How aware are we? God has made us light; God made us lights. In the same way that he made OT Israel a light to the nations, we are called to be light and lights.
Light is a common theme in Scripture. Consider these passages: Ps. 27:1ff; Isa. 49:6; Acts 13:47; Isa. 42:6. Further, We are light, Mt. 5:14; the Bible is light, Ps. 119:105; Jesus is light, Luke 2:32, John 8:12; 1:1-9; 3:16-21.
Light is desirable, Eccl. 11:7; 1 John 1:5-10; Ps. 56:13 (because it illuminates); Eph. 5:11-17; 1 Thess. 5:7. We are to be children of light, 1 Thess. 5:5. God is identified with light, James 1:17; He called us to light, 1 Pet. 2:9; Christians are to abide in the light, 1 John 2:8-10; light can purify, Paul was called to turn people to light, Act. 26:18,23. We are to wear the armor of light, Rom. 13:12. Light excludes darkness, 2 Cor. 6:14. God wants his light to shine, 2 Cor. 4:3-6.
Because God wants His light to shine, He has made us lights. Every Christian is called to be a light, Matt. 5:14. We are children of light, characterized by light, abiding in light, turning others to light, wearing the armor of light.
I. The Need for Light--The Necessity of the Charge
The cause of the charge is the challenge and crisis before us in our world.
The world is in sin, darkness, degradation, despair, despondency, deceit, damnation, danger, deadness, debauchery, decadence, deception, decline, default, defeat, defiance, deficiency, degeneracy, delusion, demolition, demonic control, departure, deplorable, depravation, depression, deprivation, desecration, deserving death, desperate, destined to the depths of desolation...
There is a great need for light in this world of darkness. Our world needs those who will step up and provide light.
II. The Compliment of the Charge
When God gives to us this charge to be light, he demonstrates His confidence in us, our responsibility. He believes we can do it; He believes this church can take the light of the gospel to the world, to this state, to this city. He believes you will take the light to your friends and neighbors when you realize that you have been given that charge.
III. The Completeness of the Charge
This is an exclusive charge: I have made you a light, given you to be the light of this world. Individually we are lights, but collectively we are the light, witness to the light, bearers of the light. None other but as a Christians has been given this charge. This is an exclusive charge, given only to God's people. None other is to do the task for us; God has commanded his light to sine.
IV. The Cause of the Charge--the Purpose of the Command
The world needs light. That is the purpose. The world needs light; the light is for the world more than for the church, 1 John 1:6-7. Those in darkness need the light to illuminate their way. They need also to become light. The lost need the light to escape the darkness. People need to see that you are a Christian. Do your friends, neighbors, co-workers see the light of God in you?
What kind of light are you?
There are many kinds of lights. Neon lights flash on and off, inconsistent, not much good for continual guidance, flashy, calling a lot of attention to self. Candle--too little light to do much good. Coleman lantern, flashlight, spotlight, floodlight. There is artificial light, natural light. Are you artificial? There is soft light vs. glaring light. Which are we? There are high beams and low beams. Some light is blinding. Some drivers are always on high, so much light that it blinds the oncoming traffic. Some Christians don't know where the dimmer switch is, so a man in darkness comes out of darkness into light but can't see any more in the light than he could in the darkness. If one must become accustomed to the light, it is also true that one can become accustomed to the darkness.
There are bulbs of different wattaches. For any light to shine, it has to be hooked up to the power source. Jesus is our light, he provides the power for our lights.
I have made you a light. What kind of light are you? Will you help the light of the gospel spread into this city? This is the purpose of the charge--that the world might turn to the light and be illuminated with the presence of the light of the world.
V. The Possiblity of the Charge--the Challenge of the Command
God has not asked us to do the impossible. It is possible for us to be light, to share the news. Mt. 28:18-20; Mk. 16:15-16; Lk. 24:44-47.
VI. The Urgency of the Charge--the Crisis of the Command
2 Cor. 6:2. We must be light now, some want to wait to be light. Some want to be Christians longer, want to know more, what to have better opportunities.
Some want to wait to be connected to the power source. We can never be light outside of Jesus Christ. This is the urgency of the command. I have made you light.
Consider then the cause, the overwhelming nature of darkness in this world. The cure is in the light. The crisis of unbelief before us challenges as never before. Consider the commitment, and the cost, and make your decision. God has made you a light.