Is God’s Life-Giving Light!
All I Want for Christmas: Is God’s Life-Giving Light!
One of the most beautiful parts of Christmas are all the brilliant lights of Christmas. It’s wonderful after Thanksgiving to see lights beginning to sprout on houses or to go to the mall and see the incredible displays of trees and lights. Light is beautiful and light is powerful.
Tonight – we are down to our last request from God for our Christmas wish list. As you think about your Christmas wish list – what you would like to ask God to give you for Christmas – as a church family we are going to focus on asking God for the life-giving gift of life.
How important is light? What would happen to our world – if the light of the sun went out? In about 8 minutes – we would all start freezing to death. What happens if you get in your car to drive at night – and you discover that your headlights have burned out? What happens if you get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom and that little night light in the hall stopped working?
Light is critical to every part of our lives. We need the light of the sun to make life possible. We need the light of our cars to travel safely. And we need even the tiny little light of a night light to protect us from falling and cracking our skulls.
Light is essential for each of our lives – and tonight we turn to God to ask God for the most important of all lights – God’s Life-Giving Light! Christmas is our celebration of the greatest of all lights that God sent into our world through the birth of His only begotten son Jesus Christ. Jesus brings us the light that is stronger than the darkness of evil and death. Jesus brings us the light that leads us to abundant life. Jesus brings us the light that is powerful enough to raise us up from death to eternal life in heaven.
Tonight, as you prepare yourself to celebrate Jesus’ birth – I want to encourage you to take a few minutes – to think about what is so special about the light Jesus brings us?
The Prophet Isaiah told the people of Israel – that one day God would send His light into the world through the gift of a Son born to a virgin. Take a careful look at why the light of Jesus is so important.
Isaiah 9:2-7 The people who walk in darkness shall see a great Light that will shine on all who live in the land of the shadow of death. …For a child has been born—for us! The gift of a son—for us! These will be His royal titles: “Wonderful Counselor,” “The Mighty God,” “The Everlasting Father,” “The Prince of Peace.” His ever-expanding government will bring peace and wholeness to the whole world and never end.
The light of Jesus leads us out of the darkness of evil and death into the light of God’s holiness and life. Jesus brings us the light of the Wonderful Counselor – Who shows us the best way to live. Jesus brings us the light of the Mighty God – Who shows us that we are not alone, God is with us to gives us the strength we need to get through every challenge. Jesus brings us the light of the Everlasting Father – seeing clearly that God loves you and calls you His beloved child. Jesus brings you the light of the Prince of Peace – Who heals broken relationships and builds wholeness – so that everyone can live without fear.
Jesus was born – to bring us God’s Life-Giving Light. Why is the light of Jesus so important? Jesus is the light that created the entire universe. Jesus is the light of eternal life – that sustains life in every organism in the entire universe. Jesus’ light has been shining for all eternity – and as relentlessly as the darkness of evil and death have tried to put out Jesus’ light – those forces of darkness have not and will never ever put out the light of Jesus.
John 1:1-5 Before anything else existed, Christ was there, with God. Jesus has always been alive and is Himself God. Jesus created everything there is—nothing exists that He didn’t make. Eternal life is in Jesus, and this life gives light to all humanity. Jesus’ life is the light that shines through the darkness—and the darkness can never overpower His light!
Everybody loves the brightness and beauty of Christmas lights. The reason that we get so excited about the lights of Christmas – is not just because they’re pretty and make us happy. We get excited about lights of Christmas – because Jesus came to bring us the light that leads us out of the darkness of evil and death – and into the life-giving light of God!
Christmas reminds us that light is essential. Light is indeed a matter of life and death. So tonight as you get ready to celebrate Jesus’ birth – and the light that Jesus brings us – it is crucial for you to know for certain if you are celebrating the right light. Is Jesus truly the light of the world – or are there a lot of other lights that can take care of you just as well? Is the light of Jesus – really different from all the other lights the world has seen? Christmas would not be any fun – if you were celebrating a false light – so let’s take a few minutes to examine the evidence together.
EXAMINE the EVIDENCE — Is Jesus Truly the Light of the World?
The Bible teaches us that your decision about the light of Jesus – accepting or rejecting His light – will determine your eternal destiny. Since a lot more is at stake than a nice dinner and a pretty present – you need to be certain – is Jesus truly the light of the world?
John 1:9-12 Jesus gives light to everyone… But even though He made the world, the world didn’t recognize Jesus when he came. He came to His own people, and they rejected Him. But to all who believed Him and accepted Him, Jesus gave them the right to become children of God. All they needed to do was to trust Jesus to save them.
Some people claim that faith in Jesus is just a superstition. If it makes you feel better great – but there is no solid evidence to back up its claims. The Bible reminds us that our faith is not a superstition. Our faith is a reasonable faith based on solid and proven evidence.
Jesus is the Only Person in All of History — WHO:
- Fulfilled 400 Prophecies
- Performed at least 37 Miracles
- Never sinned. Never accused of Sin.
- Worked hard to go to Sinners and offer God’s Forgiveness and Restoration.
- Died to forgive sinful people.
- Announced He would conquer death for all. Rose from the dead. Over 500 witnesses saw Jesus Resurrected.
- Neither Buddha or Mohammed ever claimed to be Saviors.
When you examine the evidence – you see clearly that there are more than enough good reasons for trusting that Jesus is God’s Life-Giving Light! God made His decision to send us the light of life – tonight it is our turn to decide – will we stay in God’s light, or drift away into the darkness?
Make Your CHOICE — To STAY in the Light!
We all know that a big part of Christmas is giving and receiving gifts. Because God gave us His best gift – we try to give each other our best gift. You may have also notices that some gifts are easier to receive than others. If someone gives you an iPhone 10 – that’s an easy gift to receive. If someone gives you a book Save Your Life – How You Can Lose 30 Pounds in 30 Days – that’s a little tougher to receive. Are you telling me that I’m fat? If someone gives you a new giant screen TV – that’s an easy gift to receive. But if they give you a book on How to Overcome Selfishness – that’s a little tougher to receive. Are you telling me that I’m obnoxious?
Some parts of the gift of Jesus’ light are easy to receive – and other parts are hard to receive because it shows us where we need to make changes in our lives. Jesus definitely loves all of us – He loves us enough to show us where we need to change our lives and walk out of the darkness into the light.
John 3:18-21 (TLB) “There is no eternal doom awaiting those who trust Jesus to save them. But those who don’t trust in Jesus have condemned themselves for not believing in the only Son of God. Their sentence is based on this fact: that the Light from heaven came into the world, but they loved the darkness more than the Light… They stayed away from the Light for fear their sins would be exposed and they would be punished. But those who do what is right come gladly to the Light to let everyone see that they are doing what God wants them to do.
Jesus brings us the great gift of God’s Life-giving light. And even though it is hard to see and admit where I need to make changes – it is great to have the help I need to walk away from anger, selfishness, and pride – so that I can walk into the light of love, generosity, and encouraging others.
The last thing I would like to encourage you to think about, as you celebrate the light of Jesus, is deciding if you want to just visit the light of Jesus for a little while – or do you want to live your whole life in the light of Jesus?
LIVING In The Light of Jesus:
We have probably all heard someone say – People are so much nicer and loving at Christmas. I wish there was a way that we could hold on to that Christmas spirit all year long.
Of course we all know that being nice for a month isn’t too hard. But changing our lives – and living in the light of Jesus every day of our lives – seems a lot harder.
Living in the light of Jesus definitely requires a big commitment and a lot of hard work – but God wants you to know that the results are worth the effort. As you get ready to thank Jesus for bringing you the light of life – I’d like to close by giving you some good reasons to show you that it really is worth the effort to live your whole life in Jesus’ light. Look at what the light of Jesus does for you – and why it’s worth the effort to keep living in that light instead of drifting back into the darkness.
- Shows me that I am loved — and able to love others.
- Shows me that I am God’s Masterpiece — and that I can accomplish all of the good things God has planned for me.
- Shows me how to live to the fullest in this world — and to be confident that I will be raised from death to eternal life in heaven!
I would like to close with a short story from the famous philosopher Socrates – to help you think about how important it is for you to you to live your whole life in the light of Jesus.
A proud young man came up to Socrates and said, “O great Socrates, I come to you for knowledge.” Socrates recognized a pompous numbskull when he saw one. So, he led the young man through the streets, down to the sea, and took him out chest deep into water. Then Socrates asked him, “What do you want?” “Knowledge, O wise Socrates,” said the young man with a smile.
Socrates was very strong – so he put his strong hands on the man’s shoulders and pushed him under the water. Thirty seconds later Socrates let him up. “What do you really want?” he asked again. “Wisdom,” the young man sputtered, “O great and wise Socrates.”
Socrates wasn’t convinced – so he pushed the young man under the water again. This time he kept him under for a whole minute. Socrates let him up. The man was gasping. “What do you really want, young man?” Between heavy, heaving breaths the fellow wheezed, “Knowledge, O wise and wonderful …”
Socrates shoved him under again. Two minutes later, Socrates let him up again. “What do you really want?” “Air!” he screamed. “I need air!”
Socrates let him keep breathing – and then he firmly told the young man, “When you want knowledge as badly as you have just wanted air, then you will gain knowledge.”
God sent Jesus into our world – to bring us God’s Life-Giving Light. God shows us that the gift is available to everyone – and that everyone has to decide for himself or herself – how badly do I want the gift of Jesus’ light? Do I want the gift of Jesus’ light – for just a day or a month? Or do I want the light of Jesus for my whole life? Do I want the light of Jesus enough to step out of the darkness? Do I want the gift of Jesus’ light – enough to stay in the light – even when I have to face my weaknesses and make changes with my life?
Jesus made it clear that He came into our world to bring us God’s Life-Giving Light. Jesus wants to help all of us to receive His gift – and to keep growing in His Gift. John 8:12 Jesus said, I am the Light of the World – whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life!