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SermonThe Light of the Lord
An all-creatures Bible Message

The Light of the Lord
 
A Sermon Delivered to
The Compassion Internet Church
 
9 February 2014
 
Frank L. Hoffman, Pastor

Scripture References

Psalm 112:1-10
Isaiah 58:1-14
Matthew 5:13-16

The light of the Lord is most often seen in the lives of true Christians who live in the heavenly will of God.
 
These are the Christians who bring the Lordís Prayer into our everyday lives by living our Fatherís heavenly will here on earth.
 
This isnít just reciting the Lordís Prayer by rote; this is living Godís heavenly will as a witness against evildoers of this world, and as an encouragement to those who truly seek the Lord.
 
As we look at Psalm 112:1-10, note how the psalmist expresses living in the light of the Lord as a way of exposing the evil of this world that hides in the darkness.

1. Praise the LORD!
How blessed is the man who fears the LORD,
Who greatly delights in His commandments.

There are some things in the Bible that appear to be commandments, but they are cruel and ungodly. We need to follow the commandments confirmed by Jesus and some of the prophets  that lead us into living in the heavenly will of God, where there is no suffering or mourning or death.
 
These are the commandments that we are to delight in.

2. His descendants will be mighty on earth;
The generation of the upright will be blessed.
 
3. Wealth and riches are in his house,
And his righteousness endures forever.

The wealth and riches referred to here are not necessarily tangible; they may also be spiritual.

4. Light arises in the darkness for the upright;
He is gracious and compassionate and righteous.

Itís the light of the Lord that drives away the darkness of this corrupted and evil world.
 
We need to remember that all of the warring madness in the world, and all of the horrible things that are happening to animals on factory farms, in slaughterhouses, in laboratories, and elsewhere, are all part of this evil and corrupted world.
 
And itís the light of the Lord that discloses all this evil, so that we will not be a part of it, or consume the products of these evil acts.

5. It is well with the man who is gracious and lends;
He will maintain his cause in judgment.
 
6. For he will never be shaken;
The righteous will be remembered forever.
 
7. He will not fear evil tidings;
His heart is steadfast, trusting in the LORD.
 
8. His heart is upheld, he will not fear,
Until he looks with satisfaction on his adversaries.
 
9. He has given freely to the poor;
His righteousness endures forever;
His horn will be exalted in honor.

These are the things that happen when we are walking humbly with God, and living in His heavenly will.

10. The wicked will see it and be vexed;
He will gnash his teeth and melt away;
The desire of the wicked will perish.
NASB

These are the people who live in the ungodly and evil ways of this corrupted world and cause so much pain, suffering, bloodshed, and death.
 
And even though these people may seem to prosper from their evil deeds for a time, in the end they will all receive the judgment of the Lord, and gnash their teeth.
 
As we look at Isaiah 58:1-14, we see the Lord laying out the difference between those who are living in the heavenly will of God, and those who have chosen to live in the ungodly ways of this corrupted world.

1. Cry loudly, do not hold back;
Raise your voice like a trumpet,
And declare to My people their transgression,
And to the house of Jacob their sins.

God is telling Isaiah to speak out boldly, and to not hold anything back, just as we are to do. We are to peacefully stand up to sins and corruption, and do everything in our power to prevent it from hurting any other living beings.
 
We hope we all remember that God changed the name of Jacob (a deceiver) to Israel (one who wrestles with God for righteousness); thus, when we see the name ďJacobĒ used as it is here in this verse, we are viewing a nation who is trying to deceive God.
 
With this in mind, letís return to Isaiahís message as God speaks:

2. "Yet they seek Me day by day, and delight to know My ways,
As a nation that has done righteousness,
And has not forsaken the ordinance of their God.
They ask Me for just decisions,
They delight in the nearness of God.

These are people who look religious on the outside, particularly when they are in a house of worship. We call it ďplaying church,Ē for when they are away from the eyes of those in their house of worship, they live a very worldly lifestyle.
 
So when the people askÖ

3. 'Why have we fasted and Thou dost not see?
Why have we humbled ourselves and Thou dost not notice?'
Behold, on the day of your fast you find your desire,
And drive hard all your workers.

Is it any wonder that God doesnít answer them the way they want?

4. "Behold, you fast for contention and strife and to strike with a wicked fist.
You do not fast like you do today to make your voice heard on high.
 
5. "Is it a fast like this which I choose, a day for a man to humble himself?
Is it for bowing one's head like a reed,
And for spreading out sackcloth and ashes as a bed?
Will you call this a fast, even an acceptable day to the LORD?
 
6. "Is this not the fast which I choose,
To loosen the bonds of wickedness,
To undo the bands of the yoke,
And to let the oppressed go free,
And break every yoke?

And letís not forget that billions of animals are being horribly oppressed every day by our society that considers animals to be nothing more than objects, rather than the living beings that God created them to be.

7. "Is it not to divide your bread with the hungry,
And bring the homeless poor into the house;
When you see the naked, to cover him;
And not to hide yourself from your own flesh?

Until these kinds of people truly repent, and return to living in the heavenly will of God, they will not receive the answers they seek; but when they doÖ

8. "Then your light will break out like the dawn,
And your recovery will speedily spring forth;
And your righteousness will go before you;
The glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.

This is the light of the Lord that chases away or spotlights the darkness of the evil ways of the earth, so that we can take a stand against them and avoid them.

9. "Then you will call, and the LORD will answer;
You will cry, and He will say, 'Here I am.
'If you remove the yoke from your midst,
The pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness,
 
10. And if you give yourself to the hungry,
And satisfy the desire of the afflicted,
Then your light will rise in darkness,
And your gloom will become like midday.

Even a spark of light will destroy the darkness in our physical world, and it works the same way in Godís spiritual realm.

11. "And the LORD will continually guide you,
And satisfy your desire in scorched places,
And give strength to your bones;
And you will be like a watered garden,
And like a spring of water whose waters do not fail.
 
12. "And those from among you will rebuild the ancient ruins;
You will raise up the age-old foundations;
And you will be called the repairer of the breach,
The restorer of the streets in which to dwell.
 
13. "If because of the sabbath, you turn your foot
From doing your own pleasure on My holy day,
And call the sabbath a delight, the holy day of the LORD honorable,
And shall honor it, desisting from your own ways,
From seeking your own pleasure,
And speaking your own word,
 
14. Then you will take delight in the LORD,
And I will make you ride on the heights of the earth;
And I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father,
For the mouth of the LORD has spoken." 
NASB

The heritage of Jacob is the Promised Land, which God promised Abraham. And today, our heritage as true believers, who are filled with the Holy Spirit, is the promise of heaven.
 
Our Bible passage from Matthew 5:13-16 is also part of the Sermon on the Mount, and these verses follow the Beatitudes we discussed last week.

13. "You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how will it be made salty again? It is good for nothing anymore, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.

People, who are truly the salt of the earth, are the people who continually live in the heavenly will of God, and follow the compassionate and peaceful teaching of Jesus.
 
They are constantly standing between good and evil to ward off the evil in their efforts to help free creation from its corruption, including all the violence, bloodshed, and death of millions of our fellow human beings and billions of animals every year.
 
Unfortunately there are people who pretend to be the salt of the earth, just as they ďplay church.Ē These are the people who unfortunately lose the saltiness and become tasteless, and their efforts become useless.

14. "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.

People who are the light of the world are also the people who live in the heavenly will of God and follow the compassionate and peaceful teachings of Jesus.
 
And, the light they shine is the light of the Lord, which cannot really be faked, because most other people can quickly tell if the light is coming from God, or from the personís own pride.
 
This is the kind of thing that Jesus is referring to when He tells us that a city on a hill cannot be hidden.
 
People will see the true light; they may not respond to it or accept it in their hearts and souls, but they will nevertheless see it.

15. "Nor do men light a lamp, and put it under the peck-measure, but on the lampstand; and it gives light to all who are in the house.

True Christians never try to hide their light; it is there for all to see. SoÖ

16. "Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

This is all part of having the light of the Lord shine through us.
 
This is all part of being peacemaking children of God.
 
Amen.

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