Walk as Children of Light

Text: Ephesians 5:1-2, 6-21       Theme: Walk as children of light / Pastor Don Mossman

Introduction

He was a student who had many things going for him – intelligent, athletic, and a budding artist.  He also had a few bad habits.  On one difficult occasion he was encouraged by the authorities at university to turn his life around or return to his parent’s home.  One evening in my office the young man showed me a charcoal drawing he had done of a young man whose face was bright as if a light was shining on it.  Yet the remainder of his head and shoulders were still in the dark and difficult to make out.  Looking more closely, you could see a reflection in his eyes, the reflection of a cross.  His admission was, “I’m not there yet, but I’m on my way thanks to the cross of Christ.”   I don’t know what had happened to him after finishing college.  But He had direction, and the cross of Christ was the magnet that led the way.  He was walking in the light of Christ.

I.  Shining light in the darkness of life

A.  Jesus walked among those living in darkness

  1. Nicodemus, a prominent Pharisee, saw Jesus as a remarkable person and wanted to know more about him. Not wanting anyone to see him, he determined to come to Jesus under the cover of darkness. Jesus’ advise to him: “You must be born again.  Nicodemus was confused.  “How can one enter his mother’s womb to be born again?  He was struggling, asking, wondering, who is this man? But still, he walked in darkness.   
  2. In our text Paul states, “at one time you were in darkness but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light.” The Christian lives in an overlapping of ages, but decisive rescue from the present evil age has already taken place.  Jesus lived among those living in darkness of the day involved in idol worship and its accompanying sexual immorality, in scams, violence and greediness, to those who walked in darkness day and night.
  3. Jesus also knew of and felt a deeper darkness, that of the sin of all the world. Though we are the children of light, darkness still openly swirls around us: sexual sins, pornography, envy, murder, war, terrorism, violence, addictions, not to mention the many frailties that affect us as a result of sin in the world. He took upon himself the punishment of that sin, and darkness swirled around him that Passion Week, a time of deception, betrayal, anger, cursing, blood, and condemnation. And he dies in that darkness for us. 
  4. Though it wasn’t immediately apparent, the darkness is beginning to collapse. Though the power of darkness swirled around Jesus, the darkness of the tomb and death are shattered by the light of the blazing flash of the resurrection.  Now in the reflection of our eyes is the cross, a symbol of Christ’s victory, of our victory.

II.  Shine Jesus, shine

B.  The cross makes all the difference in the world.

  1. Jesus says amid the darkness you are the children of light, the beloved of the Lord.  Thus we walk as children of light, in the Spirit of the Lord.  We let our light shine, so others may see our good works and glorify our Father in heaven.  And as such we need to be about our Father’s business, being filled with the Spirit, speaking the truth, being sexually moral, doing an honest day’s work, sharing our gifts, practicing kindness, tenderness, and forgiving.  Romans 12:1-2, Because of the mercies of God, present your lives as living sacrifices…”  5:1-2: “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children.  And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”
  2. Of those sanctifying actions we are noted in our text and which we are encouraged to practice, let me speak of one, namely kindness. I am reminded of a bumper sticker some years back: “Practice random acts of kindness.”  My wife and I have tried that in the Woods coffee drive through, careful to tell the server to let us get away before she tells them their coffee has been paid for.  You can and perhaps should do those random acts of kindness, but we also are encouraged to walk in the light of the resurrection, to be at home in the light, not just random flashes of light.   Paul encourages us to be at home with kindness.  Words of kindness, in deeds of love, smiles and a helping hand at the grocery store, visiting the sick, feeding the homeless, the many things God does among us as a congregation, and you do as a natural practice in your life.

Conclusion

I think all of you have heard or know the little children’s gospel song, “This little gospel light of mine, I’m going to let it shine.”  Do you know how the other verses go?  1) All around the neighborhood; 2) hide it under a bushel, NO; 3) don’t let Satan blow it out; 4) all around Washington.   God bless your walk in the light.

 

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