in other words, we are able to bring people out of the darkness. God strategically places us in certain places so that we might be able to affect change. There are people that need to come out of darkness and the only way that they are going to come out is by you coming out and showing them how you came out. In this season, God is looking for people that really don’t mind coming out of darkness. You have to let your light shine. Let them call you crazy, let them call you funny, but know that there is too much power in your life for you to go into a situation and maintain the status quo. God wants you to understand that in this season, it is about coming out of the darkness. Jesus gives this powerful word, though it is simple in its presentation, it has a powerful revelation. Jesus says to us, “You are the light of the world and a light that is set on a hill cannot be hid”. This suggests that we should expect exposure.
I. We should expect exposure.
Matthew 5:14 says 14Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. – Jesus reminds us that we are the light of the world.
1. No longer can we be agents of the secret kingdom. When it is on you it is on you (the light). On your job or where ever you go, it is on you.
2. You got to understand how to walk in truth. Light has a purpose. Its purpose is to shine. What good does it do to have a light bulb that won’t shine? Ex- Bishop Walker explained that he replaced a light bulb in his house and the new light bulb would not work. It was a florescent bulb so he was careful to go back and make sure the bulb was seated into the groove correctly. Still the light bulb would not work. It was in place, but it had no power. Just like this, some of us are in place, but we have no power. It has to be about more than just coming to church. It has to be about relationship.
3. We have to have full transparency. We are like a city on a hill. Matthew 5:14c says a city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. – Like a city on a hill, everything we do is under observation. People sitting in darkness and they look into a lighted house, they can see everything that is going on. People that are sitting in darkness have a better view of what is happening in a lighted house than people that are in light looking into darkness. The reality is that there are people that are looking at the church and at you and they see everything that is going on. They see you coming to church talking in tongue and then cursing folk out at work. They see you speaking in church and not speaking outside. The truth of the matter is that you have to get to a place where you have full transparency, because our character has to be able to handle your exposure. The bible says men love darkness instead of light because their deeds are evil. A lot of people don’t want the next level because their character can’t handle it. God is looking for people that are not this way this day and another way the next day. He wants you to walk in purpose and power and be the light of the world. Every level God takes us; we have to walk on another level of transparency.
4. If you are going to come out of darkness, you will have to have transparency.
a. There is going to be season of avoidance- When walking in transparency, people can’t handle you. Ex-When you walk into a warehouse and cut on a light, roaches will run and scatter to get away from the light. This is why folk will run when you show up. Every time you show up, everything low down will run from you.
b. Got to have accountability-When the light is on, you are responsible for more than yourself. You got to be careful how you dress and where you go. There are some people’s whose faith that will be hindered if you are not accountable. The greater the encounter, the greater the accountability.
c. Must develop adaptation-You have to learn to deal with this. Ex- When you go to the grocery store; they ask if you belong to Mt Zion. You have to know that there is nothing normal about you anymore. You will have to adapt though, it comes with the territory. Light can be heavy.
II. We have been equipped for elevation.
Matthew 5:15 says 15Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.- Jesus wants us to light whole house.
1. Everyone wants elevation, but nobody wants the responsibility that comes with it. Jesus explained to the disciples that they were being trained for the next level.
2. Reason for illumination.
a. Immediate illumination. God will send you to places, because there is a need for immediate illumination. Some people may a job and not know why, because God needs the place to have immediate illumination.
b. Impeding illumination-This is like the UV light. Ex- Bishop Walker explained that he had a problem with mosquitoes at his home. You couldn’t go outside without getting attacked. He explains that he had to get a UV light to draw the mosquitoes in and kill them. You might have to be that UV light for the place that God sends you. You might be that light that impedes and kills things before they damage the kingdom.
c. Must have “If” illumination- This is light stored just in case you need it. This is much like the flashlight stored in the drawer incase the power goes out. Just like this, when tragedies come, we have to have word (light) stored up just in case you need it.
3. Again darkness is the absence of revelation. This text describes Jesus’ first sermon in his public ministry (the Sermon on the Mount). When Jesus says we are the light of the world, metaphorically says we are the light. To understand this, we have to go back to the primary law of reference. This is when you go back to find out when a thing was first used to understand how God uses it throughout scripture. Often you can go all the way to the book of beginnings which is Genesis. Here we go back to where God first dealt with light. Genesis 1:3-5 says 3And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. 4And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. 5And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.- This implies at first look that the first day he called day and the second he called night.
Genesis 1:14-19 says 14And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: 15And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. 16And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. 17And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, 18And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good. 19And the evening and the morning were the fourth day. – Firmament means space like where space ships fly. Verse 16 implies that the scripture is talking about the sun and the moon. The question comes up in verse 19, did God repeat himself? If God created light on the 1st day, why did he do it in the 4th day? We would have to think that it has to be two different things. God gave light on the 1st day so we think God made the sun and the moon. The truth is God didn’t make the sun and the moon on the first day. He made it on the 4th day. The question is what is the light mentioned on the 1st day? The light on the first day was God moved upon the face of the water. God dwelt in darkness and when he made creation, God stepped outside of creation and put himself inside of his creation so man could have a revelation of who he was. Consequently, God became the light and that’s why when Jesus died on the cross the sun refused to shine. The sun said I can’t shine without the son. God said revelation is where the light is. God said he was the light before the sun and moon showed up. God was transforming and changing environments. When you are in the image of God, that same light that is in the image of God says when you show up, we show up like God meaning we should bring revelation. When we show up, we ought to change the environment. Whether it is light or dark, there shall still be light. This is why the Psalmist says joy will come in the morning. Joy is revelation that comes even in the dark. Revelation has nothing to do with what it looks like; it is about what you know. God put you in a certain place to change the environment. This is why the devil doesn’t want you there. When you show up, people will start achieving their goals and they start having hope just because you showed up changed the atmosphere. Ex-Bishop explains that he grew up in the south and there they have lighting bugs. He explains that if you killed one on the wall, the light kept on shining. We have to be just like this. After all we have been through all we have been through, we have to keep letting our light shine. God doesn’t light us to hide us. He wants us to light up the whole house.
III. We should be an example of one who encourages.
Matthew 5:16 says 16Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
1. We represent God. We must know how to touch the lives of people that God puts into our circumstances. Our life is a revelation. When people sit in darkness a long time, they will adjust to the darkness. This is called adapting. When you adapt to darkness, you will be able to function in darkness. As a result, if someone trips over your foot, you will think something is wrong with them.
2. When you throw light in the face of someone that has been in darkness, it is too much. You have to expose them to light gradually. You can’t come to baby’s birthday party and be in the corner with your anointing oil. All they wanted you to do is come by and help celebrate. You have to gradually spread light.
3. It is important that you know that people watch us.
a. Perseverance- People ought not to see us give up when things get rough. They ought to want what you have. People ought to look at us and see our peace.
b. Peace-When people see your peace, they want what you have.
c. Praise- When people see you going through and you still have the faith to say the Lord is blessing you, this makes people want what you have.
4. When people see your conviction, this causes conversion. They will see the hand and power of God through your life. Every time you go through, it ought to help others. The problem with the church these days is we have too many dim lights. Some people are a light, but they are just flickering. Let your light shine! Let somebody see the goodness of the Lord on your on your life every day. Be consistent. Light produces heat and heat produces fire. Heat represents passion. Fire represents determination. Light represents revelation. Remember when Jeremiah was about to give up? He said his word (revelation) was like fire shut up in his bones. It was like determination, because he lost his heat, he lost his passion, but he recognized that the only way to get his determination back was to get his passion back and when he got his passion back, he got his revelation back! Ex- Bishop says he was in Dallas this week and he was signing books. He said this guy came up and wanted to show him an application that would be good for his book. The application was called bump . Bishop asked the guy to show him how it worked. They guy took Bishop’s phone and his phone and bumped them together and the applications that was on the Bishop’s phone that he agreed to share appeared on the guy’s phone. Just like this, we ought to be carrying a light that shines so bright that when we bump up against somebody, our light gets inside of them.