Do you remember the song we use to sing when we were kids?
This Little Light of Mine.
This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.
Let it shine let it shine let it shine.
Won’t let Satan blow it out, I’m gonna let it shine.
Gonna let it shine till Jesus comes, I’m gonna let it sine.
Let it shine let it shine let it shine.
What is it about light?
We like the light.
It allows us to see.
It allows us to cancel darkness.
The first time we hear about light is in Genesis chapter 1.
God tells us that light is good.
John describes Jesus as the light.
It is light that gives us hope.
Have you ever traveled down a road.
Especially overnight trips.
You are traveling east and as you approach early morning you begin to see the sun coming over the horizon.
We get excited for that light because it is a dawn of a new day.
Today is January 1st.
When the light came up this morning, no matter what 2022 brought you, there is hope today because today starts a new year.
We can begin again and there is hope that a new year will bring something new and exciting.
Light gives us hope.
Today, I want to read my text you that is found in the book of 1 Samuel.
We will read from chapter 3. First Samuel is towards the beginning of the new testament.
I want to read to you the beginning of Samuel’s life and ministry but before I do, let me introduce you to Samuel’s mother.
Samuel’s mother’s name is Hannah.
She is very significant in Samuel’s lift because she prayed earnestly for this child.
She was unable to have children and she wanted children so much that she would go to the temple to pray and Eli the priest would see her praying and he thought she was drunk.
So he confronted her and realized that she was overwhelmed with this burden that she had been praying for, so Eli encouraged her and Hannah’s appearance changed.
Hannah wanted a child so bad that one time when she was praying she made a promise with God.
If you will give me a son then I will give him back to you for your service.
So, God answered Hannah’s prayer and gave her a son that she named Samuel, which means “name of God”.
So, after Samuel was old enough Hannah kept her promise and brought him to Eli the priest and Samuel would become a the last judge of Israel and the first prophet.
But I want to look at an early time in Samuel’s life found in chapter 3 of 1 Samuel, beginning at verse 1.
The ark of God was kept in the most holy place, the innermost room of the tabernacle where only the high priest could enter once a year.
In front of the most holy place, a small room where the other sacred furniture of the tabernacle was kept such as: the altar of incense, the bread of presence, and the lamp stand.
Just outside the holy place was a court with small rooms where the priests were to stay.
Samuel probably slept here with the other priests, only a few yards away from the ark.
Meaning Samuel probably slept close to the light.
Some commentaries say that Samuel’s job was to keep the place tidy.
The lamp of God was to burn all throughout the night.
It might have even been Samuel’s job to make sure the light never went out all night.
But I also believe that this may be a reference to Samuel as well.
There was a great darkness that characterized Shiloh at that time.
I believe that God had found a glimmer of hope in Samuel.
I believe that this light represents the hope that Samuel would begin a ministry that would light the path for generations to come.
God would speak to Samuel than night and it was the beginning of a ministry that would change Israel’s history.
As I told you before Samuel was the last of the judges and the first of the prophets.
He also would anoint Saul and David as king.
Through the ministry of Samuel the spiritual life of the Israelites improved.
In inaugurating the monarchy, he led the people from tribal disunity to national solidarity.
He appointed gatekeepers to the tent of meeting, organized observance of the Passover so memorably that it was still spoken about in Josiah’s day.
Samuel was also a great man of prayer.
So, that night when God spoke to Samuel, I believe that this flame here is mentioned in scripture for us to fully understand that God saw hope in the new priest that was being raised up and that night God called Samuel to something greater.
So, what does light mean to you?
Does it allow you to see in the darkness?
Does it give you hope that there is something greater ahead?
Does it open your world up to new possibilities?
It did for Israel that night.
God saw hope in Samuel.
God in essence was telling Samuel to keep the flame burning.
Don’t let the flame go out.
Where there is light there is hope.
You can keep the flame burning as well.
In essence, a new year is a time to start all over.
We get to begin again.
Anything that has happened in the past is in the past.
Today is a new day a new year and a new beginning.
If you have let the flame extinguish in the past.
Begin today and let it shine brighter than before.
Don’t let the flame go out.
So, how do we keep the fire from going out? Anyone will tell you that there are three things a fire needs to keep burning.
A fire can’t start or spread unless there is a significant amount of heat involved.
That is why firefighters begin by putting water on a fire and why most fire extinguishers are filled with a cooling agent.
Also, firefighters turn off the power to a building that is on fire to take away the heat source.
A fire needs a fuel source.
That fuel source could be anything flammable like paper, wood, fabric, chemicals and so on.
If you remove the fuel from the fire then it will go out.
This is one of the most important factors because oxygen is everywhere.
A fire needs oxygen in order to ignite and continue to burn.
You take away the oxygen and you take away the fire.
Just like a fire needs these elements to continue to burn we need those things in our spiritual life so that the flame is not extinguished.
But they look a little different.
1. Holy Spirit
The first thing or better stated person we need as a part of our life here on this earth to keep the flame burning in us is the Holy Spirit.
We need a relationship with the Holy Spirit.
Jesus told us that it is better if He goes away.
Why is that?
Because He was sending us someone better.
Jesus was in human form.
That means that even though He was God He was still human and could only be in one place at a time, but when He sent the Holy Spirit to be with us after He ascended into Heaven.
The Holy Spirit is with us everywhere.
You and I need to develop a relationship with the Holy Spirit.
We need to learn to know the Holy Spirit intimately.
We need that relationship to flourish so that we can do things greater than what Jesus did.
Jesus tells us that we will do greater things.