John 8:12 says ‘Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.”’
So Jesus has just be teaching the people from quite early in the morning outside the temple. He has been interrupted by men dragging a women before him and bringing the accusation of adultery and demanding a punishment upon her! (No sign of the man she was with!) Now as the sun is rising in the morning sky and it may be hitting his hearers eyes – he tells them that He (Jesus) is this light that gives life and light to everything!
He goes on to tell them that ‘if’ they follow him – then they (anybody – the average Joe in the street) wont have to walk around through the dark of light anymore – you wont get caught up in the dark world around you. Because you will have light! If you walk with Jesus, if you continue to ask him for guidance, you continue to allow him to illuminate your path – you truly will be walking in the light! The light that leads to abundant life!
This life is then going to be a light to all around us. Our friends family neighbours colleagues are all watching us and they see a lightness or a darkness upon us, they see a lightness or a heaviness upon us! Develop that relationship (that’s all, not a struggle, not a formula or a set of rules but a relationship) with Jesus and they will see a life that is lived joyfully and is desirable.
I want to encourage you that you are already living that life, Christ is in you (if you have been saved) so there are aspects of light already shining out of you. Continue to walk in that, be more aware that we notice the godly in you and then only out of your love for Christ develop a loving relationship that leads to a life filled with more light.
Wow, what a teaching on the power of words Raphael Burke brought us last Friday. Raphael is famous because of his involvement in the Manchester United Youth team and part of the ‘class of 92’. He attributes not going to the next level in Football to the power of his words!
When Raph was a boy and a teen growing up in Bristol he told everyone that he was the best! And he was – no one could touch him. So much that the England Manager Bobby Robson spotted him playing and he went to the Academy for future England stars as a 14 year old! He then signed with Manchester United with Ryan Giggs the Neville’s and even roomed with David Beckham!
What began to happen away from home was a questioning of his ability! It only takes one person to feed doubt or criticise, before we can question ourselves as a teen! God’s desire is for us to remain strong in Him and believe what He thinks of us! But as teenagers we often don’t accept this and so Raph started to tell himself and call his Mum to say I don’t know if I can do this – I’m not playing so good anymore and through this complete reverse of confession and belief he started to play bad – skill he could previously do easily not coming off, missing tap ins!
There is tremendous power in what we confess and believe – our entire life depends on it. It is not God that wrecks our plans but us! Through the words that we confess and believe….we frame our future with the words that we speak, Proverbs 18:21 tells us that the tongue can bring us life and death!
What ever you do – don’t allow yourself to speak negatively, stop yourself and re-frame it, otherwise it will contaminate your heart and your life will go in the direction you do not want.
Last Friday Andrew brought a message on what true worship is.
The Websters definition says that Worship is to honour with ‘extravagant love’ and ‘extreme submission’. And our Worship Pastor Nathan says from Matt Redman that Worship is a response, and it will grow or shrink in direct proportion to our view of Him.
I heard some research on the recovery of patients from Gall Bladder treatment, the outcome was that patients who had a view of landscape recovered much quicker than patients who had a view of a brick wall. The truth here is that we are limited by our vision and what we can see.
What we see, our view, the lense we wear to view and know God is so vitally important! If we have a healthy loving view of the Father our response to him will be strong and positive. It is so essential that we work through the misconceptions we have of God and see Him as one who desires to know us and be known by us to shower us with love and favor.
And so we must learn to worship God for who he is and not what he does for us, may we not be people that only respond well to what we can get, that is what spoilt children do.
I leave you with the question, what are you extremely submitted to? What takes your time, what are you happy to give yourself to? And what do you show extravagant love to? This will give an indicator of any potential idols, these may be computer games, Netflix, social media, money, anything. Let it be God. As Psalm 96:9 says ‘Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness.’