Tuesday, February 22, 2011
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When I'm on a plane I usually don't have much time for looking out the window; I usually have a lot of work to take with me. But one night I caught a view that was very distracting. My son happened to be with me on this trip, so I pointed it out to him. There was literally a line in the sky. On one side there was the glow of the setting sun. It was day in that half of the sky. The other side was pitch black, and everything on that side, of course, was like very night. Now, I don't know all the scientific explanations for this; I'm not going to get into the meteorology. I just know what I saw. I poked my son, I got his headphones off his head so he knew what I was saying, and I pointed excitedly toward that startling contrast. And I said, "Look! It's the line between night and day!"
Well, I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Line Between Night and Day."
Our word for today from the Word of God comes from 1 Thessalonians chapter 5. I'll begin reading in verse 5. "You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. So then, let us not be like others who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled. For those who sleep, sleep at night. And those who get drunk, get drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. Therefore, encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing."
Well, I saw it in the sky that night, and I see it in the scripture today. There's a line between night and day. It's clear-cut and you belong to one side or the other. It says you belong to the day or the night in this passage. Now that line runs right through your school, right through your neighborhood, right through the place you work. Probably there are less people on the side of the day then on the side of the night, but it's a clear-cut line.
Now, do you know where you belong? See, the indicator of spiritual life in you is that you know you're out of place when you're in the dark; when the language, or the humor suddenly is dark, you start to get uneasy. You know you don't belong there. When the conversation turns negative, critical, when sin is being passed off as normal or good, I hope you hear that voice in you saying, "Hey, you don't belong here. This isn't home. It's night on this side."
Now, this passage gives us three identifying marks of daytime people. One, it says they're alert. That means you're distinguishing right from wrong and you're able to get out as soon as you can tell that this is the lie of the devil, "This isn't true, even though everybody's buying it." You're not careless; you're wide awake.
Secondly, you're self-controlled if you're a daytime person. That means that your glands, your schedule, your family, your temper are under control. Day people are like that; night people aren't.
Thirdly, it says you're an encouraging person if you're a daytime person. You're one of those builder-uppers. I wonder, how do people feel after they've been around you? Do they feel lighter or darker? Have you built them up, or have you been critical - torn them down; made them feel anything but important? Maybe you've been living too close to that line. Your temper keeps crossing into the night; your humor, your thoughts, your physical involvement with someone else. Or maybe it's an attitude or an action that's just too dark for a day person like you. You don't belong there.
Remember where you belong...on the bright side of that line between night and day.