Robert Morris - Light
So, this is the last message in the series, "More than Words", and we're talking about the Bible is more than words, and the title of this message is "Light". I want to focus in on that God's word is light. Let me show you this Scripture. I think all of you are familiar with it. This comes from the longest chapter in the Bible, by the way. Psalm 119:105, "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path". Now, just think about that, even though it's a famous verse. "Your word", the word of God, "Your word is a lamp to my feet", so that I would know how to take the next step, and it's "a light to my path", so that I would know which path in life You want me to take, the next path You want me to take. We find that in the word of God.
So, let me tell you three things about light, all right? Here's number one, light dispels darkness. Light dispels darkness. All right, so let's take a little poll. How many of you, at some time in your life, have ever been walking across a dark room? Maybe it was in the middle of the night, and maybe you had to get up to go to the bathroom. Maybe you don't have to do that yet, but you will. Maybe you were going to the kitchen to get a snack, I don't know. But, how many of you have ever been walking across a dark room and stubbed your toe? Can I? Yeah, look at all the clumsy people that attend Gateway Church. Okay. No, no, we're not clumsy. We did it because we didn't have light, right? If we had simply had, think about it, a lamp to our feet, or a light to our path, we wouldn't have stubbed our toe, right?
Okay. Think about the analogy. We're supposed to walk in the Spirit, but we are walking in a dark world. Would you agree with that? So, how many Christians are stumbling because they're not using their lamp? They're not using their light, and so they stumble. So again, light dispels darkness. It takes it away. You need to know that there's no struggle between light and darkness. Now, we are in a struggle with darkness as believers, but God is not in a struggle with darkness. Light is not having a fight with darkness! You walk in a room and turn a light switch on, and see if there's a struggle. There's no struggle! The light is not saying, if I could just push a little harder, I could get this darkness to leave. The darkness leaves immediately, right, when you turn the light on.
Let me show you a Scripture that many people have seen in the negative. We'll get to Luke 11 in a minute. This is in John 3. John 3:20 says, "For everyone practicing evil hates", or literally stays away from, "the light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed". Now, so many times we read the Bible in a negative light, but I don't want you to read it that way. I want you to think about this. If you're caught in darkness, many people stay away from the word, don't want to read the word, because they don't want what they're doing to be exposed. But, that's not what this verse is talking about. If you're caught in a darkness, what you would think is, the last thing I want to do is read the Bible. No, the first thing you want to do is read the Bible, because light dispels darkness, and it says, "That his deeds may be exposed".
Listen. That means that your deeds would be demolished by the light. Think about film, and remember how film, it's developed in a dark room. And remember, you see this on TV or somethin'. Someone would open the door and they'd say, oh, you exposed the darkness. You exposed the film to darkness and you ruined it. Listen to me. If there's darkness in your life, expose it to the light, and it immediately goes away. I want you to think about this. If in your mind, if you've taken pictures of dark things, of negative things, maybe immoral or sexual things, expose it to the light. It will ruin that film. Are you all hearing me?
That was really a good illustration. I mean, that was really good! Okay. So, let me show it to you. Let me show you Luke 11. This is where Jesus now is talking about this, Luke 11:33. "No one, when he has lit a lamp, puts it in a secret place or under a basket, but on a lampstand, that those who come in may see the light. The lamp", this is important, "of the body is the eye". In other words, what you look at is how light or darkness gets into your body. "Therefore, when your eye is good", or when you're looking at good things, "your whole body also is full of light. But when your eye is bad", or you're looking at bad things, "your body also is full of darkness".
Think about all the darkness that our eyes see every day. I actually, for this message, I tried to do something for an illustration. I opened up, just Yahoo. I just opened it up and I was going to count how many of the articles were either about murder or immorality, someone getting killed or someone committing immorality. And I got so discouraged, I stopped counting. I couldn't. But, it was over. When I stopped, I had already gotten to seven out of eleven, so the majority were about that. Can you imagine, and you know, we open it because we want to read some fun story, somethin' good, but we've got all of these articles about — and it's just darkness. How many hours do we spend reading darkness? And darkness is entering through the eye. It's entering our body. Can you imagine if you spent the same amount of time, or more, reading light, and letting light get in your body?
I was counseling with a guy one time, and we were talking about lust and overcoming lust. And he said, "Robert, you just don't understand how many things I've seen that I can't get out of my mind now. The pictures that I've seen, the movies that I've seen, the things that I did, that I actually did, that I saw that I shouldn't have seen. You don't understand". First of all, I said to him, "I do understand, because I'm a human too, and I have a past like your past. I understand those things". I said, "Do you really want to get free"? You remember, Jesus said to the man that was lame, "Do you want to be healed"? That's a very important question, because there's a lot of people in bondage that they kind of want to, but they don't want to exert the effort.
So I said, "Do you really want to get free from lust"? And he said, "I do". I said, "Okay, here's what I need you to do". I showed him the Scripture in Luke 11. I told him, I said, "Darkness has entered your body's full of darkness. It's full of it because you've looked at it, but I need you to look at light now". So, I said, "For 30 days — we're not gonna meet again for 30 days. For 30 days, I want you to read the Bible, 30 minutes a day. I need, 30 minutes a day". Now, there are 260 chapters in the New Testament. I told him to start reading in Mark.
I've learned to tell people where to read, because they'll say, you know, they ask me a lot, where do you read? And I used to say to 'em, "Well, on the inside, you know, just". But, there are some good places to start to read. I remember, I led a guy to Christ one time, and I said, "Before you go to bed, I want you to read the Bible". He said, "Where"? I said, "Anywhere". And the next morning I said, "Where did you read"? He said, "I read the Book of Job, because I need one". He said, "It didn't help me much, though". Okay, so I said, "Start in Matthew. Just start in Matthew, and just read the Bible for 30 days". And if you read about 30 minutes a day, you'd read it in two months. You'd read the New Testament in two months if you read 30 minutes a day.
So, he did that. He comes back to me a month later and he says, "You won't believe the difference". He said, "It is amazing how lust has been driven out of my mind, and how much more I think about God and godly things". Then I saw him about six months later, and he said to me, "I have to tell you what happened. My wife and I went to see a chick flick". That's what real men call those types of movies, a chick flick. "And it was a love story, and you know, and so", he said, "but it had this one scene in it that shouldn't have been in there, that they just, I don't know why they put it in, but they just put it in". And he said, "Here's what happened". He said, "What used to attract me was repulsive to me. I was repulsed by it because of the light that was in me". He said, "I didn't even want to look at it anymore".
Please hear me. Read this book. Read this book. It has the power to change your life. So, number one, it dispels darkness. Here's number two. Light recovers lost things. If you lose something, it's very simple. You get a light, 'cause you need to find it, right? You can't find it in a dark place. You need the light. If it's under your car, if it's under the seat, you get a flashlight. Under the couch, wherever it is, you get a light. Jesus tells this story about a woman who lost something. He tells it in the middle of two other stories, one about a shepherd who lost a sheep, remember who the shepherd is and who the sheep are. We're sheep. And He tells about a father who lost a son, the prodigal son. But He tells right in the middle about a woman who lost a coin, something valuable.
Please hear me. All three of these are talkin' about people. They're all talkin' about people, because people are valuable to God. So, here it is, Luke 15:8-10. "Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? And when she has found it, she calls her friends and neighbors together, saying, "Rejoice with me, for I have found the piece which I lost"! Now, remember when I told you all of these are talking about people, right? Look at the very next verse. "Likewise", in other words, here's the interpretation of the allegory I just used, "I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents".
Okay, so we're gonna get back to people, but what if you lose your job? What do you do? I'm tellin' you, light a lamp. Go read the word of God. Read God's word. What if you lose your relationship? What if you lose an investment? You know, what if you lose your integrity? Somehow you did something that you never thought you would do. What if you lose your reputation? Anytime you lose something, light a lamp. Okay, but let's talk about people. There's a natural leaving and cleaving that happens with children. There's a natural progression when a child begins to become an adult, and in essence, there's a little bit of a losing of control that you've had over that child, and you have to begin trusting that that child's gonna make the right decision.
I don't know how many of you've been through this, but it's a traumatic time, because all of a sudden you realize you can't just say, don't do that. You have to hope he or she makes the decision on his or her own, see? So, one of the major decisions that a child, when he becomes an adult, we'll just say, or she, is a mate, the choosing of a mate. And with all three of our children, we asked them for the right to speak into their lives during this time, because that's a very important decision. We said, "We know you better than anyone else". We even joked about it. We said, "We've known you since you were born. That's how long we've known you. And we know the gifts that you have and we know the personality you have, and you might meet someone who might even be a good person, but your personality and her personality will never get along, and we know these things".
Let me give you a little exegesis, if you don't mind me using that word again, of Hebrews 4:12. It says, "The word of God is living and powerful, and divides between the spirit and the soul". Listen what that means. The soul is your mind, your will, and your emotions; your mind, and your emotions, and your will. You make decisions based on what you think and what you feel. Did everyone catch that? Your mind and your emotions, what you think and what you feel, and that's how we make decisions. That's how our will decides something. But the Bible doesn't divide the soul, it divides between the soul and the spirit. Let me say it another way. It divides what we think is right, what we feel is right, and what really is right. Did you get that? It divides between what we think and feel is right, but what is right.
Okay, so light recovers lost things. Here's number three. Light shows the way. It's "a lamp to my feet and it's a light to my path". It shows the way. Now, I don't need to ask you to raise your hands, 'cause it'll be like the death rate, it'll be 100%, you know. But, have you ever had a decision you needed to make? Of course you have. You ever needed to know whether to buy a home or not? Is this the home God has? Is this the school district for our children? Is this the college? What college should our children go to? What job should I take? What decision should I make? What spouse should I marry? You know, I mean, we all have decisions. The Bible talks about general and specific revelation, general and specific revelation.
There is the general revelation of God, and then there's the specific. The general revelation of God is how to be married. The specific revelation of God is whom do you marry. And, can God give you specific revelation? Of course He can. But I'm telling you, God can actually speak through this word. So, what I want to do is show you how to get a word from God from God's word, and it'll take me just a few minutes. It's real easy. So three words, remember these three words. Praise, prayer, proclaim. Praise, prayer, proclaim. First of all, enter God's presence with praise. Psalm 100, "Enter into His gates with Thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise". So, enter God's presence with praise. Okay? Again, that's Psalm 100:4. "Enter into His gates with Thanksgiving, come into His courts with praise".
Come into God's presence. The next is prayer. Now, here's what I want you to pray about. Pray about what you need to pray about. Pray about whatever you need to pray about, and I'm gonna ask you to do somethin'. Write your prayers. Just write 'em. Just write your prayers. You might even write, "Lord, I'm gonna write my prayers because Pastor Robert asked me to. Do you know him"? You know, I don't know. Just write your prayers, all right? "If you know Him, you know how he is", you know? So, just write your prayers, all right? But, I need to pray. I need to know about this job. That's what I'm praying about. Write your prayers. And then, proclaim. Proclaim is read God's word.
Now, you say, where do I read God's word? Let's say that you're praying about marriage, you know, a marriage situation. Think about any verses, or any chapters, or any stories of marriages in the Bible. Read about Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca, Jacob and Rachel, Boaz and Ruth. Here's a marriage in the Bible, Jesus and the church. It's in Ephesians 5. So, just read some passages about marriage.
So, my daughter, years ago, was trying to decide whether to go to ORU. So, we took Elaine, Debbie and I. We toured the campus. We went and met with Dr. Rutland. He talked to us for a little while, but then he turned and just started talking to Elaine, and it was so clear and so godly. He was saying, "What do you want to do"? She said, "I really think that God's calling me to speak and to write, kind of like my dad does". And so, he said, "Well, that's great. How are you going to prepare for that"? He said, "Your dad is a theologian in the body of Christ, and he prepared. So, how are you gonna prepare to be able to write books that people will want to read, and to be able to preach and teach messages people are gonna want to hear, that will actually help people? How are you gonna prepare"?
And so, he starts talking to her, and it was so clear. And so, on the way home, I said to her, "So, what'd you think"? She said, "I think I'm supposed to go". I said, "Well, that's great, but that's not good enough. You can't just think you're supposed to go". I said, "You have to pray and you have to get a word from God". And then, this is what she said to me. She said, "Well, I thought you were gonna do that for me". By the way, a lot of people think that. A lot of people think that someone else is supposed to get a word for them, but we all have a personal relationship with Jesus, and it'll mean more to you if you get the word directly from God.
So, I said to her, "No, it doesn't work that way, Sugar". I said, "Because in a few months", I said, "Right now, you think you're supposed to go, but in a few months, when you have two papers due and a test, you might not think you're supposed to be there. But if you have a word from God, you know you're there". So, I told her how to get a word from God, praise, prayer, and proclamation. So, she went away and prayed, came back. I said, "Did you get a word from God"? She said, "I got a word from God. I know it. I heard God". So, I said, "Well, tell me about it". So, she was writing her prayers. She worshipped, then she wrote her prayers.
So, she wrote down four statements. Here's the first thing she wrote down. She said, "I believe that ORU is an open door for me. I believe God has opened the door for me to go to ORU. It's an open door". Then she wrote, she thought about when Dr. Rutland spoke to her, and she thought it was so clear, and she remembered, "Make a clear sound". 1 Corinthians 14 says, "If a trumpet makes an unclear sound", and so she literally wrote, "I felt like Dr. Rutland's voice was like a trumpet, it was so clear". She writes this down! Then she wrote down, "I think I'm supposed to go down to Tulsa".
Now, the reason I'm telling you that is, on the way back, she said, "I think I'm supposed to go down to Tulsa" to me. And so, I said to her, "Well, Sugar, let me help you a little bit with what you just said". I said, "When you live in Texas, you don't go "down" to Tulsa. You go "up" to Tulsa, 'cause Tulsa is north of Dallas". And the reason I said this is because she's not real good with geography. I know many people aren't. She was one time at a young adult event, and one of the questions was, name a country, and she named London. So, anyway. So I said, "It's up, okay"?
So, she wrote down, "I think I'm supposed to go down to Tulsa", and then she marked out "down", 'cause she remembered our conversation, and put "up". That's important, all right? Up. Then, the last statement she wrote was, "I think I'm supposed to go up to Tulsa, but I don't know what's going to happen next". She had met Ethan, and she didn't know what God was saying, so she said, "I'm wondering, what am I supposed to do after that, after ORU? What's next"? And then she just wrote - all of a sudden, she just wrote this statement. I'll put it up so you can see it, and it was like God speaking to her. "I'm going to give you a revelation that on the fourth will be the first of many new things for you".
Now, I need to explain to you why she put "the fourth". The reason was, if she decided to go, it was the spring semester. She had to be there on January 4th, so that's why it was "the fourth". So, "I'm gonna give you a revelation that on the fourth will be the first of many new things for you". Now, then she remembered, okay, God's supposed to give me a Scripture. My dad said God would give me a Scripture. And she saw the word "revelation", and she underlined it. She thought, there's a book in the Bible, Revelation, and then all of a sudden, it just jumped out to her — four and first, so you've got 4, Revelation 4:1. You see that? And she thought, I wonder if it's that easy?
And so, she opens her Bible to Revelation 4:1. Remember the four statements, okay? She said, "I think ORU is an open door. I think Dr. Rutland's voice was like a trumpet. I think I'm supposed to go up there, but I wonder what's gonna happen next". Revelation 4:1 says this. "After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, "Come up here, and I will show you the things which will take place after this". She said, "I think I got a word from God". This book is more than words, and it will change your life if you read it.
This book is more than words, It's more than a great piece of literature. It is the word of God. It gives a lamp to your feet and a light to your path, and God wants to speak to you. Can you imagine every decision that you have that's an important decision, or maybe even a small decision, allowing God's word to speak to your heart? Here's what you need to do: get in this book every day. This may be the first message you've heard in this series. I want to encourage you, get the whole series, because the more we learn to understand this book, the more we're gonna grow as believers in Christ and be victorious in Him.