Jesus Christ: The True Light

Christmas is a season of hope, joy and peace. Jesus is the central reason that we celebrate this joyous time of year. The gifts, family time, food, etc. mean nothing unless Christ is in the center of it. He is the light that came to a broken, dark world. In this study, we will see how in the midst of darkness, a light came to us from heaven. And that light is Jesus.

The people who walk in darkness will see a great light. For those who live in a land of deep darkness, a light will shine. –Isaiah 9:2

  • God uses Isaiah to prophecy the coming Messiah. God promises his people that he will send a King to save them.
  • The people of Israel had endured many hardships and those who were faithful were looking and waiting for him to come. 
  • They had lived in darkness and were awaiting the light of the world.
  • Are you waiting and anticipating that light this Christmas season?

Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the reign of King Herod. About that time some wise men from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose, and we have come to worship him.” –Matthew 2:1-2

  • The time had come when God sent his son to be born into this world. The three wise men that came from the eastern lands were following the star that God had placed in the sky.
  • The star was so bright amidst the darkness. Christ is our light in a world of darkness.
  • Are you worshiping that light this Christmas?

So when Mary and Joseph came to present the baby Jesus to the Lord as the law required, Simeon was there. He took the child in his arms and praised God, saying, “Sovereign Lord, now let your servant die in peace, as you have promised. I have seen your salvation, which you have prepared for all people. He is a light to reveal God to the nations, and he is the glory of your people Israel!” –Luke 2:27-32

  • Simeon was a faithful man of God and he was eagerly waiting the coming of the Messiah. 
  • He fulfills Isaiah’s prophecy when he says “he is a light to reveal God to the nations.” (v. 32)
  • God is always faithful to his promises. Just as he was to Abraham, Jacob, & David, he fulfilled his promise by bringing the light of heaven to a dying world of sin.
  • Are you eagerly awaiting for God’s glory and fulfillment of his promises?

Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.” –John 8:12

  • How amazing is it that Jesus confirmed everything that God, Isaiah, and Simeon had spoken. 
  • Jesus says if we follow the true light we won’t have to walk in darkness.
  • If we follow the light we will have life in Christ. We will no longer live in the darkness of this world.
  • This Christmas, are you wrapped up in the hustle & bustle of the season or are you celebrating the true light from heaven?

Take some time to ponder everything that God did for you during this season. He sent his son as a baby to grow up and show us what it really means to follow. His life on earth is our light that we can follow. And we have a hope of salvation because he became our ultimate sacrifice. Never forget the true light of Christmas and our faith:  Jesus.

Advertisements

Sermon on the Mount: Jesus Teaches About Lust

Lust is a tough issue to deal with because I know we have or will deal with it in our lives. But there is hope is Christ. My prayer for you is David’s outpouring to God in Psalm 51:10, “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”

Matthew 5:27-28 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

  • The 7th Commandment says, “You shall not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14). The leaders in the synagogue (Pharisees, Saducees, etc.) at the time believed that outward adultery was wrong but Jesus is stating here that adultery is not only an outward sinful action but it is also a sin of the heart. He was clarifying that anyone who had the desire within their heart and lingered on it was committing a sin. 
  • Barclay explains further, “The man whom Jesus here condemns is the man who deliberately uses his eyes to stimulate his desires; the man who finds a strange delight in things which waken the desire for the forbidden thing. To the pure all things are pure. But the man whose heart is defiled can look at any scene and find something in it titillate and excite the wrong desire.”
  • Warren Wiersbe explains that, “sexual impurity begins in the desires of the heart. The “look” that Jesus mentioned was not a casual glance, but a constant stare with the purpose of lusting.” Jesus is not saying here that if you have the desire in your heart that you should go ahead and give in to the lustful actions. Acting out sinful desires is harmful in many ways. The Life Application Study Bible explains that 1. It causes people to excuse sin rather than to stop sinning; 2. it destroys marriages; 3. it is deliberate rebellion against God’s Word 4. it always hurts someone else in addition to the sinner. – We should never leave sinful desires unchecked, but take them to the Lord and lay them at his feet.
  • Why is lust and sexual desire outside of God’s authority wrong? Paul explains in 1 Corinthians 6:19, “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own.” God gave us our body so we could serve him. We are not serving him if we indulge in the pleasures of this world. Our body is a temple to be taken care of and we can do that by obeying God.
  • David Guzik goes further in saying that, “This principle applies to much more than men looking at women. It applies to just about anything we can covet with the eye or mind.” Do you lust for things of this world? Are your thoughts consumed with things other than Christ?

Matthew 5:29-30, “If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.”

  • Jesus gives a figurative picture of what we should do to get rid of the ungodly desires of our flesh. He is not speaking literally here. We could cut off our hand and gouge out an eye but we can still have sinful desires with our hearts and minds. Jesus wants us to purge these thoughts and desires from our spiritual lives and the only way to do that is through Him. Colossians 3:5 says, “Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.” 
  • David Guzik explains that we must sacrifice our desires to be obedient to Christ. It is better to experience the pain of removal of our sins and desires here on earth than to pay for them in eternity. Don’t compromise your sins for eternity in Heaven.
  • God is a God of forgiveness and love. Let his love become more than your desire for the pleasures and thrills of the world. Set your thoughts and desires on him and he will give you a new heart. Colossians 3:2, “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”

Here are some solid verses to hide in your heart considering how to deal with sinful desires. Read and memorize these and hold them close in times of temptation and weakness.

Romans 13:13-14, “Because we belong to the day, we must live decent lives for all to see. Don’t participate in the darkness of wild parties and drunkenness, or in sexual promiscuity and immoral living, or in quarreling and jealousy. Instead, CLOTHE yourself with the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. And don’t let yourself think about ways to indulge your evil desires.”