Lighthouse – Shining God’s Light

We are told to let our light shine, and if it does, we won’t need to tell anybody it does. Lighthouses don’t fire cannons to call attention to their shining–they just shine.” Dwight L. Moody

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GOD’S LIGHT SOURCE

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.”  – 2 Corinthians 4:6

According to this verse, knowing Jesus Christ is the source of having God’s light and knowledge in our lives. (Related post: Knowing God.) We don’t acquire the light of His salvation through morality, religion, or good deeds; although good deeds follow genuine faith/trust in Christ (James 2:18).

GOD’S LIGHT CARRIERS

I’m glad God doesn’t reserve His glory for the smartest, strongest, wealthiest, or most talented people. I certainly wouldn’t qualify.

God operates differently than the world’s standards. His thoughts and ways are much higher than ours (Isaiah 55:9). God’s light carriers are described as jars of clay.

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Like jars of clay we are fragile. We crack. We crumble. We break.

But in our weakness—especially in our brokenness—God’s light shines brightest (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).

 HOW DO WE DIM GOD’S LIGHT?

We dim God’s light by the following: (1) denial of His light, (2) failure to confess and/or repent of our sins, (3) neglect of sharing our faith, (4) ignoring others’ needs, (5) disobeying God, (6) failing to spend time and/or abide in God, and (7) going along with the crowd.

(This isn’t meant to be an inclusive list.)

HOW DO WE SHINE GOD’S LIGHT?

On a positive note, applying the opposite to the above will result in God’s light shining through us.

Perhaps, we shine brightest when we apply Jesus’ words: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”    Matthew 22:37-40

WANT EXTRA POLISH AND SHEEN?

(It’s free, but like the above, requires focus and resolve.)

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”    Philippians 4:8

How’s your shine?

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Salt and Light

I must have been about eight when I hid a bowl of cookie dough under my bed. Our family outing prompted me to take action to keep my brother from eating any.

0f0272b0a9d411e2974222000a1fbdac_7Mission accomplished.

However, the adage “out of sight, out of my mind” rang true for me. My goods remained under my bed until my Mom’s discovery a month later. No scent or taste of warm Chocolate Chip Cookies enjoyed from this batch. Not even bugs or mice could penetrate this hardened mound.

My prized dough became useless, losing all flavor and luster.

Flavor and Shine for God

Jesus shared a few words concerning our effectiveness—or lack of—to Him.

You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.”  – Matthew 5:13

And . . . .

You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on a 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.”   – 5:14-16

Our Usefulness to God

I don’t want my heart to harden like that mound of cookie dough–losing Christ’s seasoning, or hiding His light. My guess is that you don’t either.

How do we lose or gain our usefulness for Christ? How do we positively flavor society and let our light shine?  I invite your input.

Morning Star

The night I wrote my last post, From Darkness to Light, our electricity went out. Thankfully, my oldest son brought me a candle when the house went black.

d6b9c109d99fb4a851625cbb14a7a4c3In the middle of the night, I stumbled outside onto our deck to gaze at the stars. Without any street lights, the stars sparkled like polished diamonds.

I was reminded: Jesus is not only the light of the world (John 8:12), but He is also the morning star (2 Peter 2:19; Revelation 2:28; 22:16).

A morning star appears when the night is coldest and darkest, just before dawn.

In Revelation 2:18, Jesus is described as “the Son of God, whose eyes are like blazing fire and whose feet are like burnished bronze.”

A Letter to the Church of Thyatira

This Revelation chapter 2 contains a letter from Jesus to the Church of Thyatira, one of the seven churches that He addresses. Jesus commends their deeds, love, faith, perseverance, and increase of service. However, He warns:

I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess.”   – Revelation 2:20

Jezebel, a pagan queen of Israel, was considered the most evil woman who ever lived (1 Kings 19:1-2; 21:1-15; 2 Kings 9:7-10, 30-37). Jezebel may have been the name of the woman in the Thyatira church who promoted sexual immorality amongst believers, or Jezebel may have been a symbol of the evil God abhors.

When Christ gave this woman time to repent—turn away from her sins and follow Him—she refused, sinking further into spiritual darkness and God’s judgment.

Jesus’ words are weighty, but clear:  “I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her ways. . . . Then all the churches will know that I am He who searches minds and hearts, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds . . . . To you who do not hold to her teaching: Only hold on to what you have until I come. To him who overcomes and does my will until the end, I will give authority over the nations . . . . I will also give him the morning star.”  – Revelation 2:22-28.

Are You Prepared to Meet Jesus Christ?

When the world is at its darkest, Jesus will rush onto the scene. Shining in brilliant glory, He will expose evil with the light of His truth. He will also bring His promised reward. Until that time, He has given us the Holy Spirit to guide us and shed light on His truth in the Bible.

Are you prepared for the dawning of The Morning Star?

Let’s ask the Lord to search our hearts and help us overcome any sin that holds us captive. Let’s seek His will and persevere in it.

In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength.”  – Isaiah 30:15

From Darkness to Light

Have you ever stumbled out of bed in the middle of the night and ran into a wall? I’ve done that a few times, mostly when away from the familiarity of my home. . . . Thank goodness for light!

Light . . . I love seeing the sunlight streaming through the clouds, painting the evening sky. I love viewing God’s creation in radiant color and clarity. I also enjoy the sun’s warmth on a cool day, and the ability to see while biking so I don’t crash into the bushes.

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SUNLIGHT

For all of you trivia fans, here are some interesting facts about the sun (source: http://www.goldenkstar.com/facts/sun-interesting-facts.htm):

  • The sun makes up 99.86% of the mass of our solar system.
  • The energy being emitted from 1 square centimeter of the sun’s surface is enough to burn 64 light bulbs of 100 watt.
  • The earth receives 94 billion megawatt of energy from the sun. This is equivalent to 40,000 times the power requirement of the United States.
  • It takes up to 50 million years for energy produced at the core of the sun to reach its surface.
  • If a drop sized matter from the core of the sun is placed on the surface of the earth, no living organism will survive for a distance of 150 km from that drop.
  • An area of the sun’s surface the size of a postage stamp shines with the power of 1,500,000 candles. . . . That’s a lot of candles!

SON LIGHT

Shortly after the last night of the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles celebration—where large torches lit up the skyline—Jesus spoke to the people from the temple where offerings were placed (John 8:20). Candles were burned here to symbolize the pillar of fire that led the Israelites through the desert at night (Exodus 13:21-22). The pillar of fire represented God’s presence, protection, and guidance. In this context, Jesus 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

Without Christ, we are spiritually lost due to our sin. This ends in spiritual death and eternal separation from God. I doubt we can fathom just how dark and horrible such an existence is.

Is Jesus the light of your world? He will lead you to safety, wisdom, victory, and truth.

Knowing God

“Knowing about God is crucially important for the living of our lives. As it would be cruel to an Amazonian tribesmen to fly him to London, put him down without explanation in Trafalgar Square and leave him, as one who knew nothing of English or England, to fend for himself, so we are cruel to ourselves if we try to live in this world without knowing about the God whose world it is and who runs it. The world becomes a strange, mad, painful place, and life in it a disappointing and unpleasant business, for those who do not know about God. Disregard the study of God, and you sentence yourself to stumble and blunder through life blindfold, as it were, with no sense of direction, and no understanding of what surrounds you. This way you can waste your life and lose your soul.”                                                               – J.I. Packer, Knowing God

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Trafalgar Square

What we believe about God and what we believe about ourselves shape how we pray (or don’t pray). Some people view God in the same vein they see their earthly father. Some see Him as an angry authoritarian. Others view Him as a disinterested bystander. Sadly, many have been hurt by a church. These people may view God as a bully, hypocrite, or suffocating perfectionist. From cosmic genie to “people are their own gods,” the list varies from person to person.

So, who is the true God?

What if our understanding of God is skewed? I know I’ve been guilty in the past of placing God in a neatly packaged box.

Hebrews 1:1-3 says:

In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days He has spoken to us by His own Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom He made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His being, sustaining all things by His powerful word. After He provided purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.”

God is not whatever, whomever, or however our minds construe Him—apart from the Bible. To clearly understand God we need to get acquainted with His Son, Jesus, “the exact representation of God’s being.” God gave us the Bible, not just for the sake of knowledge, but also that we might come to Him and personally know Him.

3765fcc6f0a2d02b1b119d198bd27653The New Testament Gospels—Matthew, Mark, Luke and John—present the life and teachings of Jesus. Each book focuses on a unique facet of His character. If you have never read any of them, I recommend beginning with John. Led by the Holy Spirit, he provides clear evidence that Jesus is the Son of God and by believing in Him we may have eternal life.

How has your understanding of God been shaped by family, friends, culture, church?

Do you know the truth about God?

Do you know God?