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Light for Those In Darkness - Part 1 of 2

Baptist Bible Hour / Lasserre Bradley, Jr.
The Truth Network Radio
December 17, 2023 12:00 am

Light for Those In Darkness - Part 1 of 2

Baptist Bible Hour / Lasserre Bradley, Jr.

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December 17, 2023 12:00 am

“The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up” (Matthew 4:16).

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The Baptist Bible Hour now comes to you under the direction of Elder LeSaire Bradley, Jr. O for a thousand tongues to sing, my great Redeemer's praise! The glories of my God and King, the triumphs of his grace!

This is LeSaire Bradley, Jr. inviting you to stay tuned for another message of God's sovereign grace. Hark to thousand hearts and voices! Sound the notes of praise above! Jesus reigns and heaven rejoices! Jesus reigns, the God of love!

Seasons of yonder throng! Jesus rules the world alone! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

Jesus rules the world alone! Jesus, hail! His glory brightens!

All above and gives his word! Glorified, the smile enlightens! Cheers and charms thy saints on earth! When we think of God by Thine, Lord, we only love divine! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Lord, we only love divine!

Save your face and find a bearing! Bring, O bring, a glorious day! When the awful summons hearing, and the nurse shall pass away! And with them the golden hearts will sing, Glory, glory, glory to our King! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Glory, glory to our King! I encourage you to write and let us know that you have listened to the broadcast and would ask that you mention the call letters of the station over which the program has come to you or the website where you have heard it.

And I would remind you as we draw near to the end of the year that we do count on our listeners helping us especially at this time that year-end special donation goes a long way to helping us keep up and remain on all of the stations that now carry the broadcast. Our address is the Baptist Bible Hour, Box 17037, Cincinnati, Ohio 45217. We have come with redemption, Through the big and holy Lamb, Glory, honor, and salvation, Christ the Lord is come to reign! Now that each one sees from wandering, Come and follow Christ away! We shall all receive a blessing, Give from Him we do not stray!

All the moments we neglected, Yet the Lord forgives again! Glory, honor, and salvation, Christ the Lord is come to reign! Come, let us run on grace with patience, Looking unto Christ the way, Who doth live and reign for ever, With His Father and our God. He is worthy to be praise'd, He is our exalted King! Glory, honor, and salvation, Christ the Lord is come to reign! Come, dear children, praise your Jesus, Praise Him, praise Him evermore! May His great love now constrain us, So His great name we'll adore! O, then let us join together, His one cross came to proclaim!

Glory, honor, and salvation, Christ the Lord is come to reign! It's good to look out on this December morning and see the sun shining. Sunshine brings warmth and cheer. There's a part of Norway where the sun does not rise between November and January. I suppose some of you would find that a little difficult because some of you have expressed at times how when we have some of those long, cloudy days here in our area, it kind of drags you down.

So to think of being some place that the sun wasn't going to shine for about three months might be a bit challenging. Light is a great blessing. I want to read from the book of Matthew chapter 4.

In the 15th verse we learn that Jesus went beyond Jordan into Galilee of the Gentiles. Verse 16, the people which sat in darkness saw a great light and to them which sat in the region of the shadow of death is light sprung up. What a blessing when spiritual light came to those who were in darkness.

Light means so much to us in every area of life. During the Second World War there were six pilots that took off from an aircraft carrier in the North Atlantic to scout out some enemy submarines. While they were gone, the captain of the carrier was forced to issue a blackout alarm. The ship went totally dark.

When the pilots tried to return, they could not find the ship. They radioed, give us some light, we're coming home. The ship's radio operator replied, order blackout, I cannot give you light. In turn, each pilot desperately radioed the same message, just give me some light and I will make it each time. The radio operator had to radio back, no light, blackout.

Because there was no light on that ship, six young pilots went to their graves in the icy North Atlantic. We live in a dark world that desperately needs light. And we've just read from the Gospel of Matthew about the greatest of all light, Jesus Christ. We think about those who are in darkness. Darkness speaks of man's fallen condition. In the Gospel of John chapter 3, we read in the 19th verse, And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. And everyone that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. Because man is alienated from God, because he loves to go his own way, he's a sinner by nature, he desires to revel in the desires of his own flesh, he's in darkness. When there is a separation from God, when one is at a distance from his maker, he's in the dark.

Darkness speaks of ignorance. Jesus comes to Galilee of the Gentiles. He wasn't in Jerusalem, the city where the temple stood, the city where the religious leaders functioned, and it might be expected that surely at this sacred place he would pay this visit. But he goes to Galilee of the Gentiles. This place was known because wickedness was rampant, and certainly they were ignorant of truth about God. But Jesus comes, and the text says, Those that sat in darkness saw a great light. Multitudes today are in that darkness. In the fourth chapter of the book of Ephesians, in the eighteenth verse, we read, speaking of the Gentiles who walk in the vanity of their mind, it says, Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them because of the blindness of their heart. These many times are people who boast of their accomplishments, claim to have great wisdom, but God says, These who are walking after their own way, according to the vanity of their mind, have their understanding darkened, no matter what their claim may be, because they do not know God, because they do not recognize the authority of His word, they are in darkness, alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart, who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness to work all uncleanness with greediness, but ye have not so learned Christ. Is there not much evidence of that ignorance, and that consequent darkness prevalent in our land today? As people are very bold in expressing their own opinion about how life should be lived, about what they deem to be right or wrong, feeling it would be totally inappropriate for anybody to question them or challenge them, or suggest that any of their actions are inappropriate, I want to do it my way.

I want to live in a matter that pleases me. No thought about an obligation, an accountability to the sovereign Creator who gives them life and breath and sustains them every day that they live. Darkness speaks of ignorance, and darkness speaks of fear. It's easy to be alarmed by imagined dangers. It's one thing to be able to clearly see that danger is at hand, and be stricken with fear because of it. But so often, many of the fears with which people struggle are things that are not real at all. They imagine what could be happening behind the scenes. They imagine what might happen down the road. There's fear of the future. Have you been gripped with that fear from time to time?

What's the future hold? What's going to happen to me if I lose my job? What's going to happen to me as I grow older? What's going to happen to me if my health fails and you're fearful? Some have a great fear of death.

They think that it's morbid even to talk about it. And yet there's a constant reminder that life is fragile and death is coming. If you traveled on the freeway coming here this morning, you saw the sign that traffic deaths are up nine percent in our state this year. Well, over a thousand people have died on the highways in Ohio. The deaths because of the overdose of drugs has increased dramatically.

For some reason in this part of the country, it has become a terrible plight. And we all realize that someday we're going to die unless we're here when Jesus comes back. It's not just old people that die.

Young people sometimes die. So a person begins to think about the reality of death and they're gripped by fear. Darkness also speaks of hopelessness. This passage says that the people in Galilee sat in the shadow of death. They were without hope. They were not just struggling.

They were sitting in the shadow of death. Job said, my soul is weary of my life. Many give up hope. They are hopeless because they've struggled in many areas that have been unsuccessful. Somebody may say I have tried repeatedly to overcome this besetting sin, but it seems to have conquered me.

No need to try anymore. Or maybe all you're trying was on the basis of sheer willpower, self-determination, and you failed. The strength to overcome sin must be given us by the power of the Holy Spirit.

And as we turn to Him, if indeed we're one of His and have been delivered from the captivity of sin, sometimes grace we can overcome if we live righteously and godly in this present evil world. Sometimes people give up hope in resolving marriage problems. Sickness certainly attacking families in our day.

Wherever you turn, you hear of divorces. You hear of families that are struggling. Giving up hope. Say we've struggled with these problems for so long, it doesn't seem there's any possibility that they'll ever get any better.

Just don't see any way out. We read in the fifteenth chapter of the book of Romans that God is the God of hope. How that needs to be instilled in our minds and embraced in our hearts. God describes Himself as being the God of hope. So if your trust is in Him, if you believe that God has all power and that nothing is impossible with the Lord, there is never any reason to say, I give up. I can't take anymore. Certainly we all can have seasons in our life when it seems like the burdens are heaping up.

They're terribly heavy. And we say, how much more can I take? But remember, God is the God of hope. Therefore when our trust is in Him, we can look forward to solutions. There may be some situations in your life that never will change, but His grace is sufficient. When God saw to it that His servant Paul was given a thorn in the flesh, obviously this made the apostle uncomfortable and he prayed, Lord, remove it. But the Lord's answer was, my grace is sufficient for thee.

Whatever the burden that you carry, whatever the trial that you may face, His grace is sufficient. Some give up hope just trying to deal with the daily problems of life, trying to find peace and joy. And yet that's what was promised so directly at the coming of Jesus.

It was a time of joy. The Prince of Peace had come. So to give up in despair and say, I don't think I'm going to ever have peace in this life.

I don't think I'm going to ever have joy. It means that you've gotten your sights off of the Lord. We must be looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. Now the peace that He gives us is not necessarily the peace of circumstances. According to Philippians chapter 4, it's the peace that passeth understanding. You may say at a given moment, I don't understand how I enjoy such peace because everything around me is falling apart. Nothing but difficulty and trouble, but it's a peace within. The joy is not because everything seems to be on the upward climb in your life, but according to Philippians 4, you rejoice in the Lord. It's not in the emotion of the moment.

It's not in your present situation, but your joy is in Him. He's the same yesterday, today and forever. So you have the same reason to rejoice in Him today as you had yesterday or in that time when the Lord first dealt with you and delivered you and saved your soul and you had great joy.

He's still the same. So indeed, we live in a world of darkness, but Jesus came as the light. Oh, what a wonderful occasion. What a wonderful day it was when Jesus was born. We look at the Gospel of Luke chapter 2, reading in the ninth verse. And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them, and they were sore afraid. The shepherds were watching over their flock by night, and here comes this angel. And the angel said unto them, Fear not, for lo, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. The message they brought, the message that came from heaven was a message of joy, and there's reason for us to rejoice in it today. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you, you shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly hosts praising God and saying, Glory to God in the highest and on earth, peace, good will toward men.

A multitude, what a sight that must have been. A great host from heaven singing, Glory to God in the highest and on earth, peace, good will toward men. Verse 25, And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and the same was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel. And the Holy Ghost was upon him, and it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ.

And he came by the Spirit into the temple, when the parents brought the child Jesus, for to do unto him after the custom of the law. Then took him up in his arms and blessed God, and said, Lord, now let us thy servant depart in peace according to thy word, for mine eyes have seen thy salvation. He was looking at Jesus when he was just a small child, and he said, mine eyes have seen thy salvation. He wasn't looking at a church, he wasn't looking at a doctrine, he wasn't looking at an institution, he was looking at a person, he was looking at Jesus, mine eyes have seen thy salvation. Salvation is not in some scheme or plan or some creed or some doctrine. Salvation is in a person, it's in Jesus Christ.

He is the Savior of sinners. And then we go back to the book of Matthew chapter 2, reading in the first verse, Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, saying, Where is he that is born king of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. These wise men from a distance had traveled long, because obviously not only had they seen this star, but God had put it in their hearts that there was a reason for them to go to this appointed place. Verse 9, And when they had heard the king, they departed, and lo, the star which they saw in the east went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.

When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. Now we may sometimes think of this star as being in the distant heavens, just as we would observe a star today, but there was something unique about this star. They didn't see it continuously, they saw it at various times, and after they had met with Herod, the star now directs them, and comes over the place where they would find the baby. Now, Bethlehem was only five miles away from Jerusalem, so if it was a star in the distant heavens, it would have been difficult to have pinpointed the exact spot in Bethlehem, as to where the baby would be found. This, no doubt, was a special star, as brightness so often speaks of God himself, just as the Shekinah glory in the Old Testament was the very essence and presence of God, and where God directed the children of Israel as they traveled through the wilderness, with that pillar of fire to guide them at night. So this star, unique, sent by God, using the star to guide them to the very place where they would go and find Jesus.

And so it says, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy, and when they were coming to the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. Shepherds heard the angels singing, Peace on earth, good will to men, For the Christ, the Prince and Savior, He is born in Bethlehem. What a wonderful truth, that when Jesus came, He came with the light of the world, light for those in darkness.

All of us, by nature, were in the darkness of sin. But what a blessing of grace, when Jesus Christ enlightens our minds, enables us to see that He is the Savior, the only hope of fallen, ruined sinners. I hope that you will write us, and until next week at this same time, may the Lord richly bless you all. When we see him blessed in sacred days, Holy, holy is the ranger, Sacred place, the Lord was born, Lord of glory, blessed Savior, Let the stage house guard us all, For He came to save the people, Yes, He came to save the people, He will save us by His grace, All our troubles, His right troubles, Will be over, will be over, When we see Him blessed in sacred days. The Baptist Bible Hour has come to you under the direction of Elder LeSaire Bradley, Jr. Address all mail to The Baptist Bible Hour, Cincinnati, Ohio 45217. That's The Baptist Bible Hour, Cincinnati, Ohio 45217. Let the stage house guard us all, For He came to save the people, Yes, He came to save the people, Holy, holy is the ranger, Sacred place, the Lord was born, Lord of glory, blessed Savior, Let the stage house guard us all, For He came to save the people, Yes, He came to save the people,
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-17 02:26:17 / 2023-12-17 02:34:57 / 9

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