10/18 Series: Family at its Best – Living with the High Beams On 1 John 2:7-17
High Beams – on our vehicles it’s a bright light. Some flashlights or lamps or a dimmer switch on the wall give options for the brightness desired with high being the brightest. When we read Living with the High Beams on does this mean so that we can see where we are going, or so that we can see what’s around us? Is the High Beam for our benefit? In the scripture passage at the end of verse 8 it reads “…the true light is already shining.” Already shining, well then, I don’t need to turn it on. Pastor George referred to the book of John chapter 8 verse 12 “Jesus spoke to them saying, I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” It’s this light, Jesus, the light of the world, that we are to illuminate, with the high beams on. It’s this light that Pastor George referred to when he said, light casts away darkness, light brings hope, light makes fear run out the door, light comforts. I want this light, you want this light, everyone needs this light so as not to be in darkness, right? They can get it just as we did. How did you get this light of the world? Did the light draw you in? Did someone show you the light? Did love find the way to the light for you? How are those yet in darkness supposed to find this light of hope and comfort and so much more?
In our scripture passage in verse 7 we read of the old commandment (to love one another) that you had from the beginning. Jesus lived the expression of this commandment. He is love. Verse 9 and 10 reads, “Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness. Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him there is no cause for stumbling.” Love, where love abides there is light. Living with the High Beams On is turning up the love that comes out of us. Kind of like living inside out so that our heart of love shines brightly, unhindered, loving as Jesus loves us. Why? For one so that while in and from the darkness they can know light, and two my high beams shining so I don’t stumble while walking through the darkness. The world is darkness, and we are not to love the world. Our scripture passage in verses 15 and 16 tells us, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him For all that is in the world-the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life-is not from the Father but is from the world”.
The Right Now Media options for this week took us into situations of the world. Patrick Kelly spoke at a conference that we viewed on Light in the Dark. He talked of a time he attended a rock concert where he experienced the smell of drugs and witnessed people who were living a different lifestyle than him. Two different cultures and values. He spoke of our co-existence. He said a believer can be effective without changing the culture at all. We are called to love people where they are, of reaching people in their culture with our influence. We should focus on the bigger issues of their life, the need for Jesus Christ, he said. Jesus had a heart to redeem people. We need that same heartache for those living in darkness.
Sarah took us to a different world experience. Her illustration in Right Now Media shared with us of being A Light at an Unethical Job. She thought she had the job of her dreams until she was asked to do what she knew was unethical. She struggled. She said everyday presented her an opportunity to be light. To do life in the circumstances that she found herself and still be a light for Christ in how she interacted with people. Her co-workers often questioned her about the happiness that she lived daily. I live Jesus, He gives me hope she told them. She prayed that she would honor God in her work, she prayed for the Holy Spirit to give her the strength needed to talk with the owner. Faith is foundational, says Sarah, we are just vessels that He is using. She said that she could not compromise what she knows to be right and true. She did talk with the owner and left her dream job.
Donnie Smith in his training video, Be Light in the Midst of Disappointment, talks of much the same disappointment that Sarah experienced. Life hits everybody. We’re not perfect and we do not live in a perfect world. People are watching us, said Donnie. He went on to say, our confidence in rough times proves our faith to friends, co-workers, or whomever may be in the middle of disappointment with us. He said we are to be careful about emotions getting expressed that aren’t Godly. We have a personal God, it’s through our rough circumstances we have the opportunity to glorify God. He said in faith we need to stand firm in that I’m not losing any confidence of God’s ability through this situation. To have the confidence that I know God is right there in the midst of disappointment with me.
Are you actively shining the light with high beams on in the culture of darkness? Are you using high beams from the light of the world-Jesus, in those unethical situations we encounter? Do you stand firm with high beams shining when you would rather cry out in the midst of disappointment? Pastor George asked us Sunday, how do you live your life that others are watching? It’s easy to forget that others are watching us. It is within our work family, school family, sports family, church family that we are being watched. Are we radiating a good example of the love we know? To radiate His Love, His ways, His life so that others will want to know Him who we know. Pastor George encouraged us to let your light shine, let others see your good works, see your actions and reactions so that our response to all things might glorify God. He assured us that Jesus helps us to see things better and those around you find it easier to walk when they have light showing the way . It happens best when we are living with the High Beams On!
Larry and Darlene