Isaiah 60:19-22 (NLT)
“No longer will you need the sun to shine by day, nor the moon to give its light by night, for the Lord your God will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory. Your sun will never set; your moon will not go down. For the Lord will be your everlasting light. Your days of mourning will come to an end. All your people will be righteous. They will possess their land forever, for I will plant them there with my own hands in order to bring myself glory. The smallest family will become a thousand people, and the tiniest group will become a mighty nation. At the right time, I, the Lord, will make it happen.”
I love my children. I find that I am constantly thinking about them. Sometimes one or other times all five and just how very blessed I am to have been given the privilege to be their mom. They are a lot of work. My kids are not perfect. But the joy that they bring to my life is exceeding and abundantly more than any effort it has taken to raise them. I will not bore you with the many ways that they are amazing today. They are all my little lights though. Our sons have become men and moved on to fulfill their life callings. One the adventurer always on a new mission. While our silent, intellectual guy fights to finish his mechanical engineering degree. Our oldest daughter has been married one month. We now only have two not-so-little people at home. The house is growing quiet. The rooms are getting bigger. The little lights are leaving. Now what?
Last I spent the evening cleaning house preparing for the weekend, it was a whirlwind of activity and when I was finally ready to settle down I realized that it was only a few minutes before our youngest child’s bedtime. Our teenager long since in bed, she was now snuggling down for the night and mommy was sad. I wasn’t ready for her to go to bed. I was exhausted, too. As she lay in bed, I wrapped my arms around her and began kissing her little face and chubby cheeks. I held her tight and smelled her hair. I am not ready for her to grow up either but she is right before my eyes become an independent and opinionated your woman very much like her oldest sister. I find that these children the Lord has so graciously given me are a light in my life. They bring joy in just being even when they are too much to handle at times. They are a constant source of love. God is speaking to my heart today about the little lights in our life that He has placed there. How many times we have taken our light for granted? It is not a ministry. It is not a mission. It is not a mandate even though it resembles a commandment. We are the Glory of God. What is God’s Glory? It is a reflection of God’s Love.
Matthew 5:14-16 (Message)
“Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.”
Our acknowledgement of God does not make Him who He is. Our acceptance of Him does not make Him Lord of our life. See Jesus is our Savior through repentance but His Lordship is unquestionable that at His Name every knee will bow and tongue confess who He is. We are in this world but not of this world. Repentance is turning to face our Creator, admitting our wrongdoing and shortcomings to accept His Great Grace. By doing so, we begin to reflect the Love of the Father if we hold this position of righteousness. It is in that moment we become godly or god-like. The Light of His Love shines on us. It begins to permeate our heart, mind and soul until we begin to reflect His Love and project it to others. Not in the words that we speak but how we live, what we do and how we love. A true reflection cannot be seen through dirty glass. You must clean the glass to see through it much like a mirror. You are a Child of God. He created us all. We abandoned His Love to do our own thing. Upon returning, He adopts us back into the family and we are one with God again through the sacrifice of His Son – Jesus. Where is the pride in that – there really is nothing else to boast about except God’s Love. The closer we live in step with God following the example of Jesus – the greater the reflection. We simply fan the flames of faith until our passion for Christ exceeds are lust for the world. The more generous we are with our life, the greater our reflection of His Love that will prompt others to want to know and love the God who we serve.
Isaiah 58:10-11 (NLT)
Feed the hungry, and help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon. The Lord will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring.
Any woman who has ever been pregnant gets unwarranted advice? The horror stories that other woman share are ridiculous. I can’t believe how many woman almost died in childbirth or so they think. I had three very easy deliveries and two slightly difficult ones. The crazy thing is the less medical intervention that I had the easier the delivery was. God obviously knew what He was doing when He designed a woman’s body to bear children. However, I remember around baby number four thinking of horrible things to say back to those people. My all-time favorite comment is “have you figured out how that happens yet?” My response, “Yes, and apparently I am pretty good at it.” Was this the right response? No. Was it spoken in love? Absolutely not. Did it open the conversation to something else? I didn’t want it, too. Am I the Light of the World? Yes, but I have failed miserably many, many times. If we are the Light of the World, then God has placed a beacon in us that attracts others to us. The more we walk in the Love of God the more we will encounter. God will use you to reach out to others. He promises that when we give of ourselves in such a way that He will “guide us continually, giving us water when we are dry and restoring our strength.” My love for my kids allows me to give to them when I think that I have nothing left to give. God loves me. I am His Child. He gives to me from His Abundance. When I live in close proximity to Him, this is an endless overflowing of love and adoration that infuses my heart to overflow to others.
Psalm 97:11 (Message)
Light-seeds are planted in the souls of God’s people, joy-seeds are planted in good heart-soil.
Being the light of the world as Jesus intended was not meant to drain us of energy and power but to infuse our life with light-seeds. We will prosper basking in the Light of His Love and it will grow into a surplus we share with others. I love to tell people how God has healed our son of cancer. I love to tell them how He healed our youngest daughter of asthma. I love to tell them how He took a single man, a single mom and three rambunctious kids making a beautiful family out of our obvious mess. I love to tell people of all the near misses that turned out to be miracles. God has been good to us. His Love for us obvious and ridiculous. In the beginning of my walk with Jesus, I would forget my blessings and become obsessed with our mess. But after all we have been through and I mean through…how can I not tell others about my God, my Father and His Love? It is undeniable because the outcomes in our life are not natural. Those light-seeds blossom into joy-seeds and soon I am happy for no reason at all or at least that’s how it feels. Faith comes alive. Hope is real. I don’t need good days, happen endings and no problems to be happy, joyful, peaceful and loving. I can love because I know that I am loved. No matter how things look today – I know that God is working all the details out to perfection. As faith becomes confident hope, joy and peace are the true reflection of our love affair with God the Father through Jesus His Son.
Psalm 112:4 (NLT)
Light shines in the darkness for the godly. They are generous, compassionate, and righteous.
The Light of God’s Love gives us faith and confident hope that allows us to see past the circumstances we face and the people who seem to be the problem. All we know is that God’s Love is up ahead and I will not let anything stop me from getting closer to Him. To be god-like or godly requires us to live in love with others as God is in love with us. When I got in bed last night after tucking our daughter in, all I wanted to do was go and scoop her up again. I wanted to hold her tight, snuggle with her, and just let her sleep close to me. But she is becoming a young woman and probably would not appreciate the sleep interruption so I forced my eyes shut and held the covers tightly over me to keep myself from giving in. Why? I love her. I love her with all my heart just like her siblings. I miss them each day I don’t see them or talk to them. The fill my heart with light and love. If my husband and children fill me with such love and joy even in their imperfection, what about a God who loves me perfectly? I want His Light to shine in my life. It begins by accepting His Love. Living in it, basking in it, choosing it, wanting it, desiring it and walking in it every day. I cannot imagine the Father’s Love for me when I consider how much I love my children. It is incomprehensible. All I can do is hold my life close to Him and attempt to reflect the Love that can light a universe.
Proverbs 4:18 (NLT)
The way of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, which shines ever brighter until the full light of day.
Driving past houses this holiday season, there are Christmas trees in almost every window and lights on many of the homes. I wonder if God is not asking us to accept His Light in our heart so it shines just as brightly. The Light of His Love reflected in our attitudes and actions can change another person’s life forever. Do not take for granted the power of kind words, a smile, holding a door or allowing someone to go ahead of you. Hugs are helpful. Taking the time to listen to another person speak is truly a gift rather than considering your own response while they are talking. Time is the greatest gift of all. Don’t bother getting all wrapped up in creating the “perfect” Christmas party or packaging presents if there is no love offered by sharing time then what’s the point? God’s Love came down to rescue us on Christmas. It is my profound privilege to honor Christ on His Birthday by allowing His Light to light up my life like a candle on His Cake. This little light of mine…it is up to me to let Him shine!
2 Corinthians 4:6-7 (NLT)
For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ. We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.