Bright Lights

Bright Lights

Matthew 5:14-16 (NIV) “You are the light of the world. A town built 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 others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

The morning sun shines in my office unto the desk. I love this time of day. When the sun comes up filled with the promise and purpose of a brand new opportunity to live. Most of the time, I stumble through the dark groping for the study door fumbling for the light to find my way here to spend some time with the Lord. But on mornings like this, when I have nowhere to be and only my agenda, I love to just look at the sundrenched yard outside. God is so good. He is good to me. He has blessed our family even through the moments of hardship, trials and pain. His Light always seems to make its way through the darkness just when I need Him the most.

As I look outside, I can see that the sun is not selectively shining on just my house but every other house that surrounds ours. It is flooding the area with light rather than shooting beams at those homes of certain ones. God’s Love is just like the sun. His Love shines on the “just and unjust”. It says in Matthew 5 regarding love to be like our Father who “causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and unrighteous.” So I am challenged today to consider the light coming from my life. Does it reflect the tremendous amount of love that the Lord has poured out on me or the immeasurable grace that He has given me? Or do I choose to selectively share with only those who I deem worthy or who already know the Lord? We congregate in churches ready to help one another, love each other and speak blessings to others. Do we speak the same language outside the four walls labeled church? Do we really do the same thing in the Body of Christ at all? How is our light? Is it bright?

Let your light shine before others…all others…that they may see your good deeds and glorify the Father in heaven. Yes, I added all others as a personal reminder that the love that God has given to me is not for just me exclusively but in copious amounts to share with a hungry and thirsty world looking for satisfaction. My light should be shining on every one in God’s House. Everyone in the world after all Jesus died for us all.

Luke 1:76-79 (NIV) And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him, to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace.”

Zechariah filled with the Holy Spirit prophesied over his son these words. To prepare the way of the Lord, giving others the knowledge of salvation THROUGH the forgiveness of sins because of God’s Mercy for us. I think sometimes in our own efforts to sensationalize and dramatize the impact of a God who cannot be comprehended by the five senses that we try to make Him more interesting and even sometimes more mysterious than needed. Salvation is based solely on the Love of God demonstrated through Jesus Christ who sacrificed His Life to give us the Grace to return to righteousness. It is all about the Love of God for all people. We add the doctrine, bylaws and religious tradition. It is all about God’s Love – nothing we do but who we become as a result of encountering the Presence of God through the Grace of Christ. We are all sinners in need of a Savior no matter how saved we think we are. Sin is still a constant threat. Our need for grace is persistent even in our best effort to surrender our life completely to the Lord.

Jesus is the “rising sun” who came to us from Heaven and shined on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death to guide us into the pathway of peace.” We cannot build on any other foundation. For the foundation called Christ is complete. We must live our life on this foundation completely by faith allow the Light of His Love to shine through us.

2 Corinthians 4:5-7 (NIV) For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.

This poses the question am I a flood light or a flashlight? Do I shine the Light of God’s Amazing Love to everyone allowing it to pour freely from my life like sunshine or do I just point it selectively where I choose? Don’t judge me right now. We all do it. We bless the hearts of those who make us happy, but release hell, fire and brimstone on those who do us wrong. Called to love our enemies, that is not exactly what comes out when they do something that wrongs, hurts, offends or upsets us. What comes out is often the opposite? What concerns me is that thing that comes out of me must exist somewhere in me. If it is anything less than the Light of God’s Love, I blew it.

The Gospel that I have been given to “preach” to the world is love. My influence on others is directly impacted by my ability to accept God’s Love and acknowledge it by not withholding it from another person. The Lord has made His Light to shine in our hearts. It is the Glory of God ready to spread light to the darkness around us. Is my light bright today? Or have I allowed something to hinder or restrict my light from shining on all others?

Isaiah 60:1-3 (NIV) “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.”

There is a children’s song that says, “Rise and shine and give God the glory, glory. Rise and shine and give God the glory, glory – children of the Lord.” Perhaps this is wake-up call today or maybe just a flip of some switch inside of us to begin to shine our light brightly in this world. You don’t have to be an “upbeat” person who goes by the name of Susie Sunshine. However, if the Lord has saved, healed, delivered, blessed or prospered you – then how can you not spread that love to others? It is the message they long to hear. People do not need a pastor, preacher, teacher, deacon or elder along with every other member of the church to tell them what to do or how to do it, what they need is the Love of God. Just one encounter with Jesus can be the catalyst of full repentance and a pursuit of righteousness that will change their whole life – not because you preached them happy but they have found what they were looking for – love like no other.

Numbers 6:22-27 (NIV) The Lord said to Moses, “Tell Aaron and his sons, ‘This is how you are to bless the Israelites. Say to them: ““The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.”’ “So they will put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them.”

Referred to as the “Priestly Blessing”, I wonder what might happen if this was something regularly done among God’s People. What if we blessed every single person who we came in contact with? It says in verse 27, this puts God’s Name on His People. The Lord promises to bless those people. We have to learn to light up this world without expectation or reciprocation but drawing from the vastness of God’s Love for us that fills us to the uttermost. We are the royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s Special Possession. We are called out of the darkness into His Glorious Light to become a bright light in a dark world. (I Peter 2:9) Taking both of these scriptures together solidifies and confirms it for fulfillment. We must bless the world around us. The blessing is for the righteous and unrighteous and the just and unjust in hope of salvation and redemption for all. Let your light shine so others will see the good works of the Father. We are reflecting God’s Love not out own. It is our calling as His Royal Priesthood making it our sacrificial duty of servanthood.

Psalm 37:3-6 (NIV) Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun.

We just had several new light fixtures replaced in our house. Some were just light fixtures others were in ceiling fans, different locations all over the house. The previous owner had allowed old broken fixtures to remain but now with new ones the light is very bright. The light in our bedroom is a bit softer than before so we will need to add some more light or adjust the new one. My point is that the light is shining no matter what. I must position it properly to illuminate the parts of my house that are dark. Don’t you think God has placed you exactly where your light is needed the most? Where you live? Where you work? Where you play? Wherever you go? If we will trust the Lord and be consistent in our walk with Him – we will give off the light that comes from being fully satisfied in Jesus Christ. We will delight in Him. He will bless us. Others will see this as He makes our righteousness shine as a beacon to others. It tells them that people who live this way are happy, healed and whole. They know there is a hell. They know that it is hot. They know that they need something. They know they are not satisfied. We can show them. Not through harsh words and judgment but by sharing the truth about God’s Love simply by living it. The Lord told Daniel that those who are wise will shine like the brightness of Heaven and those who lead many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever. (Daniel 12:3) We lead with our life not words. Pursing Jesus is not a “them” thing but an “us” thing. We all need Him more and more. Everyone needs more of His Love. We will all know the brightness of His Light one day when the sun shines no more but for now…we are the light. We must shine bright.

Isaiah 60:19-20 (NIV) The sun will no more be your light by day, nor will the brightness of the moon shine on you, for the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory. Your sun will never set again, and your moon will wane no more; the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your days of sorrow will end.

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