This broadcaster has 294 show archives available on-demand.
Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.
January 27, 2021 1:00 am
Under cover of darkness, criminals steal, kill and destroy. But the light cuts the darkness like a knife. It reveals that our hearts are full of deception, even if we are not convicted criminals. In this message, the light of God’s Word cuts through our illusions and shows us what God sees when He looks into our soul.Click here to listen (Duration 25:02)
One reason for us.
Jesus phone number for the light cuts the darkness like a knife reveals all the way they really are self-deception even if we're not criminals today. The light of God's word cut through your illusions show you what God sees when he appears so Moody Church in Chicago.
This is when Sir helps us make it across the finish line answer. We're heading into the book of first John today give us a preview of the journey will Dave I have to say that the intro that you have just given is really a summary of everything. Light really does reveal who we are. It also gives us direction as to where we should go, and it also heals us. That's why the darkness leitmotif in the Bible is so critical and today were going to be exposed to the light and all of us will be shown to be sinners, but also we will point toward hope want to thank the many of you who support the ministry of running to win. Let me ask you a question are you embarrassed by your emotions. Do you wish that you didn't have any well. Oftentimes people don't understand the role of emotions in the Christian life. I've written a book entitled managing your emotions.
God's good gifts gone wrong. It comes with discussion questions at the end of every chapter deals with all kinds of emotions such as depression, love, rejection and loneliness, fear, disappointment, regret, bitterness for a gift of any amount.
This book can be yours. Here's what you do go to RTW offer.com that's RTW offer.com or call us at 1-888-218-9337. Now let's open our Bibles to first John, let us see what it means when it talks about walking in the light.
There is a story about a woman whose husband she suspected was having an affair with a woman at work, but he was the kind of a man who never admitted to anything.
He was always defensive, always write one of those controllers that we spoke about in the last message in the series and so she knew that it was not going to be a happy experience. He was, not just going to quickly say yes, I'm guilty so she set up a series of opportunities for him to confess to the truth. First of all, she said to him I want you to know that I suspect you in this regard, and he became defensive and angry. Why don't you trust me, you're always too suspicious of plan number two was that she took a member of the church you had seen him downtown with this woman end of the church member confronted him and he gave some very convincing alibi and so he didn't admit number three was she confronted him with the ex-husband of the woman with whom he was suspected to be and that who said that he saw them in the apartment together but this man stared him down and told him he was a liar.
That was the end of that.
Finally, plan number four was videotapes she had hired an investigator who videotaped some experiences and scenes which nailed it.
Now here's what I want you to understand his response was this okay I'm having an affair. But what's the big deal the human heart revealed for what it is first of all we deny our sin. That step number one and after we have been found out and have to confess step number two is minimize at what's the big deal.
Why is it the truth has to be extracted from us sometimes like one might use tweezers to extract a splinter. Why is it that we aren't more open and more truthful. Well you know the human heart the Bible says is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked who can know it.
One time I had the unhappy responsibility of a confronting a man with what we suspected was an adulterous relationship and he said if I am a liar and May God strike me down dead. Mercifully, God did not strike him down dead. But God did eventually reveal that the man had been lying to me yesterday. I looked at the book, the day Americans told the truth and I read it years ago or parts of that, and frankly I couldn't take too much of it because it is so depressing you look into the human heart, and you realize that what is at 92% of people say that they lie at least every week and then you get beneath that and you discover that her those are willing to turn away from their families and abandon them forever for $10 million in your scratching your head and saying are we really that evil are we really that bad. And the answer, unfortunately, is yes, we are there so many different kinds of lies aren't there. There is the lie that people sometimes tell to protect others. Sometimes their little innocuous lies. We say to somebody, you know you're really looking good in that suit and that it's the kind ally. They love to hear. By the way, and to get in our hearts were saying you look good in that suit that I want to know. You know what does.
Streetcorner did you find it on open arts work. Sometimes we lie though, to protect ourselves.
We may shape the truth and then we may even lie about others. As we talked about evil in the last message. Sometimes there are people who live a lie they don't say a word, they just live alive. Many years ago woman came to me with a very interesting story.
She was at work and that she decided to go home in the middle of the day to pick something up and as she discovered her husband in the ladies clothes prancing around the living room.
I often thought to myself. It would've been interesting to have a tape recorder there to take the discussion that took place at that particular incident.
She did not know that she had been married to this man.
She really did not know him, though they had been married together for 15 years. This is a series of messages titled why good people do bad things and what were discovering is that there are really two parts of it and will see this again in the next message there seem to be two parts. There's that part of us that wants to be noble and good and helpful, and there's other that other part that is is very deceitful land that can be very very difficult to pin down. This message is not going to be an easy one to hear. It's not an easy one to preach because today were really going to probe right down and that shine the light of God's word deeply into our souls and for some of you it is going to be painful, but I want you to know that the purpose for pain is healing. In no sense is it my intention to simply increase your guilt.
Sometimes people complain, they say, you know, we go to church and all that we do is come back guilty. It's not my intention at all.
My intention is to take a good look at what is in the human heart, and I don't want you to leave with guilt. I want you to leave with God. That's the intention that's where were going in this message.
What you find in the Bible is that the motif of darkness and light is used throughout the dark is representing sin and the light representing God's word and truth and honesty and they're going to be two passages were going to look at the first is in John chapter 3 where Jesus is talking actually to Nicodemus in the second passage will be in first John chapter 1 I'm picking up the text for lack of time right smack in the middle of the discussion at verse 19 of John chapter 3 where Jesus said this is the verdict light has come into the world that men love darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.
Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.
But whoever lives by truth comes into the light so that it may be plainly seen that what he has been done has been done through God. Let's talk first about some of the characteristics of those who walk in dark as let's talk about those characteristics. Jesus said that this is the verdict light is come. Men love the darkness rather than light, left to ourselves without the intervention of God's grace without the intrusion of his light. We are lovers of darkness and the reason we love the darkness is that the darkness is more consistent with our desires, we do what we want to do and and darkness enables us to to do that and then we learn to manage any guilt and of course in today's society. What you have is people who believe that guilt is simply a feeling that has to be on learned and so they think of ways to unlearn it to to lessen the pain of the guilt and then you have the opportunity of doing what you want to do and the way in which we rationalize is first of all, we find someone who's worse than we are. You know, in talking with people I seldom meet any person who doesn't say well you know, of course, I've made some mistakes but I'm not a bad person and so we we put the best face on ourselves because there are people who are worse than we are and so that makes us feel a pretty good and then the other thing that we do is we do good deeds so that we can point to good things we've done.
Remember a friend of mine said that as a teenager. One day he came home from school and he mowed the lawn without being told he had to, and his mother said will, what have you been up to now you know. So what we do is we use good deeds to cover and balance off some of the not so good deeds so men love the darkness.
The Bible says and secondly I want you to notice that Tim they hate the light.
That's what the text says here expressly everyone who does evil hates the light verse 20 we don't like to be exposed we don't like God coming and showing us our sin. We don't like the Bible way would by nature. We want to turn from it. If we are lovers of dark those of us who are lovers of light.
Of course we love the word but what you find today is that people disparage the Bible so that it gives them the freedom to do what they want to do and there is hatred toward that work men hate the light. I member on a farm we had a musty old basement and you we didn't have electricity in my early years. I guess that dates me a little bit but then were talking about Canada were they were not quite up on all the modern things like a here and we used to go downstairs, either with a lantern or a candle or a lamp, and it was it was incredible just to see all those bugs scurry.
I mean all these little furry things were heading for somewhere and that's the way we are.
That's the imagery of the light coming to shine. It is a painful light. It is a painful experience to finally reach an objective standard that is holiness.
It's very painful.
So the Bible says that men who love the darkness hate the light third experience is in.
This gets more tricky now. They think that they are walking in light they confuse light with darkness. Now I'm going to invite you to turn to first John chapter 1 and were going to be in their for the rest of this message. First John chapter 1 we have this amazing motif of light the darkness continuing with all kinds of insights.
John says in first John chapter 1 verse five.
This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you, God is light and in him there is no darkness at all loud just on interrupted beautiful holy light.
If we claim to have fellowship with him, and yet walk in darkness, we lie and we do not live by the truth. Now that's verse six, the first thing that we do and he is writing to people who were gnostics maybe are not acquainted with Edward, Gnosticism believed in enlightenment that there was a ace a feeling of enlightenment that one could have so gnostics were into light to the problem is there light was actually darkness.
The Bible says woe to those who call light darkness and darkness, light and good evil and evil good, these gnostics were the new agers of the day. In fact, books have been written to show that the modern New Age movement is nothing but a revival of ancient Gnosticism.
So you had people say, okay, I got all this sin in my life I'm walking in what is disobedient to the Scriptures, but I'm having fellowship with God to my God is accepting me and notice what the text says. First of all, we lie to others, we lie to others. That's in verse six, but then we lie to ourselves, let's. I glanced down to verse eight.
If we claim to be without sin, and many gnostics said that just like their people today use I will I have an sin you meet people like that. Well you know I maybe not as good as I could be that II have an sin notice. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves first of all, we lie to others. Then, we deceive ourselves, you'll never understand the true nature of evil unless you understand the deception people who walk in darkness, call it light. They are the enlightened ones there the modern ones. We who believe in the Bible. I mean that's going backwards not forward to understand and then as if that isn't enough, they eventually make God a liar. Verse 10.
If we claim we have not sin, we make him out to be a liar and his word is no place in us that so notice the progression.
We lie to others, we deceive ourselves, we lie to ourselves and at the end of the day because the Bible says that all of send and come short of the glory of God. Now we actually are lying to God to so the deception has come full circle.
It is very complete. You know there's some animals whose means of defense is to emit an odor that is so strong that all who are near that particular animal must flee.
There's one that comes immediately to mind, and it's black with some white stripes as some of you who are city dwellers.
Perhaps you have never encountered that particular aroma. I want you to know it's powerful and quite debilitating. But you know so far as the animal is concerned so far as the skunk is concerned, we have no evidence that he's troubled by it to him it might smell like Chanel number five right and there are some people who are destroying their families there really doing evil they have become so selfishly focused. They are crude, they cannot see beyond their own immediate needs and you try to get through to them and and I've had wives say, for example, will doesn't he get it. Can't he see it. The answer is no dairy. I'm sorry he doesn't see it, and there are two kinds of deceptions. One is the moral kind of deception.
The other is a deception regarding teachings like the Gnostics who actually believe that they are walking in like that.
They are okay. You know the reason that some of you find a real struggle. You say what's all this bit about Jesus dying on the cross. You know why I have added January why drag that it is because you don't Sears your sin because you see if you saw your sin, you psycho how marvelous the Jesus died, but if you if you don't see yourself as a sinner. You don't need any redemption.
Do you and the text says you deceive yourself. Martin Buber says the uncanny game of hide and seek in the obscurity of the soul in which it a single human soul evades it self avoids itself and hides from itself. Now I think we've gotten to the bottom of how deceptive we can be the Scripture says in the book of Proverbs, but the way of the wicked is like deep darkness love this. How how vividly described it says they do not know what makes them stumble. You just look at people, you know, going from pillar to post. They have no idea what makes them stumble there walking in darkness and they think that there walking in the light, and they can understand why they're tripping all over themselves every time they turn a corner lets the characteristics of those who walk in darkness will thankfully we also have the characteristics of those who love the light and who walk in the light. What does light do. First of all light reveals who we are.
Light reveals who we are. The Scripture says, verse seven of first John chapter 1, but if we walk in the light as God is in the light. Remember now, God is the one who is light, and if we walk in the light as God is in the light, we have fellowship one with another and the blood of Jesus Christ his son, purifies us from all sin pulses in the book of Ephesians, he says now you were darkness. He says that was in your past, but now you are light in the Lord walk.
He says as children of light. Now our self-image as we learned in a previous message is first of all, made up by every comment that people make what her parents think of us what our teachers think about what our coaches think of us were peers think of us, and so forth. But it's a very confusing mixture and if you if you don't really know who you are and you have no standard by which to judge yourself. No wonder people are so desperately confused. Calvin was absolutely right when he says we can never know who we are unless we first know who God is, because in the presence of God. We see the depths of our sin all but God does not leave us there and be assured I do not want to leave you there. There is forgiveness there is cleansing there is healing. It is there in the presence of God. You see that finally. Finally, we know who we are with that solid reality of the light and it is there that we find healing and our sins become big. But God might cleanse us and forgive us for the story about the man who was doubled over over his over his said and called a pastor friend of mine and said come over and he came over and here's the man lying flat across the desk and the pastor thinks for sure that the man has discovered that his wife died, or a child died or something and the man said. I was thinking here about the business dealings that I have and how I have padded my expense accounts, and God has showed me how sinful it is and I am looking into hell and that's by the way what hell is it is the white light of God's holiness with no remedy with no relief. Say what you know the guys exaggerating most businessmen. Many businessmen a pet.
There's expense accounts is done all the time.
It's a little infraction but it's a little until you see God and when God begins to shine his light on it. Suddenly it's mighty big deal because now finally have a standard by which it can be judged. Light reveals who we are. But God doesn't leave us there.
He pours grace and cleansing into our hearts as we shall see. Secondly, light reveals where we are going reveals where we are going. The Scripture is very clear that by word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. Look at the text that I just read a moment ago. But if we walk in the light as God is in the light, we have fellowship one with another. Notice the imagery of walking and you're not stumbling. Sometimes your stubbing your toe, but you're not stumbling because you're walking in the light as God is in the light finally reality.
Finally, wholeness. We have fellowship one with another. That can mean that we have fellowship with God, which is most assuredly truth, but we have fellowship with fellow travelers.
I have fellowship with you. You have fellowship with me.
It's that common bond because because we know what the light is and we know where we're going and sometimes we blow it. To be sure, but but we we at least know where the light is it's in God's word, and so tells us where we are going and we end up having fellowship with one another.
Relight also reveals our destination and reveals her destination you know it's interesting that the Bible talks about those who do not know Christ as Savior, who are trying to save themselves as walking in darkness. Okay because they don't have a savior they don't see their sins clearly and they keep stumbling and not knowing why they're tripping over themselves, but it's interesting that when they die what happens. The Scripture says they are in outer darkness. I'm reminded of the man who is dying the miser who would not respond to the gospel and he said to his daughter, blow out the candle.
He said I can die in the dark. So here's a man who lives in the dark. He dies in the dark and he ends up in the dark.
My dear friend is very sobering to submit can't help but think that possibly I'm speaking today to someone who is still walking in darkness, but is deceived and things he or she is actually walking in light it so critical that we understand the light darkness motif. Now I need to say that there are many people who live their lives crucified between two thieves, the regrets of yesterday and the anxieties of tomorrow. I've written a book entitled managing your emotions. God's good gifts gone wrong. God is the one who gave us emotions. He wants us to be able to control those emotions not denied them, but on the other hand not be controlled by them either. I think that this book will be of great help. You know, for a gift of any amount and by the way, this is one of the last times will be offering this resource for a gift of any amount. Go to RTW offer.com that's RTW offer.com or call us at 1-888-218-9337 ask for the book, managing your emotions. God's good gifts gone wrong. Each chapter ends with questions great for group study. You can write to is running to win 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard Chicago online 60614 exposing ourselves to the light of God's truth can be painful.
It's not a pretty sight to see ourselves for who we really are coming clean before God has infinite reward. Next time I'm running to win will turn to the book of first John and learn what's involved in coming to the light for Dr. Erwin looks her, this is Alister running to win is sponsored by the Moody Church