Wednesday, August 15, 2018
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Treasure Island, A Child's Garden of Verses-those are just some of the literary classics written by Robert Louis Stevenson. He must have had a way with words from the time he was a boy. Anne Graham Lotz tells of a night in his boyhood when his nanny just couldn't get him to bed. Young Robert just kept staring out the window, oblivious to her talking to him. Finally, she said, "Robert, what in the world are you looking at out there?" As she pulled back the curtain, she realized he was watching the lamplighter making his way down the street, lighting one street lamp after another. Young Robert Louis Stevenson saw something more. He said, "Look at that man! He's punching holes in the darkness!"
I'm Ron Hutchcraft, and I want to have A Word With You today about "Punching Holes in the Darkness."
What an awesome description of the reason God has placed you where you are! You're not there to shake your head and bemoan how dark it is where you work or go to school or whatever your environment. You're there to punch holes in the darkness! So, how are you doing on that so far?
Well, let's listen to what Jesus said in Matthew 5:14-16, our word for today from the Word of God. If you belong to Jesus, He's including you in this. "You are the light of the world." Wow! Think of your personal world and people in your world. Jesus says you are their light. He goes on to say, "A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp or 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 men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven."
Look, we live in a pretty dark world, right. But it is not a world without light unless the Christian in a situation fails to punch holes in the darkness by living like Jesus would live there, treating people like Jesus would treat people there, and handling situations and temptations as Jesus would handle them. So many of Jesus' followers don't realize who they are-His personal representative in their personal world.
You punch another hole in the darkness every time you show up with joy instead of gloom on your face, with good things to say instead of griping, every time you stop for someone who's struggling, when you consciously put someone else ahead of you, when you insist on taking the high road when it's tempting to cut corners, every time you weep with someone who's weeping, or you rejoice with someone who's rejoicing, and when you reach out to someone who's really been acting pretty unloveable.
The lost folks around you probably won't be all that impressed with your don'ts or all the religious meetings you go to. No, they need to see meaningful differences in you because of Christ in you.
But it isn't enough that they just see that you're different. They need to know why, or they'll never be able to get out of the darkness themselves. They need Jesus. See, He put you in their life so they could find out what Jesus did for them on the cross; so they could find out from someone who's living proof that Jesus is alive and how they, too, could have a life-changing relationship with Him. Have you told them about your Jesus yet?
Humanly speaking, you may very well be their best chance at heaven-or maybe their only chance. They could watch you for the rest of your life and they're never going to say, "You know, Charlie's such a nice guy. I'll bet Jesus died on the cross for my sins." They're not going to figure that out. You have to tell them that.
Every morning, before your Lord, tell Him and tell yourself, "I am the light of my world." And go out there, showing a harsh and lonely and self-serving world that there's another way to be. Defy the darkness wherever you go. Punch holes in the darkness with the brilliant light of Jesus Christ that lives in you!