Today’s devotion builds on the thoughts from Sunday’s Sermon – Week 1 of “Fan or Follower – Shine Brightly” (LISTEN HERE).
Have you ever been in complete darkness? Darkness that has not even a glimmer of light anywhere. Darkness so “thick” that you can’t see your hand in front of your face. I remember two such instances. One was in a cave after they turned out the lights. Second was years ago in the solitary confinement cell on Alcatraz in the San Francisco Bay (they don’t let tourists experience solitary confinement anymore…)
Darkness is nice if your are sleeping. If you are trying to live and move around, darkness is no fun. Even for the brief periods of complete darkness, there was a yearning that began to have some sort of light. It didn’t take much light. A small flashlight cast a glow throughout the cavern. A sliver of light through the door began to illuminate the room.
I would guess that no one wants to live in darkness.
Isaiah prophesied of the light that would dispel darkness (Isaiah 9:2):
The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.
Jesus was and is the light of the world (John 1:4-5):
In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
And so Jesus calls us to be light in the world.
Matthew 5:14 “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 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. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.
Again the people in our lives may not always acknowledge the darkness in their lives (just like we can at times be blind to it), but God has put us in this world to bring light to the lives of the people around us.
Light gives guidance. As yesterday’s devotion stated there are many aspects of life that are being stolen and destroyed without truth and direction. God’s Word is a “lamp for my feet and a light on my path” (Psalm 119:105). So many answers to life’s questions are illuminated by the verses of Scripture.
The light we give off is a reflection of the light God has shone on us. As we live out the love of Christ, we simply reflect the love we have received from him. (1 John 4:11) Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
When we were in the cave, the guide turned on the flashlight and led us out of the cave. Light points us to where safety and security can be found. Light moves us from the danger of darkness to the safety of illumination. The ultimate goal of being a light in the world is to point people to their heavenly Father. People will notice when your words and actions are kind, loving, thoughtful, and humble. People will notice when you pause your agenda to take time to care for someone else. People will notice that you are trustworthy, dependable and full of integrity. People will notice that you are slow to anger and willing to seek understanding. People will notice when you are full of joy, willing to be gentle, and go through life with an inner sense of peace.
When they wonder how and why you can be this way?
You take the flashlight and shine it on your heavenly Father so that they can see his love, grace, and forgiveness, just as you have seen it and been blessed by it.
Shine brightly! The world around you needs it!
Apply: What blessings have you experienced as you have been able to shine the light of God’s love into someone else’s life?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for shining your love into my heart and life. Cause me to shine brightly for you each and every day of my life! Use me wherever you can to bring your light into the darkness of life and point people to you as their saving, loving Father in heaven. AMEN.