This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.
– 1 John 1:5-10
“I must ‘walk in the light as He is in the light…’ – not in the light of my own conscience, but in God’s light. If I walk there, with nothing held back or hidden, then this amazing truth is revealed to me: ‘… the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses [me] from all sin’ so that God Almighty can see nothing to rebuke in me. On the conscious level it produces a keen, sorrowful knowledge of what sin really is. The love of God working within me causes me to hate, with the Holy Spirit’s hatred for sin, anything that is not in keeping with God’s holiness. To ‘walk in the light’ means that everything that is of the darkness actually drives me closer to the center of the light.”
– Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest
As we learn to rely on Jesus in everything, we see what Oswald Chambers is talking about. First, we cannot do it on our own. Second, as we rely more on God, and God only, more and more of the unnecessary things in life are exposed, more and more of our wrong doing and thinking are exposed, and we want to get closer to the center of God’s will to correct what we find wrong with ourselves. We only feel right when we are seeking God’s holiness.
Have you ever felt ‘off’ and didn’t know what it was? You didn’t feel ill, but it hurt, sort of. There was no way that you would go to the doctor. It wasn’t that kind of hurt. When you are in tune with God, veering from the perfect path can cause this type of reaction. We can only stay on the path by walking toward the light as the light illuminates the path in front of us, thus we are ‘walking in (and on) the light.’ God is the Light.
I worked for many years as a combustion expert and training manager for an engineering company. I saw a very simple demonstration illustrating combustion safety. I knew what the guy was illustrating. Instead of hearing what he said, what I actually heard was God talking. I’ve never done this in church, but I submit it as a possible demonstration for a children’s sermon. Maybe someday, I can reserve some studio time and perform the experiments for a short video.
If you aren’t practiced and knowledgeable, this is something that you might not want to attempt, but the visual image is really good.
For those who give children’s sermons all the time, you may tailor the script to your audience.
Combustion Demonstration of Shining One’s Light
Script in normal text. Instructions in Italics.
Set-Up: A table should be set up with a black screen behind the table (black poster board or more sturdy would be a poster size frame with a black cloth draped over – to more easily see the flame if in a well-lighted setting). At the back of the table, a propane tank with the word GOD on it. The tank has a regulator and short length of hose (a propane grill setup with the burner removed would be perfect. What I originally saw was a welding torch, hooked to propane and without the oxygen hooked up.). A couple of clear glasses, thick enough to withstand a little heat. (May need to experiment first.) One glass marked Jesus. One glass marked You. The Jesus glass is filled with propane. Propane is heavier than air, so if it is carefully filled, it will sit there. A few candles, one on a short candle stick and a few taper candles and matches. Have a candle sniffer and a jar with a non-flammable insulation glued to the bottom handy.
The person leading the experiments should wear an FR jacket (Fire Retardant) for safety reasons and a long sleeve 100% cotton shirt. This is not a necessary precaution, but a highly flammable man-made fiber shirt would be flirting with danger, if you were careless. Mostly the garb is for effect, so safety glasses would be a nice touch, also. NOTE: 100% cotton can burn, but a man-made fiber shirt will melt before it burns, causing the damage to the skin to be severe. There should be no accidents. Practice to be sure, and confidence. The garb is to really set the stage for “don’t do this at home.”
The script to start with should be an introduction of the pyromaniac scientist, combustion safety expert, whatever.
You’ve heard that Jesus is the light of the world. You’ve also heard that Jesus was completely God, and he was also completely man. On this table, I have a tank that represents God. God is a spirit. We also have two glasses. One glass represents Jesus. The other represents You, me, anybody. You can see that Jesus is completely human, just like us. God created the light and the darkness. Jesus can shine that light. Take a taper, light it and slowly insert it into the glass marked Jesus. The propane will ignite and lazily burn for a few seconds. Since the propane only gets oxygen from the top of the glass, it will be a lazy, dancing flame until completely consumed.
You’ve heard about shining your light in the world. Well let’s see. Take a taper, light it and slowly insert it into the glass marked You. Nothing happens other than the taper burning. Remove the taper. Meanwhile, refill the Jesus glass, maybe commenting that Jesus and God are the same. Maybe have a second Jesus glass that an assistant can swap out if the glass got hot.
Hmm. That didn’t work. Can we shine a light for the world to see without Jesus? No. It doesn’t work too well, but if Jesus was inside you, Jesus would be able to shine through us. Take the filled Jesus glass and pour it into the You glass. Very Carefully. Propane is colorless, but heavier than air. It will displace the air in the glass when poured slowly.
Now let’s try again. Take a taper, light it and slowly insert it into the glass marked You. Now the propane ignites just like in the case of the original Jesus glass.
Now you see that the light that Jesus provides in our hearts is the light that we can share with others. Trying to do it by ourselves without Jesus is hard. We need to love Jesus and believe that He gives us what we need. When we smile, when we do good things like pick up our toys. When we say please and thank you. When we do all these things, we shine God’s light.
Have you heard what Jesus said about the light on the hill? He said that when we shine our light on the hill, all can see it. But if we hide it under a bowl (NIV), no one can see the light. But that’s not all. Bring out the candle on the candlestick and light it. I’m going to show you what I was taught many years ago. Most people just smash the sniffer over the candle. Demonstrate and relight. But let’s take this jar (or bowl) and carefully place it over the candle. Do so. In a few seconds, all of the air will be used up inside the jar and the candle will blow itself out. That’s what happens when we don’t share God’s light with others. At first, we find it easier to not smile, and do the right things. In time, we forget to even think about doing good things.
We have to pray. We have to read or listen to God’s Word being read. We have to practice shining the light that God gives us so that others can see. Then, our light stays lit, so everybody can see.