LIGHT BEARERS IN A DARK WORLD [PART 1]: PASTOR MENSA OTABIL, SUNDAY 14TH NOVEMBER, 2021

SPECIAL SUNDAY SERVICE BY DR. MENSAH OTABIL (GENERAL OVERSEER INTERNATIONAL CENTRAL GOSPEL CHURCH (ICGC) CHRIST TEMPLE, ACCRA GHANA)

TOPIC: LIGHT BEARERS IN A DARK WORLD – PART 1.

DATE: 14TH NOVEMBER, 2021

TEXT: PHILIPPIANS 2:14-16

Amen and Amen! Let’s keep Standing, as we make our DECLARATION OF FRUITFULNESS in this Year of Fruitfulness:

Are you ready? Well say with me:

The Eternal God is our Refuge. He opens Rivers in desolate Heights.The Lord makes the wilderness a Pool of water.

The LORD God is my Sun and Shield; The LORD gives Grace and Glory.

Therefore, I delight myself in Him. Those who are Planted in the House of the LORD shall be Fresh and Flourishing.

Though the Earth be shaken; the Name of the Lord is my Strong Tower. By Faith I affirm that: In Christ alone is my Salvation. In Him I live, and move and have my Being.

It is written: The Righteous are like trees Planted by the waters; bearing Fruits in its Season.

So I boldly declare: As for me, my God has made me Exceedingly Fruitful.

In this Season, my Spirit bears Fruits of Righteousness, my Talents make Way for me. With my hands, I will Plant, I will Build, I will Harvest – Day by Day, Step by Step.

In Jesus’ Name – Amen!

Today I will be doing a two-Part Message Titled: “LIGHT BEARERS IN A DARK WORLD.”

Our world is getting darker and darker. Not because of electricity failure, but because Men and Women are turning farther and farther away from God.

And just looking around, you will noticed that it is becoming more and more Christians to live the Christian Life; because the Christian Life has not been easy to live.

When you read through the Bible, you see that serving God, living for God, had never been easy.

I. Noah was mocked when he obeyed God by building the Ark.

II. Abraham left his Homeland to obey God, and spent many Years waiting for the Promise of God to be fulfilled.

III. Moses lived as an outcast when he tried to do the Will of God.

IV. Israel, God’s Nation lived as slaves for so many Years.

V. The Prophets of the Old Testament suffered mockery, imprisonment and rejection for Standing by God.

VI. Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself suffered and was crucified.

VII. His Apostles died horrible deaths.

VIII. And Disciples of Christ throughout all Ages have always had a tough time Living for God.

Today, we are the ones who are Living for God. Nobody is trying to cut off our head, or throw us to lions. But our world is making it difficult to live for God because of the Pressure it puts on us at every levels – On our Minds, Emotions, Desires, Appitite.

So, the Christian Life in our day has also become very difficult.

HOW DOES A CHILD OF GOD LIVE THE CHRISTIAN LIFE IN THIS TIME?

That’s what my Message is focusing on, today – “LIGHT BEARERS IN A DARK WORLD”.

Turn with me to Philippians 2:14-16, where the Apostle Paul speaks to the Churches in Philippi and also to us; about how to survive in this kind of environment. And this is what it says (NKJV):

14 Do all things without complaining and disputing,

15 That you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and Perverse Generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,

16 Holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.

These are words that Apostle Paul spoke to the Churches in Philippi. And if you have read the Message of last week (7th November, 2021) on the Label of DMC; I talked about the Churches in Macedonia. And the Church in Philippi was one of those Churches.

DMC NOTES: We can get to access the Full Text of this Message Titled: “Christian Stewardship – Part 4 (How should we Give to God) by accessing this Link:

https://discoverymediacrew.com/Christian-Stewardship-Part-4-Pastor-Mensa-Otabil

The Passage tells us what our world is like.

And the Passage uses two (2) words to describe the Age and the world we live in. And those words were accurate in the days of Apostle Paul, and they are accurate now.

… The Two (2) words are:

  1. The First Thing it says is that our world is Crooked.

When we say that something is Crooked, it means it is twisted and deformed.

It is like following a Crooked Path that meanders and turns – It doesn’t go straight to where it is going.

And after you have followed it for a very long time, you end up in a wrong Place – That is a Crooked Path!

And that is how our world is like – That’s what Apostle Paul is saying: Our world is Crooked. It promises you something, but it doesn’t take you there. You end up back with your sorrow, pain, disappointment because it doesn’t fulfill what you are looking for.

  1. Secondly, it says our world is Perversed.

When we say something is Perversed, it means something that is contrary to the right form. It is like drawing a human being with its feet where the head should be and the feet where the head should be.

If you saw any drawing of the Human Being like that on top of the neck, two (2) feet. And under the waist is a head; it is Perversed! The Parts have been misplaced, it is contorted, it has been misplaced!

That’s how our world is – It is Crooked and it is Perversed. And we are seeing our world more and more Perversed.

HOW CAN CHRISTIANS LIVE IN A PERVERSED WORLD?

Is it Possible? Can we survive? Can we live for God? – I believe we can!

So, in the Passage Apostle Paul tells us, what God has made us – In this midst of this Crooked and Perversed world, this is what God has made us.

And he says God has made us His Children – We are Children of God; we are God’s People. He has given to us the Life of Christ.

It’s a Big Deal to be a Child of God.

  1. “And then it says that, as God’s Children we are Light Bearers.

It says we are Lights in the world! – That means we reveal God to the world.

The world is Crooked, it is Perversed. How does God want us to live? What has He given to us to survive?

He has made us His children; and He has made us Bearers of His Light.

If you just look at the way the world is going, it’s not going to look any better. It’s not going to be any easier.

I. If Christianity is tough for your Parents, think about how it would be for your children. And how it’s going to be for your grandchildren.

II. If you think Living for Christ now is very difficult; wait to see how your children and grandchildren will survive.

… Because our world is Crooked, and it it is Perversed.

But God says that in the midst of the Crooked and Perversed world, we are His Children. And we have His Life.

And then the Passage tells us HOW WE MUST LIVE OUR LIVES.

As children of God in a Crooked and Perversed world – HOW SHOULD WE LIVE OUR LIVES?

Philippians 2:15 says: That you may become blameless and harmless, Children of God without. Blameless and Harmless.

God wants us to live Blameless -That means; without fault.

Though our world is Crooked, we must be without fault. We must not Participate in the Peverseness of our world.

PASTOR MENSA OTABIL

And not only must we be Blameless; we must be Harmless – That means we must be Pure and Uncontaminated.

Is it Possible at do that? Is it Possible to live the Christian life in our world?

I. Years ago, sin was hidden; these days, sin is advertised.

II. Years ago, you had to go and look for Pornography in forbidden Magazines and hides them. These days, they are on the Phones and Nobody sees you.

Whereas People had to hide to sin; now sin is looking for us alone in our bedrooms, officees, cars.

On the road, sitting quietly, temptations are raging against us.

Can we live as Children of God?

The Apostle Paul said something in the Narrative there in Philippians 2:14 – Do all things without complaining and disputing.

… That’s how he starts.

Prior to that, he is talking about having the Mind of Christ and the difficulties Christians have to deal with.

Does Living without complaining and disputing have any effect on our Christian Life?

That’s what we should be asking ourselves because he said we must serve God without complaining.

Why is Apostle Paul saying we must serve God without complaining?

When Paul says we must serve God without complaining, he has something in Mind – And what he has in Mind is Ancient Israel in the wilderness.

So, when he says: You must live without complaining. He says: Don’t be like Israel – Don’t be like them.

Like Christians, the Israelites were also called by God, like Light in a world full of Idolatry.

Just think of it – Israel was the only Nation on this Earth that served one God. Every Nations around them served many gods. And this tiny Nation was the only one that served one God.

When God delivered Israel from Egypt, it is like how God delivers us from sin.

I. Israel was small, but they were God’s People – Just like today’s Born Again Christians are a few. We are God’s People, surrounded by so much evil.

II. Israel was surrounded by so much Idolatry and yet they were supposed to serve God!

A. They were the only Nation that lived by God’s Rules. And to show that they were different, God gave them Laws that were very different from everybody. His Laws touched every aspect of their lives.

B. They lived differently, they worshipped differently, they Circumcised their males, they obeyed different Laws, they ate different kinds of food.

Why did God ask them to do everything differently? – To show them that they were different People!

… That’s why they ate different food and did things differently.

All around them, everybody could identify an Israelite – You can identify him by so many ways: By what he eats, what he doesn’t eat; by how he dresses. All of that! You could just mark them out.

That’s how God made Israel and that is how He has also made us – He has given us a different Life.

But many times, living differently was tough for Israel. They didn’t understand why they couldn’t be like everyone else.

Why does everybody has a ‘god’ in front of their house and we have no God? Why does everybody eat this and we don’t eat it? Why does everybody seems to have easy Life and we have a Hard Life? – So they complained.

And I want us to look at two (2) Instances where Israel complained – Just two (2) out of numerous complains.

  1. Exodus 16:2-3 – Then the whole Congregation of the children of Israel complained against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness. And the children of Israel said to them, “Oh, that we had died by the hand of the Lord in the Land of Egypt, when we sat by the pots of meat and when we ate bread to the full! For you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.”

… What a complaint!

  1. Exodus 17:2-3 – Therefore the People contended with Moses, and said, “Give us water, that we may drink.” So Moses said to them, “Why do you contend with me? Why do you tempt the Lord?” And the People thirsted there for water, and the People complained against Moses, and said, “Why is it you have brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our livestock with thirst?”

Something runs through the complains: Every time they were in hardship and they complained, they wanted to go back to Egypt – The Place of bondage; the Place that they cried, Oh God deliver us out of it.

But any time there is, little water Problem, little food Problem – “God, You should have left us in Egypt.”

So, this is what Paul is talking about – He says: If we are going to live as Christians in this Perversed and Crooked world, we must learn not to complian.

What does that mean? – Don’t desire the Life of the world. Don’t compare the Christian Life with the Life of the world.

Don’t look at the Unbelievers and say, why is our lives so difficult as Christians? – Because the Problem with us is, if we complain, we become like the Israelites, when we keep looking back to the world.

So, you are going to see the Unbelievers live their lives, and you are going to hunger and thirst for it.

I. Somebody has ten (10) Girlfriends, we also want to have ten (10) Girlfriends.

II. Somebody has ten (10) Men friends, we also want to have ten (10) Men friends.

III. Somebody dresses and exposes his own body, we also want to dress and expose our own body.

IV. Somebody gets drunk, we also want to get drunk.

Why do You want us to live differently God? – Because you are different!

And when Life is hard, we don’t look back to the world of sin. Because if we are going to live in this Crooked world, we must never ever desire that Life. Because if you do, you will not survive this world.

And that’s why Israel, for forty (40) Years, struggled in the wilderness because they kept looking back to the Old Life.

And like the Old Song:

I have decided to follow Jesus;
No turning back, No turning back.
The world behind me, the Cross before me.
No turning back, No turning back.

If no one goes with me, yet I will follow;
No turning back, No turning back.

Until we treat our Christian Life as a: ‘No turning back Life’, we can’t survive in this Crooked and Perversed Generation.

It is a ‘No Turning Back.’

I. Will it be difficult? – Yes!

II. Would there be Pressures? -Yes!

III. Would be Tempted? – Yes!

But we are not going back – The Cross is before us, the world is behind us.

So Paul says: Don’t complain like they did!

And if we don’t complain, it means we trust the Lord to take care of our Needs.

The Lord showed He could take care of the Needs of the People of Israel – He gave them food, He gave them water. But they kept complaining!

In fact, when they had nothing to complain of, they said Lord, we don’t we have a King like the other Nations?

God said: You want to have a King like the other Nations? Well, this is what it will mean to you.

They said: We don’t mind. We want to be like everybody else, we are tired of looking different.

Sometimes Young Christians feel tired of Living the Christian Life – They complain: Why should I obey all those Rules? Why should I live different from the Other Men? Why can’t I be like them? They seems to be having ‘fun”.

Well, it’s a Crooked fun – It’s a Merry-Go-Round. It looks like fun – They are going ahead, but they are going no where! No Joy!

Isn’t it amazing that sometimes the People who are supposed to be the happiest People on Earth, end of committing suicide and killing themselves and destroying their own lives?

And we watch them, we say: Oh, they look nice on TV; these are People who are ‘enjoying’ the Good Life. But they can’t manage Life, because it is a Crooked and a Perversed Life.

And when you are in the wilderness, and you don’t know where to go, don’t look back!

Because God says: you are My Children, you are the Bearers of Light in this Crooked and Perversed Generation. Stop complaining about the Christian Life.

I. We cannot do what everybody does – We can’t!

II. We can’t live like everybody else – Living as if there is no God, there is no Hope, there is no Life, there is no Promise. Whatever we feel like doing, we do it. We can’t live our lives that way!

If we do that, then there would be Lights off in the world.

The world has nothing else to look up to, because the People who are the Light, have turned off the Light. And when we, who are the Light turn off the Light, it is Finished!

… This world is doomed, when the Christians turn off the Light.

So, the Question is: IS YOUR LIGHT STILL ON?

The world is in darkness, but is your Light on? Is your Generator working? The neighborhood is in darkness, but do you have Light in your house?

So, they look at your home and say: Woooow, everybody is in darkness, look at him – He is the Light of the world, he has light. Or they look at us and say: His light is out and everybody is in darkness.

Woe on this world, if the Light of the world loses its Light

… Final thought the Apostle Paul leaves us with:

He says to them in Philippians 2:16; holding fast the word of Life.

I like how he describes the Word of God as the Word of Life because it is the Word that gives us Life and it is the Word that guides our Life.

“Holding fast the Word of life.”

If we are going to be the Light in this Crooked and Perversed Generation, then we have to embrace the Word of God with all our heart, with all our Mind.

*So this morning, I just want to leave us with a question: Is our Light On? – Is my Light On, is your Light On?

I. Would somebody who is in darkness look at you and say: That guy has his Light on? The whole world is in darkness, but that one has his Light on.

II. Would somebody in your Office says – it’s all dark in here, but that one has his Light on? Or they would look at us and say: we are all in darkness!

We hear People say: “You go to Church, but we all end up here doing the same thing.”

They should be able to say: “We don’t know the way, we are in darkness but we see there is Light in your Life”.

May the Lord help us to be a LIGHT BEARERS in this Dark, Crooked and Perversed world – Amen.

So we just want talk to the Lord for a moment – Each one of us, wherever you are or reading this Message now on the label of DMC: Just talk to the Lord to help us to be LIGHT BEARERS in this dark world.

It’s hard to live the Christian Life – I would be honest with you, it’s not easy. But what God expects from us is not Natural, it’s Unnatural; for we are Unnatural People.

Ask God to help you, so that your Light doesn’t go off – In your Marriage, in your Life, in your family, amongst your friends.

Just talk to the Lord.

CLOSING PRAYER

Father we recognise the weakness of our Flesh, the weakness of our Mind. But we also recognise the Strength of Your Holy Spirit, the Strength of Your word.

And Father we Present our weaknesses to You – That in You, we may find Strength. That in this wicked and Perversed world, our Lights would not go off.

Help our Lights not to go off; help us to stay connected to You; to be a Witness to the world, so that the whole world would know that there are Witnesses for Christ on this Earth.

Help us Lord, not just to be Church Goers: attending Service and Participating in a Service. Help us Lord, to do more than that. To be Christ’s Followers, Living for Him and doing His Will.

So this morning, we rededicate our lives to You Lord – We come back to you Father, we say Lord help us, to be Light Bearers in this Crooked and Perversed world.

In our going in, in our coming out. In our conversations, in our activities; help us Lord, to keep the Lights burning, all that we do.

In Jesus’Name – Amen and ÀMEN.

… Let’s keep the Lights on – ÀMEN.

Thank you so much for staying all through to read.

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© DISCOVERY MEDIA CREW (DMC) 2021

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