Object Lessons

Jesus Bids Us Shine

Objects: Four Flash Lights. Remove batteries and fill with various things, as mentioned below.

Today I have with me, boys and girls, four flash lights. They are nice bright looking flash lights, too, on the outside, but there's something wrong with all four of them. Not one of them will give forth any light. They were made to shine, you know, but they are all missing the purpose for which they were made. No matter how dark the room, still they can't shine.

What a picture these four flash lights are of some folks today—nice looking folks as far as their outward appearance is concerned, but failing in the thing that God has commanded that every Christian should do. "Ye are the light of the world," He says in Matthew, 5:14, and "Let your light so shine before men" in Matthew 5:16.

Now if we can find out the reason why these flash lights fail to give forth a light, perhaps we can understand why some folks fail to let their "light shine for the Lord Jesus."

I have here four flash lights so I will need four boys to help me find out what is wrong with them. (Let the four boys who volunteer hold the flash lights as they are examined.)

Let us look at the first flash light. It is surely all right on the outside, so the trouble must be on the inside. (Unscrew top.) Why, this flash light is filled with red ink. (Pour red ink out into pitcher.) No wonder it won't shine. Flash lights were never made to hold red ink. This red ink, boys and girls, pictures jealousy, temper, and the spirit of criticism which fills the life of many, who come to church and Sunday school. The sad part is, that these folks, instead of keeping these things to themselves, pour them out on others, who will listen, and thus their influence and testimony for the Lord is injured. Just as the red ink leaves a stain on whatever it touches, so tales and criticism that these folks pass.' on to others, leaves their stain on those who hear.

However, with the red ink poured out of the flash light, let us put into it the very thing it was intended to hold—a battery. Now press the button and see it shine. (Let the first boy hold the lighted flash light.) It is now fulfilling the purpose for which it was made—giving forth a clear yellow light. Let us ask the Lord Jesus to put out of our lives anything that is like red ink and fill us with a battery of power, which will cause us to shine for Him with a "Clear, Pure Light."

Now we will look at the second flash light. It is bright and clean on the outside, but still won't shine or give forth a light. Like the first one, the trouble must be on the inside. (Unscrew top and pour out contents.) Look 'on the inside! -Why, this light is full of money. Just look at the dimes and quarters that were in the flash light! This light was never made to be filled with money—was it? If we could look into the hearts of some people, boys and girls, like this flash light, we would find them filled with the love of money, more than the love of God. The rich young ruler was like this. (Luke 18:18-25.) To him the Lord Jesus said, "Yet lackest thou one thing, sell all that thou hast and distribute unto the poor."

Not that it is sinful to have money, boys and girls, but to make money first in one's life is the trouble. The desire to earn money keeps some folks away from the church and the Lord. When this is true in one's life, like this flash light, there can be no light given forth. 1 Timothy 6:10 says, "... the love of money is the root of all

With the money taken out of this flash light and a battery put in, see the beautiful light it gives forth. (Let second boy hold the lighted flash light.)

We will now examine the third flash light. (Unscrew top and empty out contents.) See what is in this one—cigarettes and a cork which smells very much like beer. Fancy trying to shine when filled with such things as these! And yet, there are men and women, and even boys and girls who are holding on to some bad habit which is keeping them from letting their light shine for the Lord Jesus. This flash light, when filled with a battery, will give forth light; so our lives when filled with His power, will shine and give forth a light which will lighten up a dark place.

Look now, at the fourth flash light. What can be the matter with this one? Like the others the trouble seems to be on the inside. (Unscrew the top.) Why, this one has nothing in it. This must picture the folks who never have a serious thought from the beginning of the year until the end. Their time is taken up with parties and amusements and pleasures, which after they are past, leave the life as empty as this flash light. A life like this, needs to be filled with the power of God, just as this flash light needs a battery. (Put battery in.) See how the light shines now! It is filled with what it was made to hold.

God's plan for each of us, boys and girls, is that we are to be filled with His power, the blessed Holy Spirit. Put out of your lives, by His help, the things that should not be there, yield your lives to Him and let Him fill them with His power—the Holy Spirit. Eph. 1:13; Rom. 12:1; Eph. 5:18. Then like these flash lights you will be able to shine for Him. Folks in the darkness of sin will be guided by your light to the Lord Jesus who said, "I am the Light of the world."

While the boys hold these bright lights high for all to see, let us sing:

"Jesus bids us shine
With a clear, pure light,
Like a little candle
Burning in the night;
In this world of darkness
We must shine;
You in your small corner,
And I in mine."

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