When in doubt, just turn on the light.
AUGUST 11, 2020
Zach Van Dyke:
When in doubt, just turn on the light. Let’s talk about it on Key Life.
You’re listening to Key Life. Our message is simple because life is hard for everyone, grace is for all of us. Steve Brown invited Zach Van Dyke to teach this week. Zach’s, the teaching pastor at Summit Church here in Orlando, Florida. If you’re tired of religion that just beats you down, pull up a chair and statewide.
Zach Van Dyke:
Thanks Matthew. And thank you all for tuning in today. Um, if you were with us yesterday, you know, we’re in part two of a three part series that I’m doing called When In Doubt. I come in about once a month, fill in for Steve, give him a little bit of a break. And don’t worry, he’ll be back, he’ll be back on Friday with Pete Alwinson for some Q & A. But while I’m here, over these next few times, we’re going to be in the, in the letter First John, and we’re going to use this letter to talk about our doubts and as Christians, we still sometimes doubt. And especially in light of circumstances, you know, we’re all going through a lot right now with everything that’s changed in our world. And with this virus that is just so contagious and just never seems to go away. You know, we’re, we’re, we’re kind of in this place where a lot of people could be doubting, like where’s God in all of this? And so I want to look at this letter that John wrote to the church, it’s a letter he wrote when he was a very old man. He’s cramming for finals. He’s looking at all these newer believers, these young whippersnappers who haven’t been through, all that he’s been through, who haven’t suffered the way he suffered. And he’s wanting to impart what he knows, what he’s learned and what he’s seen. And the first time I was here talking about this last month, we talked a whole lot about the beginning of the letter. John is just saying, listen, I know Jesus. I was there. I saw him. I saw the resurrected Christ. This is true. This is something worth believing in. And even talked about how, salvation wasn’t really the, the goal. Salvation was simply a means to the goal. If you go back to First John, chapter one, verse four, it says
We write this to make our joy complete.
So don’t you see the goal for John, wasn’t just that we all get saved, even though that’s really important. But the real goal, is that we’re in relationship with the creator of the universe and with each other, for all eternity. And so John’s writing this letter and he’s telling these young Christians, this is so important. This is a matter of life and death. This is a matter of eternal life. So listen to me, I’ve got some important things to say. Yesterday, we read First John 1:5 through 2:2. If you didn’t, if you weren’t here yesterday, you should go back and you should read that. Cause that’s what we’re going to really be talking about all week, what what’s contained in those passages. But the very first thing it says in First John 1:5 is
God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
The psalmist says,
If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me,
and the light become night around me”—
even the darkness will not be dark to you,
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to You.
The true Christ is light. So what does that mean? It means he always deals with things as they really are. We see things as they appear or as people present them to us. But the true Christ sees things as they exist. First Samuel 16:7 says, man looks on the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart. Did y’all know. And you probably, you probably do know this by now. Cause we’ve been doing zoom calls now for several months, but did you know that on a zoom call, there’s a feature, fix your appearance. I’ve got these lines on my forehead and with just a click of a button, I can make them disappear on these zoom calls. Now the problem is eventually we’re going to go back to seeing each other and being in meetings face to face. And all of a sudden the lines are going to reappear, right? People have gotten used to this kind of Photoshop version of me. Uh, but, but, but that is that’s reality, right? We’ve got, we’ve got apps on our phone when we post pictures to our Instagram, where we can put filters on that, make us look better than we are. And this has always been the case. We’ve always figured out ways to make ourselves look better than we actually do. My wife, when the first, when the pandemic first started and things were really, uh, you know, it seemed like, you know, the end of the world. And it was, you know, post-apocalyptic, when you went out in public. One time she was at the drug store and you know, it looked, you know, there are no toilet paper, you know, it was, it was awful. Uh, but she asked the, uh, the store clerk there, uh, what, what has been the thing that people have come in the most to get? Cause at the time people weren’t really weren’t coming out and she was the only person in the whole store at the time. And the, the person who was working at the store said their number one seller since everything happened was hair color, which makes sense, right? Like doing your own, you’re doing your own hair. Um, now listen, there is nothing wrong with dying your hair or a little airbrushing, but God is light. He sees things as they really are. Your not fooling him. The 19th century Baptist preacher, Charles Spurgeon was prophetic when he said these words,
The looks of things impresses us, but all things are naked and open before Him. The Lord never misrepresents, nor has fellowship with misrepresentation. We are forever hurrying about with our paint and our varnish and tinsel–laboring to make the cheaper thing appear equal to the more precious–and spending our skill in making the sham seem as brilliant as the reality.
God is light, no darkness. He can only deal with you and me as we really are. John, when he writes his gospel account of Jesus, very early on in that gospel account, he tells a story about Jesus dealing with the Samaritan woman, as she really is. And it’s a very familiar story. You probably know the story, but if you, if you haven’t heard the story or it’s been a while since you’ve read it, it’s found in John 4, but it’s a story where Jesus and his disciples are making their way through Samaria, which was a region full of people that Jewish people hated. They hated Samaritans, but they’re making their way through this region. And the disciples go off to get food. And Jesus is left alone at a well, and it’s midday. And we’re told this woman, the Samaritan woman comes up to the well as well. And so right away, you know, that something’s up, because she’s alone. And women often went to the well together. Mostly they did it in the morning or at the end of the day, you know, that was the place where they got together and gossiped, you know, water cooler talk and stuff like that. But this woman, she comes in the middle of the day, when she thinks no one’s going to be there and she’s all alone. But then she comes face to face with Jesus. And the first thing Jesus does, the way he approaches this woman, this woman who obviously is ashamed woman, is he asks her a question. Now, if you’ve been listening to me for any amount of time, you know that that’s a big deal to me that, that I think throughout scripture, we see God from the very beginning, even after Adam and Eve first sin, how does God approach them? He seeks them out with the question, why? Because questions invite relationship. And so here we have Jesus, this shamed woman comes walking towards him, and he asked her a question. He invites relationship. He asked her for a drink. Um, and you know, she, she banters back and forth with him a little bit about the fact that, you know, he’s a man and she’s a woman. They shouldn’t be talking in public and she’s a Samaritan, he’s a Jew and they shouldn’t like each other. And, and so they have this conversation back and forth. And then Jesus says to her, you know what, why don’t you go and get your husband? And, uh, and let me talk to him as well, because he’s, he’s revealed to, to this woman that, that he has the ability to give her water and which she’ll never be thirsty again. And so when he asked her to bring her husband, she kind of gets really short with them and says, Oh, I have no husband. And he looks at, and he says, you know what you say is true. It’s true that you have no husband. And in fact, the man you are now sleeping with is not your husband. And in fact, you’ve had five husbands before him. So essentially Jesus looks at this woman and he says, I know everything about you, before you even came close to me. I knew everything about you, before I asked you for a drink of water, before I asked you the first question, I knew that about you. And I still invited you into relationship with me. See, when he tells her that he in fact is the Messiah, which is what he follows up that with. Uh, you know, he, he looks at her, he says the things that you’ve been looking for, they’re all found in me and that changes her. It changes her because the true Christ not only has revealed himself to her, but he’s told her that he knows everything about her and still loves her and still chooses her and still wants to be in relationship with her. When Jesus said, I know, I knew even before I started talking to you, she knows she has been seen and known and still loved. Has that been your experience with the true Christ, or have you been avoiding Christ because you think, oh man, if Christ does know what I’ve done, if he does know the choices that I’ve made in life, if he does know the people that I’ve hurt, and the ways that I’ve acted and the harm that I’ve done, there’s no way he would have anything to do with me. And listen, I know many of you listening are Christians and y’all, I know Christians, I am a Christian, and I know the skeletons in my own closet. I know the parts of my own story that I don’t want anyone to see. Steve often says every single one of us has a secret, that if it were revealed publicly, we would leave and never come back. Jesus knows our secrets. He knows everything about us. The true Christ sees us and knows us and declares to us, I still want you. I still love you. The true Christ can only deal with us as we really are, because it’s all about grace.
And that was pastor Zach Van Dyke, continuing to teach us about doubt, today revisiting the story of the woman at the well, to remind us that as believers we are seen and known and loved by Jesus. More good stuff from Zach tomorrow, hope you will join us then. Well, as Zach mentioned early on today, salvation is an amazing gift, but there’s so much more. And yet, as you know, our walk can sometimes evolve into something that feels like nothing more than a sin management program. If you felt that frustration, there’s a booklet. We want to send you for free. It’s called Three Free Sins. And it’s based on Steve’s book of the same name. The book is all about what Key Life itself is about, grace. Maybe it’s time to discover that you not only have three free sins, you have unlimited free sins because of Jesus Christ. Get your booklet now by calling 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also request the booklet by emailing Steve@keylife.org. If you’re mailing us, send your request to
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