Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Let Your Light Shine

What does it mean to be a Light-bearer of Christ, who Himself is the Light of the world? We've seen this in so many ways just this month. We've seen it in the cancer diagnosis of our daughter-in-law Lydia’s mother, Mary, and Mary’s response which has led to opportunities to share about the hope that she has, even being asked about this by one of her attendants. We've seen it in those who surround her and her family to pray, support, and care for them. We've seen it this week in our neighborhood as a result of a home explosion and fire which sent the husband to the hospital (and he is now doing pretty well). Their home and their cars were destroyed, and this family was instantly placed in a position of great need. In response, there has been a flow of people helping in whatever way they can, and the family remains hopeful for what God has in store.

We’ve also seen the love of Christ shown to our children as they've added to our number of grandchildren and they have been gifted and supported in their new adventures as parents. We see it in our church as people are walking with cancers and looking to God. We see it regularly as those who are afflicted trust and look to God in their affliction, and those who come to their aide share in their hurt with compassion and in providing them with the help that God supplies.

When Jesus left to return to the Father, He left us as His ambassadors and as His light-bearers in the world. We read His words on this in Matthew 5:14-16, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” Nearing the the time of His crucifixion, while in the upper room with His disciples, He said in John 13:34-35, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Jesus tells us in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son [speaking of Himself], that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” And Jesus has called us to love one another, particularly in the body of Christ, but also to share this love of God with those who so desperately need to know about Him. In doing this, maybe we will get to answer the question like Mary was asked. 1 Peter 3:15 "but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence…."

Hebrews 6:19 "This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast…."

Today in “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young (7/23)

I am the Light of the world. Men crawl through their lives cursing the darkness, but all the while I am shining brightly. I desire each of My followers to be a Light-bearer. The Holy Spirit who lives in you can shine from your face, making Me visible to people around you. Ask My Spirit to live through you, as you wind your way through this day. Hold My hand in joyful trust, for I will never leave your side. The Light of My Presence is shining upon you. Brighten up the world by reflecting who I Am.

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12

“You are the light of the world. The city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16

And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:18

God said to Moses, “I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” Exodus 3:14

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