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Give Me a Light - Sermon Review for January 20, 2018

An Amazing Fact: Though this might not be a fact yet, the finding of these particular studies is truly amazing! With the alarming incidence of dementia, much research has been done, and the key to prevent and possibly minimize dementia has been found. It is called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). BDNF is a protein that belongs to growth factors, is located in the brain, and has many functions—one of them is to support the existing neurons. Low levels of BDNF are associated with higher risk for dementia, and vice versa. How can one increase his BDNF level? The first simple thing is physical exercise! Everyone may not be able to exercise, but everybody can be active! The principle is to keep moving, even in the winter. Of course, you still need to consult with your healthcare provider. The second way to increase BDNF levels involves mental exercise! The best kind is studying and memorizing the Bible. To lose one’s mind is a terrible thing, so remember, by exercising both physically and mentally, you can preserve your mind, the only medium through which God communicates with us!

This last Sabbath, Pastor Terry Wolfe presented a sermon entitled, “Give Me a Light” which was based on Acts 16:16-40. This story about Paul and Silas is often repeated, but with a deeper look, we find many lessons.

The first lesson to learn is that whether we end up in a desert or sea, if it’s God’s leading, it is a safe path. It was by the Lord’s leading that Paul and Silas were in Philippi and eventually ended up in a prison. They could have questioned why this was happening to them, but because they knew the Lord was leading, they were able to sing praises to God in prison.

The second lesson is that God always answers your prayer, but not always in the way you want it. In verse 16, Paul and the brethren were in the midst of praying when this demon possessed damsel was acting out, and after subsequent events, Paul and Silas got thrown into prison. It is not said what the brethren were praying for, but definitely not for trouble.

The third lesson is that God sometimes uses adversities in accomplishing His purpose. Because Paul and Silas were in the prison that night and were having the right attitude by singing praises to the Lord, instead of wailing of their circumstances, the jailer and his house were brought to the Lord and baptized. God wanted to save the jailer and his family, and the most effective way to do that was by permitting Paul and Silas to be thrown into prison.

The fourth lesson is that there are many people in difficult places to reach who need the Lord. Just like the jailer asked for physical light after the earthquake, many people deep down in their hearts are crying out for truth. And it is our duty as the light of the world to reach out to them.

The last, but not least, lesson is that the Holy Spirit’s work is mysterious and is not bound with time. It only took a night, nay, several hours for the jailer to repent his way and ask for baptism. He asked for what he must do to be baptized. Paul and Silas gave him and his family an overnight Bible study, and it was enough. The Holy Spirit brought conviction and repentance to his heart. While this is still possible today, it may take a longer time for many people to come to the Lord. The Holy Spirit is able to do a quick work, but He is also patient. He not only wants to bring conviction and repentance in the heart, but also “fruits worthy of repentance” (Luke 3:8) that will be manifested in actions and deeds.

A familiar story like this may lose its significance when we don’t take time to read it carefully. Every passage in the Bible is full of lessons if we just stop and meditate on them. As we do that, may the Holy Spirit enlighten our minds and enable us to be the light in this dark world.

You are welcome to join one of the Friday night Bible studies taking place in various member’s homes.  We also have midweek service at the church on Tuesdays at 6:30pm and are currently studying the book of Daniel.

The Community Services Center, located on the church property, is open every Tuesday from 10:00 to 2:00.  In December we served 126 people, 546 items were given away, and 83.25 hours were volunteered.  We appreciate your support and donations to enable us to serve our community.  You can reach us at 683-5713, or Elder Eck Ulrich at 683-3343.  Please visit us at www.avaadventistchurch.org or follow us on Facebook!

May God bless and keep you!