Sermon on the Mount

Episode 11

  “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

Matthew 5:14-16

For too many in the church today there is a focus on the darkness.  Our denomination decides on what sin is and then we spout hate and division.  Don’t get me wrong here, sin leads to death.  There is no question on that.  Our focus first must be on our own sin.

  “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?  How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

Matthew 7: 3-5

Socrates is given credit for saying that, “An unexamined life is not worth living.”  Examine your life and cleanse yourself you doubleminded! 

The light of the modern church is dimmed.  We have forsaken the poor and put our focus on large church facilities.  We claim this is the light of the world showing the power of God.  However, remember who it was that promised the riches of the world to Jesus.  Many of these large churches do have large numbers of people come to faith. But how many develop the heart of God to go into the inner cities?  The light must show up to light the way for those who spend their lives viewing pornography, oppressing others, those that are feeling hopeless and more. 

I am not saying ignore sin.  We must call it out.  What I have discovered as I have now routinely examined my choices and my own heart is that ALL of my sin stems from me trying to meet a legitimate need in a way that dishonors God.  More and more I am better able to recognize the need and my temptation to meet it with some sort of idol worship.  The recognition is powerful, and I can turn to God. 

“Jesus I am lonely.  Jesus I am afraid.  Jesus, I don’t know what to do.”  Sometimes I discover that I put too much stock into what people think of me or my identity is wrapped up in some false image.  When I am successful at repenting and turning toward God I can become the light.  I shine brighter.  The light is not on me but is actually on the King.  My God protects me, He defends me and He can do the same for you.  Just trust in Him.  I know you hurt.  I understand because I often hurt too.  Turn to God and ask Him to cleanse you so that you can be a city shining on the hill that beckons people to come to you because you represent hope, healing and salvation.

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