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F a i t h   M a t t e r s  with Dr. Ken Lovelace


The Old Lamplighter




"For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light" (Ephesians 5:8).


Sir Harry Lauder, Scottish humorist and comedian of another era, was a Christian. One evening at the Hotel Cecil, he told about an incident that might have been spoken from a pulpit.


He said: "I was sitting in the gloamin', an' a man passed the window. He was the lamplighter. He pushed his pole into the lamp and lighted it.


"Then he went to another and another. Now I couldn't see him. But I knew where he was by the lamps as they broke out doon the street, until he had left a beautiful avenue of lights. Ye're a' lamplighters. They'll know where ye've been by the lights [ye have lit]."


That is a beautiful description of the Christian life. We are lamplighters. The darkened lamps are the lives and souls of those who sit in a dark world. The flame is the flame of the love of Jesus Christ burning by His Spirit, and the pole is the presentation of the gospel.


1. Closet Christians. One of the sociological phenomena of our day is the "emptying of the closet." The closet used to be full in America, but today it's empty.


      >> The prostitutes have left the closet and are demanding their rights.

      >> The homosexuals are out of the closet and having their own parades.

      >> The cohabitators have left the closet and have put both names on the mailbox where they live together apart from the blessings
            of marriage.

But there behind the coats and scarves, cringing in the corner, clinging to their lamplighter's poles, are those church members who hide their lights and are ashamed to witnesses for their Lord.


2. Christ's Command. Jesus, in His last command, said that we are to be witnesses unto Him (Acts 1:8). He died to purchase eternal life for all who would trust in Him, and we must share the Light of Life.


Oh, if we could but see a friend, a loved one, an acquaintance, a business partner, five minutes after their death, we would surely lament if we had not told them of the Light of Life.


Michelangelo once carved several statues out of ice one cold wintery day, perhaps to amuse his friends. They were magnificently done and many came to admire them. But, of course, soon the sun rose higher and the statues melted.


We would think it foolish for someone to leave a legacy in ice to turn to water and mud. But, my friends, some of us have spent our whole lives carving in ice: making a living; fixing a house; making sure our lawn is impeccable. What will it matter 500 years from now?



3. Making Your Life Count for Eternity. Those who are truly wise sculpt in human souls and fashion them into the image of Jesus Christ. I urge you to work for the souls of men, and I am not speaking alone. There is a trio of voices speaking to you. I speak God's Word to you, but the Holy Spirit is speaking to you, and so is your own conscience. How many have stood by the grave of a loved one and lamented, "Oh, how I wish I had spoken to this one about Christ."


A man asked his friend, "How long have we known each other?"


"About fifteen years."


"And you believe, I understand, that no man can go to heaven except through faith in Jesus Christ. Is that correct?"


"Oh, yes, I believe that very definitely."


"Do you really care for me?"


"Indeed I do."


"Sir, I beg to differ with you. You actually do not care for me at all, for in fifteen years I have heard you talk about hundreds of subjects, but you have never yet once talked to me about Christ."


There are some in this world who will never hear the gospel unless they hear it from you. If everyone of us were to become a lamplighter for Jesus Christ, there would be such joy that people would wonder what was going on when they walked into your church. Nothing you can ever do will give you such satisfaction.


A businessman had a layover in Dallas. Being a lamplighter, he wondered how he could use the hour-and-twenty-minute wait to good purpose.


He had some tracts in his briefcase, so he took them out, inserted a business card in each, and gave one to every man in that particular section of the airport, saying, "Here, this will tell you how to become a Christian. If you would like to know more, I'll be sitting right over there until my plane leaves in an hour-and-twenty-minutes. Or, if you would like to write me, here is my business card."


What do you think happened? Before his plane left, men were standing four deep around his seat trying to find out more about how to become a Christian. And for weeks he was answering letters from those who had inquired.


Yes, we are all lamplighters, and they will know where we've been by the lights we have lit.




Copyright 2011. Faith Matters by Dr. Ken Lovelace. All rights reserved.

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