Season 2, Episode 21
For Monday, August 31, 2015
“Shining the Light in Our Communities” Part 1
Welcome to The New You, where we focus on maintaining and accentuating the new that Christ has created in you. I’m Robert Hatfield, and here is today’s scripture:
He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8).
We have talked in recent days about some of the moral and biblical depravity that exists in our culture. What can Christians do to interject light into our communities? How can we reach people for Jesus in a way that will truly impact their lives?
Today and tomorrow, the Lord willing, I want us to think about that very question. I think it begins with identifying the source of the problem and opening our eyes to the reality.
1. Identify the source of the problem.
Let’s face it: the problems that we see in our society stem from Satan and sin. John said, “He who sins is of the devil” (1 John 3:8). Jesus did not hesitate to point out the same thing in John 8:44, when He said: “You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do.” Those who give in to Satan’s temptations make themselves servants of Satan. We are the servants of the one to whom we yield (Rom. 6:16).
So the problems that we see in our culture – perversions of biblical love, abortion, shootings, prejudice, and so on – all stem from sin. This is an important realization, especially for Christians, because it helps us to see even more the need for Jesus in our world. He is the only solution to the world’s problems. We must identify the source of evil to understand the true need for the solution.
2. Open your eyes to the reality.
I think some people are in denial about some of the evil that goes on around us. Further, I’m afraid that their denial causes them to unknowingly contribute to the problem. Take, for example, the problem of prejudice. I have personally heard Christians make prejudicious remarks while maintaining that prejudice is merely someone being too sensitive or paranoid.
We have to open our eyes! Prejudice is a real and terrible problem in our culture. I’m here to tell you that it’s a problem among some Christians! It seems as though it always has been. The Bible repeatedly cautions against having a prejudicial mindset.
Jesus told the parable of the great supper in Luke 14:15-24 and, in so doing, taught against the mindset of preferring some people over other people. That is, of showing prejudice to some, while going “all out” for others. James cautions against the same thing in James 2:1-13. When Jesus discussed the Judgment Day in Matthew 25, He taught that we will judged, at least in part, by how we treated those who were in need.
In each of these situations – and in others of which the Bible speaks – we see that showing favoritism is firmly rebuked. If I think that someone else is inferior to me, then I have a problem because that mindset doesn’t match the Bible’s teachings. If I treat someone differently simply because they are different from me or I don’t like them for whatever reason, then I have a problem because those actions are not in line with Biblical teaching.
Let’s wrap it up: Shining the light of Jesus into our dark culture means being proactive. We must do something! I believe that doing something begins with identifying the source of the problem and opening or eyes to the reality of our dark world.
Memory Verse: We have an obligation to those in sin – especially to our brothers and sisters in Christ. Galatians 6:1 is an important verse to memorize.
Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted (Gal. 6:1).
Thanks for listening to The New You. This podcast is brought to you by The Light Network. Visit us online at thelightnetwork.tv. Please subscribe to The New You in iTunes or in your favorite podcast app to automatically receive each new episode.
Tomorrow, I have three more things that Christians can do to shine our lights into our communities for Jesus. Please join me then for The New You.