July 28, 2004
Encouragement for Today
 
A Shining Light
Ramona Davis, Proverbs 31 Speaker Team member, Director of Prayer Ministry
 
Key Verse:
 
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16 (NKJV)
 
Devotion:

Summertime brings wonderful memories made with my family as a child on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Every summer my brother and I looked forward to climbing the gigantic sand dunes only to see who could roll to the bottom first. My dad looked forward to fishing the waters of the Atlantic and letting the rolling tide wash away the stress of his work. Mom could be found relaxing with a magazine.
 
The highlight of our yearly vacation was to visit the massive Cape Hatteras Lighthouse and climb each of its 268 steps to reach the top. I remember being amazed at the size of the light inside the top of the lighthouse. We would then climb out onto the metal platform surrounding the glass panes where the wind and magnificent view took our breath away.
 
The treacherous waters of Cape Hatteras are known as the "Graveyard of the Atlantic" because of the many shipwrecks off the Cape. The waters are shallow and two very strong currents make this place very dangerous. A cold Artic southbound current and a warm Gulf Stream northbound current collide making the waters turbulent.
 
The Lighthouse was built as a navigational aid and retains the status of being the tallest in America. The original lighthouse rested on layers of pine timbers submerged below the low tide level to keep them from rotting. After 78 years the timbers were examined and no deterioration was found in the foundation.
 
The 36 inch beacon of light rotates with one 1000-watt lamp in each beacon that produces a powerful light visible for about 20 miles. Some have seen its light as far as 51 miles at sea and 115 miles from the air.
 
In the Book of John (8:12) Jesus tells us that He is the Light of the world. He promises us that if we follow Him we won't walk in darkness. We will have the light of life.
 
You may be facing a difficult time right now. You may be like those ships tossed and slammed in dark, turbulent waters. Maybe your life is out of control and headed for shipwreck. Jesus is the Light of the world. He never promised smooth sailing, but He does promise if you place your faith in Him, He will never leave you or forsake you. He will be the guiding light in your life if you let Him.
 
In the Book of Matthew (5:16) Jesus tells us that we are the light of the world. Those of us who have placed our faith in Jesus have His Light living in us. How is your light shining? Are others guided to safety by your light? Do others see your good works and glorify the Father desiring to have what you have? Is your beacon clean of sin so that your light shines brightly? Is the foundation of your lighthouse built on the Rock, Jesus Christ, or is it built on the pride of self?
 
Take time to check your lighthouse. Check its foundation. Clean its beacon. Let your light so shine before men that they see your good works and glorify the Father.
 

My prayer for today:
 
Lord, I thank You that You are the Light of the world. I thank You that You came to free us from the darkness of sin and hell and offer the light of eternal life with You. Help us to be strong lighthouses reflecting You wherever we are so that those who don't know You will want to. Amen
 

Application steps:
 
If you don't know Jesus, don't wait another day to ask Him into your heart.  Then talk with a trusted Christian about your decision.
 
Christians, take time today to consider how your light is shining. Make a list of ways you can be a better example to those around you.
 
Honestly evaluate your everyday living witness, applying the scripture of Matthew 5:16 to yourself. In what ways do you honestly seek to glorify the Father?
 

Reflection points:
 
Are there any dark places in your life? Think about the ways the darkness has hindered you from being all God wants you to be. 
 

Power verses:
 
There is no judgment awaiting those who trust him. But those who do not trust him have already been judged for not believing in the only Son of God. Their judgment is based on this fact: The light from heaven came into the world, but they loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. John 3:18,19 (NLT)
 
 He who rules over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God. And he shall be like the light of the morning when the sun rises, a morning without clouds, like the tender grass springing out of the earth, by clear shining after rain. 2 Samuel 3,4 (NKJV)
 
Let those who love Him be like the sun when it comes out in full strength. Judges 5:31 (NKJV)
 
Arise, shine; for your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you. Isaiah 60:1 (NKJV)
 

Additional Resources:
 
Coming Out of the Dark by Mary Southerland
http://www.gospelcom.net/p31/resources/outofdark.html
 
Radically Obedient, Radically Blessed by Lysa TerKeurst
http://www.gospelcom.net/p31/resources/radical.html