The nation of Israel had abandoned God and His principles. Things had gotten so bad that dark and evil were assumed to be normal. Elijah’s job was to be light in that darkness. He would stand up before everyone and say, “Hey, what you’re doing is darkness. God’s way is light.” That is never a fun place to be. Today, let’s just peek into one little part of that story.  As Elijah stands there alone, in opposition to 450 demon worshipping prophets of Baal and the people, this is what he said:

1 Kings 18:21 (NLT) Then Elijah stood in front of them and said, “How much longer will you waver, hobbling between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him! But if Baal is God, then follow him!” But the people were completely silent.

Let’s climb into that silence for a minute, because he’s talking to people who had no context of what was right and what was wrong. Everything they knew was darkness, but they thought it was light because it was the only thing they knew. In fact, when Elijah stood and told them the truth and shared the light, they interpreted that truth from the definitions given to them by the dark world in which they lived.  As Elijah stands there in that moment of silence, he’s saying, “You need to choose.  Are you going to live in the light or continue in the darkness?”

Are you going to live in the light? As we progress through Paul’s words in Ephesians, he writes something similar to Elijah’s proclamation. He asks us to awaken from our slumber and shine as children of light. He wants us to live as light in the world. 

Choose The Light

Don’t Say Wrong is Right. Pauls tell us not to excuse the sins of those who choose darkness. Jesus certainly loved people who rejected the light. He cared for them and He spent time with them. But He didn’t excuse the actions that they took. He didn’t say what they were doing was right.

Ephesians 5:6-9 (NLT) Don’t be fooled by those who try to excuse these sins, for the anger of God will fall on all who disobey Him. 7 Don’t participate in the things these people do. 8 For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light! 9 For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true.

We don’t want to get in a position as Christians where we’re the ones judging the world and telling everyone they’re wrong. But we cannot say that things that are wrong are right. We need to be careful as Christians that we shine the truth of Christ, but we don’t say things that aren’t true. We don’t participate in the works of darkness. We have to choose light over darkness. 

Show Others the Light of Christ.  Though some people might not yet understand or be in a place to hear, it’s important not to leave them behind. They may not be ready for Christ’s light just yet. But how can people who live in the land of darkness ever come to know the light if they are not shown?

Embrace The Light

Jesus is the Ultimate Source of Light.  We need to get a better source  of information for what’s right and what’s wrong. What is Holy and righteous? What is sin and corruption?  If we practice prayer and worship, intent to hear Jesus’ voice, we will discover the darkness in our life. We then should not wallow in guilt but surrender to Christ that He might deliver us from our own darkness.

When we place our sins (or sacrifice) upon “the altar”, they are purified and made holy. Jesus is the sacrifice. Jesus is the altar. He took all of our darkness upon Himself.  We embrace the light by taking all our darkness to Him. This is how we find freedom. If we rationalize our sins, we remain bound to them but, when we turn them over to Jesus (even if we have to do that a million times), then we hand that darkness over to Him.

When we embrace Christ, we fill our lives with light and begin living as people of light.

Shine The Light

There are many ways that we can shine a light in the world.  It’s not enough just to tell people about Christ, we must show them His light.

Matthew 5:14-16 (NLT) “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. 15 No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.

Show Them A God Who Answers Prayer. That’s what Elijah demonstrated that day on the mountain. He stood up before all of the people, asked God to do something and God did it. So if you want to shine the light of hope in people’s lives, start praying for them and start asking God to bless them with the things they need. We can show them a God who answers prayer. 

Show Them A Savior Who Never Leaves. We can shine the light by showing them a Savior who never leaves. That’s why we’re filled with the light because Jesus is in us and He never leaves us. It’s the faithfulness of Jesus that we need to give people.  We need to bring them to Jesus and show them that there’s a Jesus who will never leave them. 

Show Them A Love That Never Lets Go. We need to show them that there’s a love that never lets go and it is very different from the love capable of a human.  Only when Jesus’ love is in me, is it strong. But Jesus loves people. He never leaves them. He never lets go of them. He just keeps pursuing them.

Conclusion

Let’s choose today to live in the light and to be a light to the world. How could we be light in our homes, neighborhoods, churches and communities?  How could we move closer to Christ? How could we love people? We need never declare that wrong things are right. That would not be love or light. 

We could love people where they are and pray that Jesus Christ would change hearts and bring about holiness and righteousness in their lives. We could ask Jesus to change our hearts and produce more holiness and righteousness in our lives.


Talk About It… 

  • Highlight or underline any words or phrases that you find interesting in Ephesians 5:6-9 printed at the beginning of this guide. Discuss your selections with the group.
  • Review 1 Kings 18. What are your thoughts about Elijah and the prophets of Baal? Discuss how a society could become so accustomed to wickedness that they believe they are right?
  • How does this passage (Ephesians 5:6-9) teach us to deal with the sin that fills the culture in which we live? Why is this important? What does Paul cite as the reason this is important?
  • What should we do about the sins and the darkness in our own lives? What discourages us about the sin in our own lives? Do you ever feel like God will give up on you eventually? Why?
  • How could we make prayer a larger part of our relationship with other people? How could we let people know that God answers prayer?
  • Discuss actions that could be taken this week to be Light in your world. 
  • What do you learn about God from this scripture? What do you learn about People?
  • What did you discover that you would be excited to share with a friend?

For The Kids

Video Share link – https://youtu.be/aJITBW4q1og

  • Check out our Partner site – PursueGodKids.org
  • Here is a great one for today
  • At the bottom of the page there are teacher packs for each age group.
    • Select the one appropriate for your children’s ages.
    • There are activity sheets in the teacher pack.

Click Here for link to sermon study guide


POST INFO

Are you going to live in the light? As we progress through Paul’s words in Ephesians, he writes something similar to Elijah’s proclamation. He asks us to awaken from our slumber and shine as children of light. He wants us to live as light in the world. 

Study Guide and Videos Available @

http://ordinaryfaith.net/sermons/rise-and-shine-stand/

Kids Resources Available @

https://www.pursuegodkids.org/obey-your-parents/

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