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3-22-2017 Light And Darkness

“And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day” (Genesis 1:4-5 NKJV). Has anyone who believes in “Evolution” ever come up with an explanation for how “light” separated from “darkness?” Since “God is light and in Him is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5 NKJV), being in “darkness” spiritually describes lives without God’s influence and instruction. Solomon said, “the fool walks in darkness” (Ecclesiastes 2:13-14 NKJV). Jesus said: “Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you; he who walks in darkness does not know where he is going’” (John 12:35 NKJV).  His Gospel calls sinners “out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9 NKJV). “He who believes and is baptized will be saved (Mark 16:16 NKJV).

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#darkness, #light, #sin

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12-29-2016 Another Year Of Darkness

“Then God said, ‘Let there be light;’ and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day” (Genesis 1:3-5 NKJV).  From the first day of the Creation, God wants us to know the difference between Day and Night, darkness and light.  The prophet Daniel said, God “knows what is in the darkness, And light dwells with Him” (Daniel 2:22 NKJV).  Solomon said, “The way of the wicked is like darkness; They do not know what makes them stumble” (Proverbs 4:19 NKJV).  There are some people who stumbled into 2016, through 2016, and are planning to stumble into 2017.  They haven’t figured out yet, “what makes them stumble.”  Don’t waste another year in darkness!

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#darkness, #day, #light, #night, #stumble

Oh beautiful star of Bethlehem, right?

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and such a saying becomes spiritually personified throughout the scriptures. One place where this is evident is found in Matthew 2 when the light of an uncommon star leads the way unto an uncommon child.

To one group the star symbolized a reason to hope while to another it symbolized a reason to hate.

To one group the star symbolized a reason to rejoice while to another it symbolized a reason to be remorseful.

To one group the star symbolized a reason to praise while to another it symbolized a reason to plot.

To one group the star symbolized a reason to give worship while to another it symbolized a reason to show wrath.

One light caused opposite reactions within the hearts of men, but such a small light would only be a shadow of sorts to the behavior that was on the horizon in regards to this child of Bethlehem (John 3:19-21).

For now we must decide how we will react to God’s leading light and we must choose carefully for the way we see beauty may not necessarily reflect the awe that this former child will produce one day when the star from a distance gives way to the star that will dawn in an up-close and personal way. Even then the “star” will produce different reactions, but this time it won’t be within the power of man to reject what they see!

For when we gave you news of the power and the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, our teaching was not based on stories put together by art, but we were eye-witnesses of his glory. For God the Father gave him honour and glory, when such a voice came to him out of the great glory, saying, This is my dearly loved Son, with whom I am well pleased. And this voice came from heaven even to our ears, when we were with him on the holy mountain. And so the words of the prophets are made more certain; and it is well for you to give attention to them as to a light shining in a dark place, till the dawn comes and the morning star is seen in your hearts;” (2 Peter 1:16-19 – BBE)

#darkness, #jesus-christ, #jesus-birth, #jesus-return, #light

Sermon Starter from Ecclesiastes

“Truly the light is sweet, And it is pleasant for the eyes to behold the sun; But if a man lives many years And rejoices in them all, Yet let him remember the days of darkness, For they will be many. All that is coming is vanity” (Ecclesiastes 11:7-8). 

Introduction:

A. Lay out the purpose of Ecclesiastes.

B. Trace the role of the sun in Ecclesiastes.

Three Points:

1. Christians should value the blessings of walking in the light (John 8:12; 1 John 1:7; Ephesians 1:3).

2. Christians should remember the lessons of the darkness [when we have sinned & come through challenges by God’s grace and mercy] (Romans 12:1-2).

3. Christians should be preparing for the future and be ready for judgment (Revelation 20:11-15).

I will leave the rest to you.

#christians, #darkness, #ecclesiastes, #light, #sermon, #wisdom

Faith Must be in the Right Things

Sometimes things happen that are perfect illustrations of what you have just preached. Tonight was one of those times.

Today, I preached twice on faith and how we must trust God in prayer and walk in faith like Abraham. As we were leaving the parking lot, we were startled by a sudden appearance.

Our Church building is on a highway, which is lined on both sides by sidewalks. The road is straight for many miles and people walk and ride bicycles down the sidewalks.

However,  when we were leaving, it was dark. As we were almost at the entrance and about to pull out into the highway, we saw a blur and a man zipped by on a bicycle. It scared all of us in the car!

Be clear on the situation here: We have a black man wearing dark gray clothes on a black bicycle riding fast down a sidewalk at night. He saw my white car and didn’t slow down because he had faith that I would see him. Instead, he should have asked HOW I was supposed to see him!

We must have faith in God (Hebrews 11:6) because God is all-powerful (Jeremiah 32:17) and all-knowing (1 John 3:20). He is loving, gentle and compassionate and has created heaven for us to stay for all eternity (John 14:1-6), if we are His children (Galatians 3:27; Romans 6:3-4).

Faith in fallible human beings is nothing like God. We can love and trust certain people in our lives, knowing they can let us down despite their best intentions (Romans 3:23). We must give them the latitude to be human without allowing their inherent weaknesses to destroy our faith in them.

Faith in people who don’t know or care anything about us is foolish.

The man on the bicycle had a misguided faith that could have ended his life. Accordingly, it was a faith that was in vain. As he zoomed past driveways and businesses, was his faith such that he refused to stop, no matter what? That would be absurdly reckless!

Be aware that God is always worthy of our faith. However, faith in man is often a dangerous proposition. This is why we do not allow children to make these kinds of decisions because they do not understand the evils and dangers that exist in the world. When we are adults and we still don’t understand, we are a danger to ourselves and others.

 

#danger, #darkness, #faith, #night

The Dark Life

If you surround yourself with darkness, don’t be surprised that you have trouble seeing the light.

Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” (John 8:12).

#darkness

Harsh Words

To me, clearly one of the most challenging things that Jesus said was:

“Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’; and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.’ He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find” (Matthew 10:34-39).

We see the fruits of this everyday. They are not willing to pay the price necessary to submit to God. Their flesh is still predominant.

The most chilling moment for me at the cross was when darkness fell upon the world. I am continually in awe at the depth of the Bible’s teachings on light and darkness.  “The way of the wicked is like darkness; They do not know what makes them stumble” (Proverbs 4:19).

People walk in darkness and do not make sound decisions. It skews their perceptions of the world and they do not attribute the proper value to things. Hence, they cannot leave their overcome their own fleshly desires and come to Christ (James 4:10).

#cross, #darkness, #decisions, #light